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Education & Outreach

We regularly work with UC faculty, nearby state and community college faculty, and K-12 educators to plan field both college-level course field trips and K-12 field trips on the Reserve. The close proximity of the reserve to campus means that professors can easily take classes out in the field. We also traini undergraduate students (via the "Student Naturalist Training" program) to become naturalist field trip leaders so that we can expand the learning that takes place. Each year in spring we lead public tours and specially requested college-level or K-12 field trips to teach students of all ages about vernal pool and grassland ecology, soils, geology, habitat stewardship and the importance of conservation advocacy.

On the nearby campus lands, an automatic weather station owned by the Merced Irrigation District is instrumented with various sensors that collect valuable weather and climate related data available to the public on the CA Data Exchange Center website (CDEC). In the future, we also plan to build a field education center and later full field station facility on the campus lands near the Reserve, which would demonstrate the green technologies that the nearby campus is known for.

An important reference work that provides a wealth of useful information on the local environment and ecological relations is the report prepared in 2002 by environmental consultant John Vollmar, summarizing studies of eastern Merced County grasslands and vernal pools.

Naturalist Trainings

UC Natural Reserve System Field Studies Program: California Ecology and Conservation