Apply to do Research

It is a primary mission of the UC Natural Reserve to facilitate scientific research. We welcome both new projects and the continuation of long-term research at Sedgwick. With over forty projects 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 application process provides this essential research coordination.

Contemplating Sedgwick as a Research Site?

Please contact the Sedgwick Office with inquiries related to executing your research at the Reserve. Email us at or call the office at ‭(805) 686-1941‬.

Be prepared to discuss the following:

  • The nature of your request to do research
  • Frequency/duration/seasonal timing of your visit(s)
  • Your anticipated need for housing, transportation and/or equipment
  • How/whether specimens will be collected
  • How you will avoid the intentional or inadvertent introduction of non-endemic genetic material within the boundary of the reserve
  • Your plans to construct or devise (and later remove) experimental manipulations during the scope of your work
  • Your ability to acurately document metadata associated with your project and share it with Reserve staff in a timely fashion
  • If your project 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.

A letter of support from the Reserve Director is required for any grant administered by the University of California Santa Barbara. Please submit a final (or nearly finalized) proposal to the Director at least three weeks prior to the grant submission deadline if you need to obtain a letter of support. Contact us for more info. 

Research applications submitted to the NRS should be based on peer reviewed research proposals that meet reasonable criteria of scientific rigor. It is expected that research conducted at Sedgwick will be suitable for publication in an appropriate scientific venue.

When to File an On-line Research Application:

  • Any time a new research project is presented to the UCSB Sedgwick Reserve
  • After reviewing the NRS Use and Guidelines; you should be confident that your project will be deemed feasible and appropriate for a UCNRS site
  • If a previously approved project is expanded, altered, significantly revised or extended beyond the period stated in the approved proposal.
  • When multiple research projects are proposed (separate applications must be filed for each project)

What to include in your application:

  • Applications should be submitted at least two weeks prior to your intended visit.
  • All the standard information required in a scientific research proposal: title, principle investigator information, a brief introduction/summary of the project and research methods you plan to use to complete your project
  • Specific information on how the project will be completed on the Sedgwick Reserve: logistical and methodological issues including frequency/duration/seasonal timing of your visit(s); anticipated need for housing, transportation and/or equipment; how/whether specimens will be collected; how you will avoid the intentional or inadvertent introduction of non-endemic genetic material within the boundary of the reserve; and your plans to construct or devise (and later remove) experimental manipulations during the scope of your work.
  • Approximate dates of the proposed research project; 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
  • Be sure to record the user name and log-in password you used when submitting your original application so that you can easily update your application and post activities

 APPLY using RAMS, the Reserve Access Management System

Coordinating with the Reserve Once Your Application/Activity has been Approved:

  • You will receive confirmation that your application has been approved. If you are unsure, please check RAMS for the status of your application and reservation(s). If your reservation has been approved, you will be given the gate code and information regarding the, if either were requested. Remember to bring the gate code as there is no cell phone reception at the main gate!
  • All users are asked to register themselves and provide a vehicle description via computer kiosk in the lobby of the blue-roofed Tipton Meeting House. Part of our job is to help you conduct a successful research project, so let us know how we can help (though keep in mind that there are days no one is at the reserve, so we encourage you to call or email in advance). Also, a property tour will need to be arranged in advance and we’ll have to bill you for our time helping you get your project started.
  • We advise you to check on road conditions at the Reserve for possible restrictions on vehicle travel before coming to the Reserve. A 4-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle is recommended for travel on all roads except the Lisque Valley Road and the lower Figueroa Creek Road, which are passable in a passenger car under most conditions. Reserve roads are closed following rain and during extreme fire conditions, when you will have to walk or rent the utility cart.
  • Visit the “Schedule a Visit” page for more information on continuing your project past your initial trip.