Supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California

Welcome to the UC San Diego Natural Reserve System

The mission of the Natural Reserve System is to contribute to the understanding and wise management of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California.

View UC San Diego Reserve Map


Mathias Grant Applications due Sept. 11

Application instructions, eligibility information, and evaluation criteria Applications for the 2017-18 Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants program are currently being accepted through SubmittableApplications are due September 11, 2017.  Applicants will be notified by December 20, 2017. 

2017-18 Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants flyer


Applications for California Ecology and Conservation Course

Dear UC San Diego Community,

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Spring 2018 offering of the UC Natural Reserve System field course, California Ecology and Conservation. Applications can be found here and are due on October 23, 2017 so please spread the word! Check out this video and this article to get glimpses of what students are calling the most rewarding experience in their undergraduate careers. More information is available on the course website.



We value and depend on friends, neighbors, educators, students, scientists, professionals, and volunteers to help us with everything from public outreach to hands-on projects. 

Learn more about ways of getting involved


iNaturalist - A Community for Naturalists

iNaturalist is a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world. Visiting one of our reserves? Add your observations to iNaturalist! Observations can be recorded via website and mobile application. For more information, visit:



Stay Connected on Facebook

Follow us on Facebook to receive updates on discoveries and volunteering opportunities at the Kendall Frost and Scripps Coastal Reserve.