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University of California San Diego Natural Reserves System
San Diego County, California


The University of California, San Diego manages four of the 37 reserves in the UC Natural Reserve System. Our reserves are small but important - San Diego County has the greatest plant diversity (number of species) in the continental US and also, sadly, the highest concentration of listed rare and endangered species. Our reserves cover many different types of habitat in southern California from marine, intertidal, and estuarine, to chaparral and oak woodland. The reserves are used for research, teaching undergraduate and high school courses, and outreach. Given that all our reserves are within a metropolitan area, the interface between urban and wild land has been a focus. Work on restoration ecology, invasive species, and land use planning have been research and teaching highlights. All of our reserves are 30 minutes or less from the main UCSD campus. Limited sleeping facilities are available at Dawson Los Monos Reserve and additional dormitory accommodations are available on campus. Management for all the reserves is also on campus. Click below for more information about the Reserves.

Dawson Los Monos Canyon Reserve

The Elliott Chaparral Reserve

Kendall Frost Mission Bay Reserve

Scripps Coastal Reserve

More information



  • Dr. David Holway, Director, UCSD Natural Reserves System -- dholway@ucsd.edu --
  • Heather Henter, Academic Coordinator, UCSD Natural Reserves System -- hhenter@ucsd.edu -- 858-534-8494
  • Isabelle Kay, Manager, UCSD Natural Reserves System -- ikay@ucsd.edu -- 858-534-2077
  • Larry Cozzens, Reserves Steward, UCSD Natural Reserves System -- cozzens@ucsd.edu
  • Nancy Lowe, Outreach Coordinator, Discover Life -- nancy@discoverlife.org -- 404-272-4526
Updated: 13 October, 2010
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