Biodiversity
Who We Live With.

We share the planet with a vast world of miniscule and majestic individuals, communities, and ecosystems. UC researchers strive to unlock the mysteries of the wild plants, animals, and processes that sustain life.

Join Sustainable California in visiting our state’s natural laboratories, seeing creatures that live nowhere else on earth, and helping to secure their place in the future.

Date: 9/28/2018
The Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is natural area managed by UC Merced for research, outreach, and biodiversity preservation. This important ecosystem represents part of the 5% of vernal pools historically remaining in California, home to numerous rare and endangered flora and fauna such as species of fairy shrimp, tiger salamanders and amphibious plants. Often overlooked, the Central Valley of California hosts a wealth of wildlife. The student-driven Biota Project spotlights underrepresented ecosystems and voices in an effort to increase parity in science education.

Date: 9/24/2018
Grand initiatives such as the National Parks program, begun in the late 1800s, are for many people a hallmark of land conservation. However, the majority of land nationally (~60% overall; ranging from <5% to >95% on a state-by-state basis) is privately owned. These private lands can have conservation value too. Join Rangeland Manager Billy Freeman and UC Merced Management Professor Catherine Keske as they explore McKenzie Ranch, in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California to discover land conservation strategies that ensure public access and enjoyment of some of the nations otherwise hidden wonders, while also providing returns from the land to the private land owners. In a period of rapid global change, species range-shifts, and altering resource availability and risk, a diversified portfolio of lands and management practices may become increasingly important in conservation.

Date: 12/1/2017
The largest non-commercial marine mass mortality event on record (as of 2013) created a 'natural experiment' and an opportunity to study genomic changes in wild populations with unprecedented detail. Rather than observing only the aftermath a team of researchers from UC Merced is reconstructing the population and genetic consequences of an epidemic outbreak of sea star wasting disease. The team measured the abundance and genetic variation of Pisaster ochraceus, a keystone species, in the year preceding mass mortality. They then repeated sampling of adults and juveniles in subsequent years, measuring population dynamics and genomic shifts during and after the disease outbreak. At a time when marine diseases and mass mortalities are on the rise, this study documents the impact of little-known wildlife diseases and potential trajectory of recovery in a keystone marine species.

Date: 5/5/2017
Introducing Sustainable California - where you connect with your University and the real-world solutions it is providing to maintain the sustainability and vitality of our state. Become part of real-world solutions so together we can meet the 21st century challenges of global climate change while maintaining California's unique biodiversity and sustaining the human and environmental health of California.

Date: 5/5/2017
Researchers from UC Berkeley's Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) have developed an innovative remote sensing network to provide real-time assessment of California snow pack in order to better manage water supplies for a variety of users.