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Blue Dot: Education and research at the UC Natural Reserves System and National Parks

Stunt Ranch
Lobsang Wangdu
Stunt Ranch

Host Dave Schlom looks at some interesting ways the University of California's Natural Reserves System is used for education and scientific research.

Some of the reserves are also actually partnerships with the National Parks, such as Yosemite and Santa Monica Mountains. First, we get an overview of some of the amazing reserves, representing virtually every ecosystem in the biodiverse state, with UC Natural Reserves System Executive Director Steve Monfort.

Then, Dave visits UC Merced's Professor Jessica Malisch and one of her students, Carlos Martinez, who are part of a special program called Field Curious that provides both the tools and experiences undergraduate students need to do field research.

And finally, Dave gets to vicariously revisit one of his favorite places from his youth -- UCLA's Stunt Ranch Reserve in the Santa Monica Mountains. Doctoral candidates Madeleine Zuercher and Joseph Curti join Dave to talk about some of the unique wildlife studies they are doing at the reserve, a remarkably diverse and intact natural area just miles from urban Los Angeles.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ of experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.