NRS reserves are an integral part of the curriculum for than 150 undergraduate courses across the UC system. Classes taught at reserves range from botany to zoology, archaeology to environmental planning, and public health to the performing and visual arts. Virtually all topics of study are welcomed; photography and outdoor writing are considered as valid as the natural sciences. Institutions from around the world also bring their classes to the NRS to learn.
In the field, students learn by doing. They readily absorb concepts difficult to teach in a traditional classroom, such as how to set up a transect, obtain tissue samples from wildlife, or observe animal behavior using professional standards. They experience what the land smells and feels like—characteristics that provide clues to the workings of an ecosystem. Their direct observations enrich lectures and textbook readings. Being outdoors lets students witness for themselves the importance of ecological relationships, and the interconnectedness of species.
The Field Studies Program brings students from all general UC campuses together at NRS reserves to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world. Immersion for days or weeks in "classrooms without walls" allows students to study nature firsthand. Chances to practice field techniques and closely observe the environment are invaluable training for science research. Field Studies Program courses bring textbook learning to life.
One of the primary uses of NRS reserves is hosting classes on topics ranging from ecology to botanical drawing, field methods to geology. Reserves are particularly valuable for teaching because most are protected from disturbance and closed to the general public. To arrange to bring your class to a reserve, apply through our Reserve Application Management System (RAMS). Once your application has been approved by the reserve manager, you will be able to make a reservation through the RAMS system for your group to visit on a given date and to use particular facilities.