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Natural Reserve System

Next to a fence, a coyote wanders a vast straw-colored grassy expanse. Misty blue-gray mountains and sky can be seen in the distant background.

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.

To learn more about the two UC Merced Reserves, please visit the websites for the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve and the Wawona Field Station in Yosemite National Park.