NRS Mission Statement

University of California / NRS Mission:

The following mission statement has been approved for the UC Natural Reserve System (NRS):

"The mission of the Natural Reserve System is to contribute to the understanding and wise management of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California."


University of California at Santa Cruz / Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve:

Within the mission of the NRS, the UCSC Campus Natural Reserves Advisory Committee has adopted the following statements on the principles and vision for the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve:

The guiding principle of the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve is to contribute to the understanding of ecological processes as they occur in intact, protected natural systems through on-site research and education, and to provide a benchmark for interpreting long-term environmental change.

The vision statement for the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve: The intact ecosystems and the aesthetic qualities of the Reserve will be fully protected for future generations of teachers and researchers. Its natural systems will be sustained to provide a benchmark against which to compare environmental changes elsewhere and through time. The reserve will be an access window through which nature can be investigated, observed and monitored, but not fundamentally altered. Human activities in the reserve will be managed so as to avoid disturbance to natural processes while providing a full program of investigation and teaching sufficient to support the UC and NRS missions. Students and faculty will conduct in-depth research about terrestrial and marine systems, acquiring knowledge that can be used to advance science and improve stewardship of natural communities and biological diversity. Investigators supported on-site will exchange ideas and enthusiasm. The reserve will inspire students and teachers to appreciate the character and value of nature per se, and to seek ways to balance natural and human-dominated landscapes. Reserve staff will provide data, logistical support, and expertise to visiting researchers, students, and other persons engaged in studies of natural ecosystems. As feasible and appropriate the reserve will also provide public services to the greater community by supporting nature study, land management efforts, and environmental improvement.