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The UC Natural Reserve System, established in 1965 to support field research, teaching, and public service in natural environments, has become a prototype of conservation and land stewardship looked to by natural resource managers throughout the world. From its modest beginnings of seven sites, the UC NRS has grown to encompass more than 750,000 wildland acres. This book tells the story of how a few forward-thinking UC faculty, who'd had their research plots and teaching spots destroyed by development and habitat degradation, devised a way to save representative examples of many of California's major ecosystems. Working together with conservation-minded donors and landowners, with state and federal agencies, and with land trusts and private conservation organizations, they founded what would become the world's largest university-administered natural reserve system--a legacy of lasting significance and utility. This lavishly illustrated volume, which includes images by famed photographers Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell, describes the natural and human histories of the system's many reserves. Located throughout California, these wildland habitats range from coastal tide pools to inland deserts, from lush wetlands to ancient forests, and from vernal pools to oak savannas. By supporting teaching, research, and public service within such protected landscapes, the UC NRS contributes to the understanding and wise stewardship of the Earth.
This complete primer on San Francisco Bay is a multifaceted exploration of an extraordinary, and remarkably resilient, body of water. Bustling with oil tankers, laced with pollutants, and crowded with forty-six cities, the bay is still home to healthy eelgrass beds, young Dungeness crabs and sharks, and millions of waterbirds. Written in an entertaining style for a wide audience, Natural History of San Francisco Bay delves into an array of topics including fish and wildlife, ocean and climate cycles, endangered and invasive species, and the path from industrialization to environmental restoration. More than sixty scientists, activists, and resource managers share their views and describe their work--tracing mercury through the aquatic ecosystem, finding ways to convert salt ponds back to tidal wetlands, anticipating the repercussions of climate change, and more. Fully illustrated and packed with stories, quotes, and facts, the guide also tells how San Francisco Bay sparked an environmental movement that now reaches across the country.