The reserve encourages scholarly research in all disciplines. Prospective researchers should read the NRS guidelines before applying to determine the proposed project complies with NRS policies. Users should apply to use the reserve as far in advance as possible to help ensure accommodations space and resources are available to meet your needs.

New projects

Those considering starting a new project at either the James Reserve or Oasis de los Osos should contact reserve staff by phone at 951-827-6835 or 951-827-6836 or email or

When discussing proposed research projects, please have the following information handy:

  • Summary of what you want to do
  • How often you anticipate visiting and how long you would stay for each visit
  • Your anticipated needs for housing and/or equipment. Note that the reserve is unable to provide transportation services.
  • Whether you plan to collecting specimens. If so, do you have the appropriate permits?
  • Whether your work involves constructing experimental structures or modifying/manipulating research sites
  • Whether your project involves vertebrate animals. If so, appropriate approvals will be required.

Submitting a research application

Once a researcher has discussed their project with reserve personnel, and all parties agree that it is a good fit for the reserve, the researcher may use the NRS’s online Reserve Application Management System (RAMS) to submit a research application. Applications should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the first intended visit.

The application procedure requires standard information found in a scientific research proposal, such as project title, principal investigator information, a summary of the project, and research methods. Additional information required includes:

  • Logistical and methodological issues regarding frequency/duration/seasonal timing of visits, anticipated need for housing, possible equipment needs, how/whether specimens will be collected, plans to construct or devise experimental manipulations, and the scheduled removal of structures and devices at the end of the project.
  • Approximate dates of proposed research and activities planned.

Application approvals

Approved application confirmations are sent by email. There is no need to resubmit an application unless the scope of the project or work period must be expanded beyond the original estimate.