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Joy Baccei joins the team as the new MVPGR Director!

Joy Baccei has joined us as the new Director of the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve. As Director, Joy will oversee activities on the reserve related to the research, education, and public service mission of the UC Natural Reserve System. She will also work with our Tulare County Office of Education partners to help expand our activities at the new SCICON Field Station in Springville, CA. Joy has extensive wetland ecology and management expertise, and we are excited that she has joined the UC Merced and Natural Reserve System teams. Please join me in welcoming Joy to our community. 

Joy started her career with a BS from Humboldt State University in 2005, with an emphasis on watershed management. She earned her MS in Environmental Systems from UC Merced in 2014, with an emphasis on applied wetland ecology, where her research focused on plant-soil interactions and high elevation wet meadow adaptive management in relation to pack stock grazing and use. Before moving to UC Merced, Joy spent the prior 17 years (2002-2019) working at Yosemite National Park in several capacities, including restoration ecology, plant ecology, watershed, trail system, and wilderness management.  As a plant ecologist at Yosemite, she explored the effects of visitor use (including pack stock and pedestrian use) on high elevation wet meadow ecosystems in designated wilderness, and part of this work formed the basis for her graduate research. Joy also served as the park wetland expert, where she oversaw research, long-term monitoring, and ecological restoration of wetland ecosystems for several ongoing Park projects. She has also collaborated with a variety of federal and state agencies, other wetland scientists and land managers, grazers, non-governmental organizations, tribes, students, interns, and members of the public. Throughout, Joy has shown a deep appreciation and commitment to the ongoing preservation and protection of California's public lands and wetland ecosystems. We look forward to a busy and fulfilling year ahead!

Joy is currently sitting in AOA 125, and you can reach her at

March 15, 2020