Research and Teaching

Photo of volunteers planting grass seeds

Volunteers planting native grass seeds

The Putah Creek Riparian Reserve is open for research, teaching and class use, as well as organized public events. For researchers and classes, it is an on-Campus wildlife area where researchers and students can study aquatic, riparian, and grassland ecosystems.

The advantage of the Reserve being on-Campus is that it is accessible by bicycle, and is close enough to be visited by classes during lab time. The variety of habitat types give researchers a variety of study sites and study areas.

The Reserve has the following habitat types available for research:

  • Riparian woodland - 105 acres
  • Valley Oak grassland - 100 acres
  • Native perennial grasslands - 300 acres
  • Annual grasslands - 120 acres
  • Basins (can be filled with water when needed for research) - 13 acres
  • Ponds - 2 acres

For experiments requiring secure facilities, several large areas are behind locked gates.

Experimental Ecosystem

For those wishing to do land manipulation on larger plots, the Ecosystem facility offers space for more intensive landscape manipulation, including ponds, grasslands, wetlands, and riparian habitat. The 65-acre facility is located behind locked gates, allowing for secure use of field equipment. There is also an office space with wireless internet access, for those needing a field office location.

It is recommended that you first speak with the Reserve Manager to discuss your intended project or use. The Manager can help you find an appropriate location for your research, advise you of any potential restrictions due to site management, and any assistance that Reserve staff may be able to provide in the field.

Those using the Reserve for research, teaching and class use, or organized public use must first call or email the Reserve Steward prior to visiting the Reserve. Please try to give 24 hours notice.