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Visit a Reserve

If you wish to visit a UC San Diego-managed reserve for educational purposes – including University-level research and instruction, K-12 or other types of classes, or environmental NGOs or agencies – read instructions below and the specific reserve use guideline before applying.

If you wish to film for any purpose, please see How to Film at UC San Diego for the requirements.

If you have any questions, please email or call 858-534-2077. 

Note that arranging a visit to a UC Natural Reserve involves two steps:

  1. Submitting an application — describing the general nature of the visit and justification for using the reserve(s)
  2. Making a reservation — describes the specific dates, the participants, and details of the activities proposed and facilities (housing, vehicle, field station space, etc.) for final approval. May be submitted simultaneously with the application if the details are known.

All users should apply to use the reserve(s) as far in advance as possible, to avoid conflicts with other users, to receive up-to-date information on regulations and conditions, and to allow for full consideration of your application – especially in the case of manipulative experiments or instrumentation.

Please submit an application at least one month before your intended reserve activity.


Reservation Application Management System “RAMS”

Go to RAMS

Application Details

Apply to use the reserves online via the Reserve Application Management System (RAMS). Please scroll down the list to the specific San Diego Reserve(s) you wish to visit. Applications will be approved if the proposed activity and level of use are deemed to be consistent with the NRS Reserve Use Guidelines and with regulations and guidelines for that particular reserve. Activities that will or are highly likely to irreversibly harm the natural values, ecosystem functions, and native biodiversity of the reserve, or preclude its possible future use for university-level research or instruction will not be allowed.  Use fees are charged for overnight stays and for day use by groups other than those from UC. These assets and their associated fees can be viewed prior to making a reservation, but need to be specified during the reservation process to be approved. (If a form requires a response, but it is not a needed asset, input either N/A or 0.) Some non-educational uses are permitted under strict guidelines; please contact the reserve manager if you would like to hold a group event with fewer than 30 people at one of the reserves. There is a requested donation proportional to the number of people. You will receive an email from the reserve manager letting you know when your application has been reviewed; please email or call (see above) if you don’t hear back within two weeks, or if your application is a rush. Once your reservation has been approved, you will receive another email notification.  At this point, please submit a waiver for each user to  the reserve manager – following the RAMS online instructions (contact the reserve office if you have questions). UCSD classes accompanied by their instructor do not need a waiver. Groups should also submit a group cover sheet (PDF) along with their waivers.  Please also consider giving us approval to use photos of you or your group on this website if you or we will be taking photos.  To do so, please have each person or guardian submit the Photo Consent form. Access to the Dawson, Elliott, and Kendall-Frost Reserves is restricted by locked gates. Access to the Elliott Reserve is also restricted by a palm-scanning device. After your reservation is approved and your waivers are received, you will receive instructions about how to gain access.

Note: Please do not send in the PDF form; it is only for your use in assembling the information you need before you submit your application.