Each year, thousands of scientists from around the world conduct field research in the protected landscapes of UC Natural Reserve System. The NRS draws investigators for many reasons. The reserve network reflects California's diverse ecosystems at sites located across seven degrees of latitude. Reserve lands are protected for the long term, enabling researchers to conduct experiments without fear of the land or their equipment being disturbed. Data archives enable scientists to build on decades of previous research. Overnight accommodations, laboratories, Internet access, and other amenities make fieldwork more comfortable and productive.
UC Davis graduate student Bruce Hammock searches for stream invertebrates at
Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory. Image credit: Lobsang Wangdu
Today's global environmental problems also require that scientists work together on large-scale, interdisciplinary research programs. These projects aim to gain a more complete understanding of basic physical and ecological processes that govern the functioning of the earth. Understanding these processes helps enable the sustainable stewardship of the earth and its natural systems. ical and ecological processes that govern the functioning of the earth. Understanding these processes can enable the wise and sustainable stewardship of the earth and its natural systems.
NRS reserves have been a magnet for large-scale research projects of national significance. In many cases, NRS lands and facilities have been instrumental in making these studies possible.