California Ecology and Conservation

By | December 4, 2019

MICHELLE LEE: The UCs have this really, really cool thing which is the UC Reserve System. When I saw this ad for this program I was so stoked that there was this class that was going to go to all the reserves. THOMAS ARNDT: I liked that it was both learning about ecology, which I’m really interested in, and also visiting all these locations throughout California. BLAKE SUTTLE: It’s seven weeks, it’s 50 days, and it is a VERY intensive 50 days. From day one we get to natural reserves and we hit about six of them over the course of the term. And the students at each one learn different aspects of how to do science. MOLLY NAGLE: It’s like summer camp with a scientific twist. RYAN TRAN: Being outside and just using all five of your senses really hones in the material. MICHELLE LEE: I think it’s so incredible as a UC student that we have these reserves around the state. And to be able to explore them and experience them and do research on them is such a gift. MICHELLE YASUTAKE: Being here where a professor is available to you basically 24 hours of the day, it’s been awesome, and I’ve learned a lot from all of them. BLAKE: That’s what I love about science generally is you know it’s, it’s often thought of as this sort of rarefied community But it’s not that. It’s the most open-access endeavor in the world because anybody can do it anywhere and contribute to what we understand. Showing the students that that process is available to them— that’s what we’re trying to convey. HANNAH SPINNER: Having lecture in the morning and then applying that in the afternoon is really, really, really helpful because then you get to see what you’ve been learning about. TAYLOR BOGAR: This is hands on. You learn a lot more in the field. You don’t know a system until you start working in it and you start actually looking out and seeing it. MOLLY: I know how to use a transect First time I just had a tape and didn’t know what to do with it. MICHELLE: We’re getting even more independent as we go along throughout the classes. It’s getting really cool. BLAKE: We’re two weeks in and the students are on their own. They’re formulating their own questions. They’re developing their own methods. We’re teaching them the practice of being a scientist. JEREMY: I learned so much more in, like, two weeks, than like anything else in like a whole semester already. RYAN: You’ll meet awesome people that you’ll know for the rest of your life. MICHAEL MAY: This has been an experience that I’ll never forget. THOMAS: This is probably the best class. I’ve taken in college, so do it.

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