What we do



One of the primary missions of the Natural Reserve System is to provide relatively undisturbed natural laboratories where scientists can conduct research on the workings of nature and natural processes. The James Reserve and Oasis de los Osos are well equipped to meet this mission. Both are protected field sites geared toward supporting scientific research. The James Reserve also affords easy access to potential research sites on and off the Reserves, including adjacent National Forest Service lands. The reserve encourages scholarly activities by non-scientific academics and professionals that is consistent with the mission of the University of California Natural Reserve System.


In addition to research, the James Reserve supports and encourages the training of new generations of scientists and citizens. Our sites provide platforms for hands-on opportunities to study the natural world. Primary schools through universities bring classes to visit. Experiences range from one-day to multi-day outdoor class experiences. At this time, the reserve does not provide docent services nor direct supervision of or instruction for visiting classes. Public workshops and meetings can also be arranged.

To meet the needs of the reserve’s diverse users, there are modern classroom and meeting spaces with internet connections and projectors, teaching collections of local fauna and flora, field supplies, a weather station, trail system, and a reference library. The James Reserve can provide lodging for over 70 people in four units featuring dorm-style housing. All units have heating, fully equipped kitchens, and bathrooms. A campground provides space for at least 15 additional guests (5-7 tents). There are no facilities at Oasis de los Osos, but primitive camping is permitted and access to restroom facilities and refrigeration can be arranged.