The mission of the Natural Reserve System is to contribute to the understanding and wise stewardship of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California. The James and Oasis de los Osos Reserves represent habitat that is unique to and characteristic of Southern California, a mile-high sky island of montane coniferous woodlands and the surrounding Colorado Desert.
The James San Jacinto Mountains and Oasis de los Osos Reserves are a part of the University of California’s Natural Reserve System’s 39 protected biological field stations that are dedicated to supporting research, teaching and public service. The James and los Osos represent two distinctly different ecosystems within the San Jacinto Mountains located in southern California.
The James Reserve is part of a large forested “sky island” located on the western side of Mt. San Jacinto mountains, a range that is surrounded by the Colorado Desert. In contrast, the Oasis de los Osos Reserve is located on the lower north side of the San Jacintos and lies within the Colorado Desert with the dominant vegetation being desert shrubs and grasses.
The station facilities are located at the James Reserve and have the capacity to house over 70 people in new modern dorms and a classroom, all equipped with cooking facilities, bathroom facilities, and wireless internet.