UC Natural Reserve System
University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS) is a system of protected sites that broadly represent California's rich ecological diversity. The NRS is the largest university-operated system of natural reserves in the world. Explore some of the reserves in this system of outdoor classrooms and laboratories.
Living Laboratories: The UC Natural Reserve System
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 Golden State's extraordinary biological diversity.
Scientists "can work in protected areas that allow them to follow the biology and the ecosystem dynamics...
Jays Reforest Santa Cruz Island
Explore how a species of Scrub Jay, the Island Scrub Jay, is expanding oak forests on Santa Cruz Island, helping to recover natural habitat on California's Channel Islands. Recorded on 06/06/2016.
California Ecology and Conservation
California Ecology and Conservation brings together 27 students from across the UC system for seven weeks of intensive learning at NRS reserves. Guided by experienced field instructors, undergraduates transform into scientists by conducting independent research studies. Recorded on 04/27/2016.
Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems: Drought, Fire and Flood
Explore how the the nature of highly seasonal rainfall cycles and periodic fires create conditions that have shaped Mediterranean climate ecosystems and all that lives within these very special regions.
Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems: Oceans and Mediterranean Climate
The climate of Mediterranean Climate Ecosystems is largely driven by different processes in nearby coastal oceans. Atmospheric processes over the oceans influence seasonal rainfall patterns, while currents and ocean temperatures affect both local and regional climate conditions - understanding these are key to understanding Mediterranean-type ecosystems.
Shaping LIfe: The Geology of Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems
Great weather, abundant harvests, fabulous food, some of the world's most cosmopolitan, and romantic, cities – as well as the world's most critical biodiversity hotspots -- make up what are known as Mediterranean-climate Ecosystems. This episode of the six-part series explores how geology has shaped life in Mediterranean climate ecosystems.
Lands of Two Seasons: The World's Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems
Great weather, abundant harvests, fabulous food, some of the world's most cosmopolitan, and romantic, cities – as well as the world's most critical biodiversity hotspots -- make up what are known as Mediterranean-climate Ecosystems. With this program, UCTV and the UC Natural Reserve System inaugurate a six-part series that will be unveiled in spring 2013 on UCTV Prime. The introductory program offers an overview the world's Mediterranean-climate zones, pointing out their...
A Tale of Two Reserves
Take a journey to two of the UC Natural Reserve Systems' reserves in southern California, the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve and Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center.
The Velocity of Climate Change
Modeling climate change and how fast species will have to move to endure changes in climate.
Ecology of Valley Oaks in California
Studying the reproductive ecology of Valley Oaks in California.
Acorns and Oaks - Studying the Acorn Woodpecker in California
Studying the Acorn Woodpecker and its relation to the life of Oak trees in California
The Student Experience at California’s Hastings Reserve
The student experience of field study at Hastings Reserve
Avid for Acorns
Research into the relationship of acorn woodpeckers to the life of oak trees at the University of California's Hastings natural reserve.
Grassland Changes and Extinction
Studying long term changes in grassland species composition at The University of California's Hastings Reserve for developing native species conservation programs
Social Structure in Western Bluebirds
Studying cooperative behaviors in bluebirds at The University of California's Hastings reserve, and the implications the research has for understanding cooperative behaviors in the animal kingdom
Wild Signs at Fort Ord Natural Reserve
What the evidence organisms leave behind tells us about their activities at the University of California's Fort Ord natural reserve.
Mysteries of the Black Widow
Studying the mysteries of mating in the Black Widow Spider
Taking the Pulse of California’s Natural Climates
Taking the pulse of California's natural systems by studying real-time microclimate observations.
Precious Resource: Hastings Reserve
The variety of field work conducted at the University of California's Hastings Reserve
Mapping the Future - Angelo Coast Range Reserve
The UC Natural Reserve System's Angelo Coast Range Reserve in Mendocino County has become the focus of a number of national climate change research efforts. Learn how multi-disciplinary teams of scientists, equipped with advanced technologies, are deepening our understanding of the environment and how it is responding to the rapid warming of our planet.
In the Shadow of White Mountain
The University of California's White Mountain Research Station provides science unprecedented access to unique environments where life exists at the edge of extremes. This award- winning documentary weaves a story of how this unique access is yielding an understanding of change, from physiology to climate, from the oldest known living organism, to a short-lived beetle, and what this understanding means for all.
Coal Oil Point Reserve
One of the best remaining examples of a coastal-strand environment in Southern California, the University of California Natural Reserve System's (NRS) Coal Oil Point Reserve protects a wide variety of coastal and estuarine habitats. Thousands of migratory birds visit throughout the year. Located adjacent to the UC Santa Barbara campus, the reserve provides a unique and accessible research and teaching resource, which is used by many university courses, including botany, ecology,...
Sedgwick Reserve
At the University of California Natural Reserve System's (NRS) Sedgwick Reserve near Santa Barbara, UC researchers are delving deep into the earth to understand the microorganisms that support California's ecosystems and are working to preserve the state's disappearing oak woodlands and restore native grasslands. Local schoolchildren also visit the reserve as part of an innovative "Kids in Nature" science program.
James Reserve
Located in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains, the Natural Reserve System's (NRS) James Reserve is at the forefront of an effort to use high technology to gain insight into the natural world. Embedded cameras monitor the nesting cycles of birds, sensor networks track weather data on habitat microclimates, and computers map out the potential damage from wildfires.
The Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve
Situated on California's scenic Big Sur Coast, the Natural Reserve System's (NRS) Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve provides researchers and students with a spectacular location to study nature. Scientists use the reserve to track water quality, monitor fish populations, and survey California's disappearing native wildflowers. Students from UC Santa Cruz use the off-shore marine reserve to test their underwater research skills, and grade school students visit Big Creek to learn...
Hastings Reserve
Go behind the scenes at the Hastings Reserve to examine the social structure of acorn woodpeckers and western bluebirds and take a look at the restoration of California's native grasslands. The Hastings Reserve, the University of California Natural Reserve System's (NRS) Biological Field Station in the Santa Lucia mountain range in Monterey, was set aside in 1937 to be managed with minimal disturbance providing researchers an important ecosystem for study.

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