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.

Research. Teach. Explore
The UC Natural Reserve System turns 50 in 2015. We're celebrating all year long with hikes, talks, and special events at a campus or reserve near you. Our next event: The NRS Fair, held Aug. 11 in Oakland, featuring reserve scientists, pelts and bones from reserves, graduate student research, reserve managers, food, and a raffle to win a trip to a reserve.
NRS 50th Photo Album >>

Field Studies Program

The NRS Field Studies 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.

Newsroom >>

UC Santa Barbara celebrates 50 years of the NRS
Mark the golden anniversary of the NRS at UC Santa Barbara by attending a conference, a harvest dinner, a nature photography workshop and other events from October to early November.

NewsMarine Protected Areas aid Channel Islands fishes
A new study shows Channel Islands MPAs do what they were designed for--serving as a refuge for fish populations harvested elsewhere in the region.


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