The UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) is a network of protected natural areas throughout California.
Its 39 sites — two of which are part of UC Merced — include more than 756,000 acres, making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world. Most major state ecosystems are represented, from coastal tide pools to the Sierra Nevada forests. The reserves also serve as gateways to more than a million acres of public lands. Founded in 1965 to provide undisturbed environments for research, education and public service, the NRS contributes to understanding and stewardship of the Earth.