Safety and codes of conduct

The James Reserve and Oasis de los Osos provide unique opportunities for researchers and students to come and explore and learn about nature. However, just as in an on-campus laboratory, the opportunity to use these “outdoor laboratories” come with some risks, both for users and the plants and animals of the area. Thus some precautions need to be taken into consideration when visiting either the James or Los Osos. Though most in-the-field safety measures will apply to both sites, because of their differences in facilities and degree of isolation, responses to accidents or emergencies in each will be different. 

Users should keep these commonsense safety concerns that in mind. Specific responses will be needed in an emergency situation.

  • You are visiting relatively pristine natural areas, which is the main appeal of these reserves. Please try to minimize your impact on these landscapes.
  • Stay on the trails. Unless your research requires you to access off trail areas, which will have been approved if appropriate, please stay on designated trails at all times. Hiking off trail can have a variety of impacts on the delicate vegetation of the areas as well as pose safety hazards for users.
  • Both areas have rattlesnakes, bees/hornets, and irritating plants. Keep in mind that rattlesnakes are not out to bite you, but are more concerned with protecting themselves. If you see a snake or hear one rattle, stop immediately. Once you know where the snake is and how far away it is from you, the best response is to back away slowly. If you have allergies to insect bites/plants, inform your instructor or team leader and reserve personnel.
  • IF you are bitten or stung or in need of other immediate medical treatment, AT THE JAMES RESERVE: contact the Reserve personnel IMMEDIATELY. AT OASIS DE LOS OSOS: dial 911 (cell reception is excellent on site) or call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at Cabazon, which is located only a few minutes away and is available 24/7 (951-776-1099).
  • In the case of a snake bite, follow the recommendations of the Mayo Clinic as to what you should and should not do while waiting for treatment.
  • Follow the links here for more detailed emergency contact information for the James Reserve and Oasis de los Osos.

Code of Conduct

Visitors to the James Reserve and Oasis de los Osos are expected to abide by commonsense codes of conduct regarding respect for one another. This is especially the case regarding sexual harassment, which is not tolerated. Conduct expectations are formalized in the following informational sheet, which lays out courses of actions if conduct standards are not met.