University of California Natural Reserve System

The University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS) is the largest and most diverse set of university biological field stations in the world. Its 39 reserves include examples of nearly every major ecosystem in the state, providing secure sites for long-term environmental research, education and public outreach.  

California Ecology and Conservation, part of the NRS Field Studies Program, brings together 27 students from across the UC system for seven weeks of intensive learning at NRS reserves. These outdoor classrooms and laboratories provide learning experiences that are unlike any others at the University.  In beautiful natural settings, students develop new understanding of their subject matter, the environment, and each other.   Many are transformed into lifelong scientists. The reserves also enable monitoring of environmental health, and provide a baseline for ecosystem restoration, in the context of California’s rapidly growing population and the changing global environment.   

Five natural reserves are administered by UC Davis and the Muir Institute: Bodega Marine Reserve, Jepson Prairie Reserve, McLaughlin Reserve, Quail Ridge Reserve, and Stebbins Cold Canyon. The reserves operate as a shared academic resource, enabling outdoor research and teaching by qualified academics in all disciplines. More information on the UC Davis Reserves System can be found in Centers and Programs