Living Laboratories and Classrooms

The UC Natural Reserve System is a network of protected natural areas throughout California. Its 39 sites include more than 756,000 acres, making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world. Most major state ecosystems are represented, from coastal tidepools to inland deserts, and lush wetlands to Sierra Nevada forests. The reserves also serve as a gateway to more than a million acres of public lands. Founded in 1965 to provide undisturbed environments for research, education, and public service, the Natural Reserve System contributes to the understanding and wise stewardship of the earth.

The Environmental Legacy of the UC Natural Reserve System
When University of California researchers saw their research plots and teaching spots destroyed by development, a few forward-thinking faculty devised a way to save examples of California's major ecosystems. The seven reserves established in 1965 have since grown into the world's largest university-administered natural reserve system.

This volume describes the natural and human histories of the system's many reserves, how they are managed, and the central role these lands have played in scientific research, education, and public appreciation of the environment. Stunning photographs of landscapes, plants, and wildlife lend further inspiration to casual readers and prospective reserve users alike.
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Connecting the Dots
Understanding how climate change will affect the habitats of rare plants at NRS reserves.
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Mojave Desert Yields Two New Poppies
Researcher based at Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center uncovers cryptic poppy species.
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