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

2020 Update:  Spring, summer, and fall 2021 courses will be held, and extensive COVID mitigation protocols have been developed to offer field courses safely. If you are interested in learning more about the 2021 CEC courses, please see links and flyers below. Spring 2021 applications close on Oct. 20th, 2020, and summer 2021 applications close Feb. 5th, 2021. You are encouraged you to apply!
CEC course page for more information - https://ucnrs.org/teaching/cec/
California Ecology and Conservation brings together 27 students from across the UC system for seven weeks of intensive learning at NRS reserves.  Guided by experienced field instructors, undergraduates transform into scientists by conducting independent research studies.  Students learn to notice natural patterns, frame questions into feasible research projects, and practice standard techniques such as surveys of animal and plant populations.  At the conclusion of each project, students analyze their data and present their findings to the class in oral presentations, posters, and reports.  Students hone their research, public speaking, and scientific writing skills with constant practice and feedback. All the while, students gain a working familiarity with California’s diverse ecosystems while immersed in the NRS’s classrooms without walls.
Check out this video to get glimpes of what students are calling the most rewarding experience in their undergraduate careers.
"I've never felt so confident in not only forming questions about the world around me, but also in my ability to turn those into testable hypotheses," said a recent UC Davis student.  "On top of that, I've learned so much about myself and gained confidence in my path.  I don't think I've ever had so many 'best-day-of-my-life' experiences in such a short period of time.  I'm so much more confident that field ecology is the path for me!  Between the connections and skills I've gained of the last 50 days, I couldn't be more prepared."
How to apply:  California Ecology and Conservation will be offered every Spring, Summer, and Fall term.  More information, including application deadlines, can be found on the course website.