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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

UC Davis graduate student Jon Haloin explains to a diverse audience the experimental design for his PhD research.

UC Davis graduate student Jon Haloin explains to a diverse audience the experimental design for his PhD research.

A lecture on geology at the McLaughlin Field Station preceeds an outdoor hands-on experience.

A lecture on geology at the McLaughlin Field Station preceeds an outdoor hands-on experience.

Featured Outreach - McLaughlin Reserve

McLaughlin Directors

Science as a Way of Knowing

The McLaughlin Reserve’s “Science as a Way of Knowing” public lecture series provides a unique forum for residents of Napa, Lake, and Yolo counties to interact with academics doing research in the environmental sciences, and has been enthusiastically received by a mostly rural community with few opportunities for informal science education. The series aims to go beyond the traditional natural history talk, such as one that might be available at a state or national park, by educating the public about science as a process during a time when there is widespread public confusion about what constitutes scientific endeavor. The lecture series provides a forum for McLaughlin Reserve researchers and other academics to interface directly with a large community that may have little understanding of the scientific process. Speakers are encouraged to explain not only what we know, but how we know it, and the process of their own research. Lectures are sometimes followed by short field trips in which the lecturer brings the public to his or her research site.

Lectures have covered topics, such as global climate change, water quality, invasive species, the ecology of wildland fire, and Lyme disease, that have broad public policy implications for Californians and for which public understanding is crucial. By creating a casual atmosphere in which the public may interact with academics, the lecture series promotes additional contact and outreach. For example, Dr. Robert Zierenberg, professor of Geology at UC Davis, was approached after his lecture at McLaughlin and asked to give additional presentations to other local groups concerned about mercury in the environment. Many lecture attendees give back to the reserve by volunteering to participate in reserve stewardship and research activities.

For more information please go to McLaughlin Reserve.