Valentine Camp is a center for research in the high Sierra Nevada and the upper Owens Valley. The reserve lies in a glacier-carved basin in a transition zone between the sagebrush desert of the Great Basin and the coniferous forests of the high Sierra Nevada. With its varied topography and soils, the site encompasses several distinct habitats: Sierran upper-montane forest and chaparral, Great Basin sagebrush, and wet montane meadow, all occurring within a relatively small area. Mammoth Creek flows through the site, bordered by high montane riparian vegetation. Several large springs and small seeps add to diverse habitats. Valentine Camp and the NRS's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) together comprise Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve (VESR).
Low-impact horse logging and hand crews engaged on site to reduce fire hazards and improve forest health.
Outdoor science education programs for local schools; K-7 summer school; college internships; public tours; short courses.
Site visits by university courses in wetland delineation, botany, and plants of the high country.
Spring discharge at reserve monitored to assess effects of groundwater pumping by local Mammoth Lakes community; monitoring spring flows in Mammoth Creek; reserve manager monitors development in surrounding area and participates in local planning.
- Fire ecology: Valentine Camp firehistory studies, stand-age analysis, and fuel-loading maps will be used to develop a fire management plan.
- Wetland mapping project: Identification and delineation of wetlands in Long Valley.
- Plant ecology: Population ecology, ecophysiology, and genetics of mountain brome grass.
- Avian ecology: Artificial nest boxes are used to attract house wrens for study in breeding behavior and endocrinology.
- Expanded research opportunities: Studies of insects, mammals, and amphibians are conducted on the reserve and at other regional sites.
Mono County, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the town of Mammoth Lakes.
Housing for 16 in three renovated cabins with modern cooking, sleeping, bathrooms, electricity, Internet, spring water. Other facilities include a single lab space, limited parking/storage space, and a log classroom building. Supplies are available in neighboring Mammoth Lakes.
Synoptic collections of plants/insects available nearby at Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory and UC Santa Barbara; bibliography of publications based on on-site research; aerial photos.
Reserve manager located at Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory; year-round resident caretaker.
62 hectares (154 acres)
2,437 to 2,605 m (7,994 to 8,545 ft.)
51 to 64 cm (20 to 25 in.) per year.
July maximum: 28 ºC (82 ºF)
January minimum: -10 ºC (14 ºF)