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.

Field Quarter Program

The NRS Field Quarter Program brings students from across the UC system to NRS reserves for immersion learning in classrooms without walls. Students will have the opportunity to study California habitats firsthand and gain a deeper understanding of the natural world.

The first course in the program, California Ecology and Conservation, launches Fall 2015. A boot camp for future field researchers, the class visits up to six reserves visited over the seven weeks of the course. Students conduct hands-on research, analyze their data, present their results to the class, and write up their methods and findings. Up to 27 undergraduates from all nine general UC campuses will be accepted. Apply now through February 2, 2015.

Newsroom >>

NewsUC Merced naturalist training expands with gift
A gift from Mitsubishi will expand naturalist training for students at UC Merced and the general public at two NRS reserves.

NewsDigital California plant portal hits 2 million specimens
The Consortium of California Herbaria, online database of plant specimens, reaches 2 million records thanks to the NRS's Sweeney Granite Mountains herbarium. Read more >>

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