Valentine Camp is a center for research in the high Sierra Nevada. The reserve lies in a glacier-carved basin in a transition zone between the sagebrush desert of the Great Basin and the coniferous forests of the high Sierra Nevada. With its varied topography and soils, the site encompasses several distinct habitats: Sierran upper-montane forest and chaparral, Great Basin sagebrush, and wet montane meadow, all occurring within a relatively small area. Mammoth Creek flows through the site, bordered by high montane riparian vegetation. Several large springs and small seeps add to diverse habitats. Valentine Camp and the NRS’s Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) together comprise Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves (VESR).
Several fuel reduction projects have been completed in recent years on site to reduce fire hazards and improve forest health.
Environmental education programs for local elementary school students; K–12 summer school; public tours; short courses; and the Spring Seminar Series of lectures.
Site visits by university courses in geology, environmental science, botany, and plants of the high country.
Long-term monitoring of plant phenology as part of the National Phenology Network; long-term monitoring of forest vegetation; reserve manager monitors development in surrounding area and participates in local planning.
- Fire ecology: Valentine Camp fire history studies, stand-age analysis, and fuel-loading maps will be used to develop a fire management plan.
- Wetland mapping project: Identification and delineation of wetlands in Long Valley.
- Plant ecology: Population ecology, ecophysiology, and genetics of mountain brome grass.
- Avian ecology: Artificial nest boxes are used to attract house wrens for study in breeding behavior and endocrinology.
- Expanded research opportunities: Studies of insects, mammals, and amphibians are conducted on the reserve and at other regional sites.