University-Level Visits

Sedgwick is an idyllic site for university-level class visits. The Reserve offers a diversity of landscapes that are suitable for demonstrating concepts in the sciences and humanities. Facilities and Reserve lands can be readily accessed by improved roads, modern classroom spaces (with wi-fi). There is no charge for day use visits that do not use classroom facilities. A full campground is the perfect spot for overnights.

Below are resources to help you learn more about Sedgwick Reserve as you plan your class visit:

The first step to using Sedgwick is to create an application in our Research Access Management System (RAMS).

During the application process your class visit will be reviewed for suitability based on a number of factors including natural resources, permits, other research projects, infrastructure, environmental conditions, and staff resources if required. We will make every effort to work with applicants and welcome new classes.

Be sure to record the user name and log-in password you used when submitting your original application. Allow at least 10 business days (ideally more) for us to review your application. We will reach out to you with questions or once a determination of accept/reject has been made.


You will receive confirmation that your application has been approved via e-mail. If you are unsure, please check RAMS for the status of your application and reservation(s).

What information should I provide in the application?

  • Course title and number
  • Purpose of the field trip and specific activities planned
  • Environmental manipulations including collecting specimens, removing soil, or installing long-term equipment
  • Approximate dates of the proposed class visit. The application will require you to provide dates and an “activity” (what you are going to be doing on those dates) in order for your application to be approved
  • Your anticipated need for housing, on-site transportation and/or equipment
  • Number of students anticipated
  • Contact information for a primary instructor who will be on-site during the fieldtrip

Additional Approvals

  • If your class will involve vertebrate animals, you will need approval of the UCSB Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). For more information visit UCSB Animal Subjects and read Using Wild Vertebrates in Research.
  • If you class includes research on human subjects, you will need approval of the UCSB Human Subjects Committee (HSC) which serves as the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • If your class involves drones, you will need to complete an application to fly drones at the Reserve. For questions on drones or the permitting process, reach out to Dr. Brandon Stark at
  • Installation of equipment will require a consultation and plan for installation, upkeep, and removal. Larger installations will require CEQA approval.

Make a reservation for every visit

With over forty projects and dozens of classes running each year, coordination is essential to assure that researchers’ needs are met and conflicts with housing, equipment, vehicles and research sites are avoided. Your adherence to the online reservation process provides this essential research coordination.

  • Learn about facilities you can rent as a class instructor.
  • Create a reservation in RAMS every time you plan to to come to Sedgwick.
  • Staff will review your reservation and notify you as to whether you have been approved. During the reservation process, staff are looking at accommodation availability, road and weather conditions, fire risk, personnel availability, and other activities on the reserve.
  • Any classes visiting for an overnight must arrive M-Sat 8 AM – 5 PM to receive an orientation from a staff person. To coordinate an appointment email
  • Part of our job is to help you have a successful class, so let us know how we can help. However, beyond basic administrative and field support, we would bill you for our time. This would be discussed before billing.

Understanding Applications vs Reservations in RAMS

New classes are submitted as an application. Individual visits within a course are submitted as reservations linked to the application. Please allow 10 business days for review of a new application, and 3 business days for review of reservations.

When to file a new application:

  • Any time a new class is presented to the UCSB Sedgwick Reserve
  • If a previously approved class is expanded, altered, significantly revised or extended beyond the period stated in the approved proposal.
  • When multiple classes are proposed (separate applications must be filed for each course)

When to file a new reservation:

  • Any time you plan to visit Sedgwick Reserve as part of an approved class application
  • You may submit your first reservation at the same time as your application

Hours of Operation
Sedgwick Reserve operates on limited staff. Staff are generally available Monday-Saturday 8 AM – 5 PM. Instructors needing assistance should schedule a time to meet with staff during these hours. Sundays and Holidays are closed to Reserve use.

Guidelines for University Course Visitors:

  • Classes that are using the overnight facilities must arrive during business hours (M-Sa 8AM-5PM) to meet with a staff person for an orientation.
  • Instructors are responsible for ensuring the safety and conduct of all students under their direction. Please review our code of conduct.
  • Bring the gate code (given to you once your reservation is approved) as there is no cell phone reception at the main gate! DO NOT share this code with others. 
  • Stop by Tipton (big blue roofed building) every time you visit, and sign in and sign out using the computer kiosk in the lobby.
  • Charge and carry a cell phone. If you are going to be going far into the Reserve, borrow a Garmin emergency GPS device from the Tipton Lobby. Be sure to sign it out and in.
  • Let reserve staff know if you plan to drive into the reserve beyond the field station.
  • Anytime you are driving beyond the field station during fire season (June-December) carry a fire extinguisher. Please bring your own or ask us to borrow one.
  • Keep vehicles on established roadways and vehicle trails. Check with Reserve staff and the Sedgwick map about your intended route. Ensure you have the proper vehicle for the locations you plan to go.
  • Leave gates as you find them (e.g., if closed and locked, close and lock it after passing).
  • Let reserve staff know if you see anything broken or unusual out in the Reserve.
  • At least one adult chaperone affiliated with the home institution must accompany undergraduate classes.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own camping equipment (including sleeping bag), food, transportation and computers.
  • Groups are expected to clean the used facilities before departing the reserve. Failure to leave a clean camp may result in a cleaning fee being sent to the home institution.

  • DO NOT visit without having made advanced reservation and receiving Reserve staff approval. Requests for personal or recreational visits to the Reserve will not be approved.
  • DO NOT drive off the roads or park in tall grass. You car’s catalytic converters can start a fire.
  • DO NOT smoke, bring dogs, collect, hunt, or ride mountain bikes, horses, or ATVs on the Reserve.
  • DO NOT disturb reserve residents, animals, or experiments.
  • Invoices will be emailed to the indicated person on the application after your visit. Let us know if you used different facilities than were on your RAMS reservation.
  • Tag us in social media on Instagram and Facebook
  • Share pictures with us that we can use for our written outreach materials. We’d love to feature your students in a post or article!