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UC Davis Natural Reserve System

UC Davis Natural Reserve System

The Barn
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 754-7990
(530) 754-9141 Fax

Featured Classes - Quail Ridge Reserve

REU student at her study site in Bodega Harbor.

Students survey the herp transect, GPSing locations, measuring temperatures, and check off animal sitings.


2008 REU students on BML’s research vessel.

2006 class downloads data from temperature guages and pressure transducers at the ponds of the Quail Ridge Reserve.

Jan Hopmans,
Land, Air, and Water Resources, UC Davis

Environmental Monitoring, ESM108

This course, a core requirement for the new Environmental Science and Management major, centers around hands-on collection of environmental data, including several field visits to the Quail Ridge Reserve. The purpose of this multi-disciplinary course is to teach the latest methodologies of environmental and ecological monitoring for students from a broad array of environmental sciences. A wide range of topics are introduced in lecture, followed by demonstrations in the lab. These methods and technologies are then applied during field projects on the reserve.

The Quail Ridge Reserve has been integral in the development of the class, since the reserve is an ideal showcase for demonstrating and using tools for environmental monitoring. The reserve provides a wireless mesh network communication system that covers most of the reserve, allowing instruments to be deployed during field visits and accessed later from on-campus labs. The system also includes water-quality monitoring equipment deployed in the surrounding lake on an instrumented buoy.  The proximity of the reserve to campus maximizes useful class time on the ground. The reserve also provides access to staff and researchers who are actively monitoring different aspects of the reserve.

The class teaches and demonstrates the use of measurement devices, sampling methodologies, and environmental data analysis through lab and field work. Topics include data acquisition, sensors, telemetry, GIS/GPS, Remote sensing, water and soil sampling, and ecological monitoring of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.