Education is an important part of our mission. UCI Nature is part of the UCI Environmental Collaboratory, a consortium of ecology-focused programs on campus with a mission to provide immersive field research experiences to undergraduate and master’s students at UCI. UCI Nature also facilitates access to the reserves for a variety of courses or research programs. Contact us for information on how you can incorporate the reserve into your work!
Natural Lands Management Training Program
The Natural Lands Management internship was developed in collaboration with the Center for Environmental Biology and Campus as a Living Lab (CLL) to provide students with practical experience in leadership and land management skills. As part of the program, students assist in developing and implementing community and science-based land management practices for the UCI Ecological Preserve or the UCI San Joaquin Marsh. After learning about the history, ecology, and management of UCI’s natural lands, students develop an independent project designed to address a conservation challenge while involving the local community.
Computer science and biology students worked with UCI Nature to address a need for taxanomic help in identifying plants in a field setting. Traditionally, identifying plant species in the field requires either carrying around a large manual, finding a local flora book, or collecting specimens to examine in greater detail later (which often isn’t permitted). This project seeks to provide an alternative by creating a mobile application that utilizes a species list and photo database to provide the user with a handful of possible species after a few questions are answered from the field based on basic plant traits. The app is designed for people with little to no experience in technical plant identification skills.
Field Methods in Conservation and Restoration
Hands-on training in the field techniques used in ecological restoration and developing professional restoration plans. Activities utilizing the UCI Ecological Preserve include methodology for biological assessments of sensitive species, standardized protocols for vegetation classification and mapping, and the design and implementation of monitoring programs.