The Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) was incorporated into the original 1997 Academic Plan for the UC Merced campus. During the same year, SNRI started UC Merced's first partnership with resource managers for Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. The founding Director, Samuel Traina, oversaw the SNRI from 2001 until 2008 when Roger Bales became Director. In 2007, SNRI became UC Merced's first Organized Research Unit (ORU). Since its induction into UC Merced, SNRI has maintained its original focus and the regional identity envisioned in its original prospectus.

Dave Graber, Senior Scientist, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, and later member of the SNRI Advisory Committee.

Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey and Frank Davis, UCSB, chair of the system-wide UCM research committee, at the partnership signing with the National Park Service.

Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, Margaret Heisel, UC Office of the President, and Bill Tweed, Chief of Interpretation, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, at the MOU signing in 1999


Jerry Mitchell, Special Assistant to the Superintendent, Yosemite National Park and Karen Merritt, Director, UC Merced Academic Planning.

 New SNRI faculty members Martha Conklin and Roger Bales taking water samples at Dana Lake, 2004.


 SNRI faculty member Martha Conklin and an assistant take water sample at Dana Lake, 2004