Natural Resources
We Depend on Nature to Live.

All that humans rely on for day-to-day living has come from this small, limited planet and the distant sun's energy.

Natural resources are often managed for multiple purposes and values, from recreation and beauty, to timber, water and minerals and wildlife habitat. UC researchers explore the importance of supporting the complex web of species and interactions that sustain these resources over time.

Learn about science-based management, with attention to surface and groundwater supplies, forests, and marine ecosystems, and the sustainable infrastructures that inform our decision making and planning.

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: 9/20/2018
Globally, over the past century, coastal fisheries have faced overharvesting and mismanagement. California is no exception. This video recounts stories from fishermen, and others engaged in commercial fisheries, about the decades-long struggle to replenish stocks through a variety of management measures. Through their experiences, we discover the many successes in recovering stocks, the capricious nature of the biology of some species, and also emerging challenges for managing fisheries sustainably, including climate change, regional resources management, access, and local infrastructure. Successfully managing the complex 'bioeconomic' dynamics of coupled natural and human ecosystems, such as fisheries, will provide an ongoing challenge of paramount importance for the survival of vibrant coastal communities.

Date: 7/23/2018
Though Sierra Nevada forests are adapted to frequent low-intensity fire, modern fire suppression has led to higher density of tree populations and fuels for higher intensity fire. Susie Kocher of UC Cooperative Extension discusses the relationship between drought and wildfire in the Sierra, and advises on strategies to alter the current fire regime.

Date: 7/13/2018
Drought, climate change, an aging infrastructure and growing population threaten the water California's San Joaquin Valley uses to supply most of the nation's produce and a large proportion of its livestock and dairy. "Adequate water for food for the nation is a water security issue, and it's also a national security issue," says UC Merced CITRIS researcher Roger Bales in a new documentary examining water problems and solutions across the United States and globally

Date: 4/6/2018
A look at The UC Water Academy, an experiential educational component inaugurated in 2017 by The University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative that aims to train the next generation of water leaders in the state. After three months of studies, the students from four UC campuses visited key water infrastructure sites, met with experts in agriculture, conveyance, and natural resources management, and finally rafted the South Fork of the American River.

Date: 1/12/2018
The long California drought forced many growers to pump groundwater to irrigate their crops. With the establishment of California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act replenishment of California's groundwater supplies is of utmost importance. To develop replenishment strategies, Professor Helen Dahlke joins fellow UC Davis researchers, UC Cooperative Extension and California farmers to test the impacts of irrigating almond orchards in the winter to recharge groundwater aquifers and to help manage water resources sustainably. Recorded on 03/22/2016.

Date: 10/6/2017
See how California farmers and UC agricultural researchers are working to merge both conservation tillage practices and precision irrigation to save time, labor, and water while reducing the cost of producing crops for California agriculture.

Date: 9/8/2017
Farmers can't control the costs of seed, fertilizers, chemicals, water or the price they can get for their crops - but they can control tillage costs. Learn how California's farmers, ag industry and UC researchers are working together and finding ways to cut costs with minimum tillage practices.

Date: 8/4/2017
Explore how California dairy farmers are working together to perfect techniques to maximize the benefits of conservation tillage in producing dairy feed to reduce inputs and costs, increase quality and ensure healthier more productive and sustainable agricultural soils and production.

Date: 7/7/2017
With an over 700 percent increase in productivity in the last century, the California tomato industry represents 95 percent of all processing tomatoes produced in the US. See how UC scientists and California farmers continue to develop methods to sustain this productivity, improve soils and reduce water use.

Date: 6/9/2017
The norm in conventional agricultural practice is to make the residue from old crops disappear, a practice that hasn't changed in over 70 years. Explore how California farmers and UC scientists are working together to perfect techniques to maximize the benefits of these crop residues to develop healthier more productive soils, reduce water consumption, and ensure sustainable agricultural production.

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
How researchers at UC Merced are developing a better understanding of the three sources of water upon which California depends in order to adapt to the effects of environmental changes and make better use of this most precious of our natural resources.

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.

Date: 5/5/2017
Throughout history, the loss of arable land has attended the decline of great civilizations, from Mesopotamia to the Nile. Now with the stresses of environmental change and ever increasing demands on agricultural productivity, efforts to maintain the viability of our agricultural natural resources are ever more important. This introduction to the principles of conservation agriculture shows how California's farmers and scientists are collaborating on developing the practical solutions to maintain the health and productivity of agriculture in California and beyond.