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Call for Applications for the Mayhew Award

Research awards are available for graduate students conducting research at Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center. The competition is open to any graduate student enrolled in any accredited college or university. However, preference for awards will be to those enrolled at the University of California, and California State University system. Graduate students should submit their...

UCR Natural Reserves Response to COVID-19

Each university's reserve system fall under the guidelines of their main campus and local jurisdictions. At this time, UCR Natural Reserves are operating at reduced capacity. Staff are sanitizing surfaces frequently and practicing physical distancing. Some research projects with individuals or small groups may be approved. Long term research projects are prioritized. Classes and workshops...

UC Natural Reserve System Symposium 2020 announced

The world’s largest university-administered reserve system will hold a symposium this fall to commemorate 55 years of field research and teaching. The UC Natural Reserve System Symposium, to be held in Berkeley from November 12–13, 2020, will feature more than three dozen talks showcasing research, immersive field education, and public service conducted across the NRS...
By By Kathleen Wong | UC Natural Reserve System |

2019-20 Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant awards

The 2019-20 Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant awards will help 18 students from seven UC campuses conduct field studies at NRS reserves. These are the four UCR grant recipients: UC Riverside CNAS grant recipients 2019-2020: Matthew Green Sierra Nevada Aquatics Research Lab Landscape Biodiversity in Alpine Lake-Stream Networks UC Riverside 2019-2020 Elijah Hall White Mountain...

Riverside hosts influential invasive plant conference for the first time

Riverside recently hosted the California Invasive Plant Council symposium for the first time in the history of the decades-old gathering. “Having the symposium here underscores UC Riverside’s long-standing and growing importance to the field of land management and invasive plant species research,” said event committee member Lynn Sweet, a plant ecologist at UCR’s Palm Desert...
By Jules Bernstein | Inside UCR |

Sheltering California’s most vulnerable plants

Monterey larkspur. Pluman ivesia. Hoover’s manzanita. Payson’s jewelflower. Never heard of them? Few others have, either. They’re among California’s most vulnerable plants—rare, found in just a few spots, or extra finicky about where they will grow. Lucky for them, these and about 370 other vulnerable native plant species are found within the UC Natural Reserve...
By Kathleen Wong | UC Natural Reserve System |

2019 super bloom at Boyd

The winter of 2019 inundated California in an exceptional amount of rain and snow. Wildflowers erupted in a super bloom across the state's southern deserts. See how plants and animals at the UC Natural Reserve System's Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center made the most of this rarity in the desert: abundant moisture. The video...

Record rain and snow temporarily close James Reserve

by Andrea Campanella, Assistant Reserve Director, and Jennifer Gee, Reserve Director, James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve Extreme weather has left its mark on the NRS's James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve, as well as Idyllwild and several other Riverside County communities in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. First came the 13,000-acre Cranston Fire in...
By Andrea Campanella and Jennifer Gee, James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve | UC Natural Reserve System |

Reviving field research with living laboratories and outdoor education

By Lily Dayton for UC Santa Cruz In the spring of 1948, UCLA graduate student Ken Norris was eager to return to his field research site in the Coachella Valley, where he’d spent previous seasons crouched in the sand dunes, observing the desert iguanas that scurried beneath the Dicoria bushes. When he arrived at his...
By Kathleen Wong | UC NRS |

4 UCR graduate students win grants to do research in the natural reserves

Four graduate students at the University of California, Riverside, are among 20 University of California graduate students who will be supported by funding from the UC Natural Reserve System’s 2018-19 Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant Program. They are: Ryan Conway, Kaleigh Fisher, Tesa Madsen-McQueen, and Erica Sarro. “Mildred Mathias was one of the...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | UCR News |

Sun protection for mosses and records of paleo climate: the 2018-19 Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant awards

The tiny mosses that glue desert soils together spend the majority of their days dormant—the better to withstand a harsh environment. Yet within seconds of absorbing water, the crumbly wisps of brown green up in a frenzy of photosynthetic activity. How these hardy desert residents withstand the harsh UV rays of the sun while essentially...

Granite Mountains plants at UC Botanical Garden

by Vanessa Handley, Director of Collections and Research, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley Excerpted from the Fall 2017 edition of the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden Newsletter In April 2017, a team from the Garden traveled to the east Mojave Desert for a productive stint of field work. Our base was the Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert...

Nutrient-recycling microbes may feel the heat

Bacteria and fungi might conjure up images of diseases and spoiled food, but they also do a lot of good. The billions of microbes in a handful of dead leaves, for example, act as nature’s recyclers and regenerate nutrients needed for the next generation of plants to grow. “If it wasn’t for bacteria and fungi...
By Sarah Nightingale | UCR News |

Proposition 68 to benefit the NRS

The UC Natural Reserve System will receive up to $10 million thanks to the passage of California Proposition 68, the Parks, Environment, and Water Bond, June 5. The proposition authorizes the state to issue $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund state and local parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply...

UC Natural Reserve System launches fundraising campaign

The University of California Natural Reserve System is launching a fundraising campaign to raise $50 million to continue to protect its natural lands and serve future generations of students and scientists. The 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign will enable the NRS to become financially sustainable, support diversity programs, and supply the infrastructure to support world-class research...

Online tool maps reserve species records

Every reserve in the UC Natural Reserve System comes with its own small universe of biological information. When scientists and other visitors collect reserve plants and animals to study, they also record the date, the exact location where it was found, and more information. The specimen may then get deposited in a museum, while its...

Science to safeguard species

UC Natural Reserve System lands are home to dozens of vulnerable animal and plant species. These range from some of the state's rarest amphibians to endemic plants to icons of the West such as bighorn sheep. Studies conducted at the 39 reserves of the NRS informs how these species are managed, which helps preserve the...

Tracking water through California ecosystems

CHI-Freshwater will employ drones, multispectral cameras, microclimate stations, and other next-generation sensors to reveal how state ecosystems respond to water. The information will help Californians manage landscapes amid a changing climate. Image credit: Greg Crutsinger OAKLAND, California—The University of California Natural Reserve System has received a $2.179 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore...

New director for Boyd Deep Canyon

Christopher Tracy, new director of Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, weighs a desert plated lizard (Gerrhosaurus skoogi) along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. Image courtesy Christopher Tracy. For the first time in 35 years, a new director is at the helm of the NRS’s Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center in the Coachella Valley...
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