Blogs

NRS California Ecology and Conservation Program: Why You Should Apply

By Michael Spaeth, Reserve Intern

            For anyone interested in or unaware of the Natural Reserve System (NRS) California Ecology and Conservation Program, I wanted to provide some insight into why this course is a must for undergrads looking to study life and environmental sciences. This program is a UC-wide field course for undergraduate students interested in learning about ecosystems found throughout California, traveling and staying at various UC natural reserves, and conducting hands-on independent research. 

California Naturalist Course

The Merced Vernal Pools Reserve is delighted to be one of the training sites for the UC California Naturalist Program.  Students in the program will become part of a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists, equipped with the skills needed to take an active role in local natural resource conservation, restoration and education.  The ten-week course combines science instruction with guest speakers, field trips, and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of the San Joaquin Valley and central Sierra Nevada foothills region.  The course b

Reserve Has a lot of vernal pools

Although we do not know the exact number of vernal pools in the Reserve, we've always known there are a lot of them. Determining exactly how many pools are in the reserve will require aerial imagery taken in late winter or spring, the time period when pools are filled with water. Graduate students in the MESA lab on campus are poised to help with this task. They've been testing their UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for over a year and a half. When they rains come, they'll be ready.

Predators on the Reserve

Coyotes are a well-adapted species of the Canidae family that can be found in many parts of North America ranging from cold, mountainous terrain to low, dry elevations. At the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, Coyotes are the largest land predator, preying on California Ground Squirrels and other small rodents and birds as well as anything else it can find. Coyotes are also largely opportunistic and there have been reports of berries and plants found in their feces when more substantial food such as meat is scarce.

Making mounds out of molehills? The role of pocket gophers in the Mima mounds and vernal pools of the San Joaquin Valley (Part Two)

By Dr. Sarah Reed, UC Berkeley.
(Dr. Reed recently received her PhD, based in part on mima mound studies she carried out in the Reserve and on nearby ranchlands. In this second of two blogs, Sarah discusses the work she did for her dissertation, testing the biological hypothesis of Mima mound origin in the mound and pool grassland environment in and around the UC Merced Vernal Pool Reserve.)
 
Mima mound chronosequence study

Making mounds out of molehills? The role of pocket gophers in the Mima mounds and vernal pools of the San Joaquin Valley (Part One)

By Dr. Sarah Reed, UC Berkeley. (Dr. Reed recently received her PhD, based in part on mima mounds studies she carried out in the Reserve and on nearby ranchlands)

Mound and trough are Siamese twins, joined by an invisible, crucial stratum that holds the ponded water.  -- Hans Jenny

 

From Field to Laboratory, by Cami Vega

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs