UCSC Campus Natural Reserve

Fast Facts

Established: 1988
Location: UC Santa Cruz Campus
166 Hectares (410 acres)
Elevation: UCSC Campus spans 87 to 364 m (285 to 1,195 ft.)
Average Precipitation: 79 cm (31 in.) per year
Average Temperature: 15 ºC (59 ºF)

Link to main UCSC Campus Natural Reserve Website

Undergraduates research forest ecology on the UCSC Campus Natural Reserve

Located 75 miles (120 km) south of San Francisco at the edge of Santa Cruz, the campus lies on 2,001 acres (810 ha) of rolling, forested hills at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay. UC Santa Cruz Campus Natural Reserve is seperated into parcels that span undeveloped areas of UCSC Campus. These sections represent habitat types that include grasslands, coastal prairie, redwood forest, dwarf redwood forest, mixed evergreen, northern maritime chaparral, and riparian woodland. Several long-term research projects take place on reserve lands, including the UCSC Forest Ecology Research Plot (FERP). These projects, as well as numerous internships led by UCSC Campus Natural Reserve staff, enable world class field research experience just footsteps away from classrooms. Reserve staff also work with classes, taking field-trips and offering other informal educational opportunities, while coordinating access to research sites for graduate students and faculty. Students from a variety of disciplines work on these research projects as well as participate in land stewardship projects throughout the year.


Land Acknowledgement

“The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”