The Yosemite Environmental Science Research Training REU


The iconic Yosemite National Park (YNP) is among the oldest and most heavily visited protected areas in the world. Encompassing over 3,000 km2—from the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains to their 4,000 m crest—YNP hosts ca. 4 million visitors annually, yet much of the park is designated wilderness with only limited trail access. Within its boundaries, YNP harbors a wide range of natural resources, including: the striking geology of Yosemite Valley; multiple groves of the world’s largest tree, the giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum); numerous endemic and endangered species; extensive alpine ecosystems; thousands of lakes; and the headwaters of river systems that supply drinking and agricultural water to California’s millions of citizens and multibillion dollar agricultural industry. Yosemite represents a 'living laboratory' for environmental science and serves as the site of our REU program.


During the program summers, students work out of the SNRS Yosemite Field StationStudent activities consist of individual research projects, spanning a broad range of disciplines such as Ecology, Geoscience, Biodiversity, Conservation, Restoration, Hydrology, and Engineering. Research training is provided by mentors from UCM (Schools of Natural Sciences, Engineering, and Social Sciences) and the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. Students also participate in a series of field trips led by teams of UCM, USGS, and NPS scientists focusing on Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. Finally the students attend a weekly seminar in Environmental Science. 


The REU program will be taking a break for the 2016 summer. We are very proud of the success this program has had and anticipate continuing in Summer 2017!