Encompassing 24 square kilometers (9.2 sq. mi.) on the southern slopes of the San Rafael Mountains, the Sedgwick Reserve spans an elevational range of 500 meters (1,650 ft.) and is noted for both its large size and environmental heterogeneity. The reserve contains a major geologic fault system and two distinctive geologic formations: relatively young Paso Robles alluvium and much older Franciscan metamorphosed seafloor, including large areas of serpentine.
Diverse vegetation types include coast live oak forest, blue oak woodland, valley oak savannah, buckbrush chaparral, coastal sage scrub, grassland, willow riparian forest, serpentine outcroppings, and agricultural lands. The site contains major portions of two watersheds and a variety of localized wetland habitats, notably vernal pools.
The region has a rich Native American heritage, and at least one Middle Chumash habitation site estimated to be between 1,500 to 2,000 years old is located on site. The reserve’s large size enables research of varying scales on native ecosystems.
Photomonitoring plots; stream-water analysis program; ongoing inventories of arthropods, mammals, birds, reptiles.
Numerous university courses, including botany, creative studies, geology, environmental studies, ecology, biogeography, soils, journalism, landscape painting.
Outreach programs in sciences, humanities, and the arts for regional elementary/secondary schools; field trips through partnership with Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society, and other organizations, as well as numerous local artists.
- Oak regeneration: Ten-year collaborative project on the roles of livestock and grazing and other factors in regeneration of two oak species; valley oak population genetics.
- Native grasses: Competitive interactions between native perennial grasses and introduced annual grasses; perennial grass population genetics.
- Soil nutrient flow: Movement of nutrients in grassland systems, including below-ground processes.
- Floristic survey: Collection and identification of vascular and nonvascular plant species on site.
- Microbial Observatory
Location Santa Barbara County, in the Santa Ynez Valley; 56 km (35 mi.) north of the city of Santa Barbara.
Facilities Overnight accommodations in 4-bedroom ranch house and two tent cabins; 49 and 75 person occupancy in two wi-fi enabled classrooms, shaded patio area and Platinum LEED rated Tipton Meeting House serve as a base for researcher housing, laboratory, meeting and teaching facilities; T-1 internet connection to UCSB campus.
Reserve bibliography The reserve bibliography includes citations of journal articles, books, theses, art, and other works published about or based on activities conducted at the reserve.
Databases Plant List Network of meteorological stations; geographic information system (GIS) under development; astronomical observatory administered by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope network.
Personnel Resident staff reserve director and steward on site; outreach coordinator; senior clerk.
Size 2,388 hectares (5,896 acres), including a 317-hectare (783-acre) agricultural easement in favor of the County of Santa Barbara.
Elevation 290 to 790 m (950 to 2,600 ft.)
Average Precipitation 38 cm (15 in.) per year.