UCI Nature offers UC Irvine’s faculty and students opportunities to bring their research, scholarship, teaching, public service, and developing careers out into the natural environment in a wide diversity of settings characteristic of California. UC Irvine directly oversees four protected natural areas, two of which include lodging facilities and are about a three hour drive from Irvine, and two of which are within walking distance of campus. UCI-Nature also maintains partnership agreements that facilitate access to additional natural areas and facilities not directly managed by the University. Together, these field-based assets span regional gradients across environments from the ocean to the desert, as well as a diversity of societal contexts, all within a few hours of campus. This system of assets available to UC Irvine’s faculty and students is connected on yet a larger scale to the system-wide UC Natural Reserve System. The UC Natural Reserve System (UCNRS) is the largest university-operated reserve system in the world, including 39 sites and 756,000 acres. Each UC campus participates in the governance and management of the entire UCNRS network, in addition to system-wide staff.
Being part of the University of California, the mission of UCI Nature is aligned with that of the University system as a whole, in addition to the UC Natural Reserve System:
To advance understanding and stewardship of the natural environment by promoting the
University’s natural areas and field-based assets through operational and programmatic
support for research, education and public engagement
UCI Nature functions as a single umbrella structure for the management, operations, and leveraging of these natural assets, and includes faculty governance that allows for communication and optimal allocation of resources across the different programs. The place-based focus fosters excellence in research and scholarship, tangible interdisciplinary interactions, and community-based partnerships that engage our faculty and students in meaningful real-world problems. The ability to conduct these activities in natural areas in a setting that offers security for sensitive supplies and equipment, support for long term studies, accommodations for groups, and affordability is increasingly rare in California, furthering the significance of these assets to the University of California.
In addition to the physical assets offered by UCI Nature, staff and faculty seek opportunities and external funding for students and faculty to collaborate within the University and between the University and its partners. These natural areas and facilities also serve to extend the University to areas of the state not easily served by a UC campus, bringing expertise and education to communities lacking these resources.
More Information? Please Contact:
UCI Nature Executive Director
Megan Lulow, Ph.D.