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 of these rare and endangered species. We're really proud of that," says Peggy Fiedler, executive director of the NRS. Series: "UC Natural Reserve System" [Science] [Show ID: 33949]
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. Series: "UC Natural Reserve System" [Science] [Show ID: 31252]
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. Series: "UC Natural Reserve System" [Science] [Show ID: 30875]
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. Series: "UC Natural Reserve System" [Science] [Show ID: 24605]
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. Series: "UC Natural Reserve System" [Science] [Show ID: 24604]
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. Series: "UC Natural Reserve System" [Science] [Show ID: 24603]