Research at Sedgwick Reserve

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. Research applications submitted to the NRS should be based on peer reviewed research and meet reasonable criteria of scientific rigor. To learn about the process to conduct research review the materials below.

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

  • The La Kretz Research Center at Sedgwick Reserve is a resource for coordinating research that occurs at Sedgwick Reserve. Embedded in field station operations, La Kretz staff document all research projects past and present, curate data collected at Sedgwick, map equipment locations, document any environmental manipulations, and curate a list of natural and environmental resources available. La Kretz staff can also provide geospatial resources, field work support, reserve orientation, and networking opportunities.
  • Our staff are knowledgeable about the reserve and its resources. Please reach out to us with your questions at
  • If you are unsure of whether your project is feasible and appropriate for a UCNRS site, review the NRS Use and Guidelines
  • Natural Resources of Sedgwick Reserve, including Flora and fauna
  • Real-time and historical weather at Sedgwick Reserve
  • Bibliography of research conducted at Sedgwick since the 1980s

The first step to using Sedgwick is to create an account and submit an Application in our Research Access Management System (RAMS).

During the application process your project will be reviewed for research value and suitability of the project 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 projects.

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.

Set up an account on RAMS

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?

  • Title, principle investigator, a brief introduction/summary of the project, and research methods you plan to use to complete your project
  • 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
  • Frequency/duration/seasonal timing of your visit(s)
  • Your anticipated need for housing, transportation and/or equipment
  • How/whether specimens will be collected and specifically how many/ how much you require
  • How you will avoid the intentional or inadvertent introduction of non-endemic genetic material within the boundary of the reserve
  • Your ability to accurately document metadata associated with your project and share it with Reserve staff in a timely fashion. Your plans to construct or devise (and later remove) experimental manipulations during the scope of your work

Additional Approvals

  • 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
  • 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.
  • If you project includes human subjects, you will need approval of the UCSB Human Subjects Committee (HSC) which serves as the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • If your project 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 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 researcher.
  • 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.
  • Anyone visiting the reserve for the first time must make an appointment for a safety orientation and check in at the office M-F 8 AM – 5 PM. To coordinate an appointment email
  • Part of our job is to help you conduct a successful research project, so let us know how we can help. However, beyond basic administrative and field support, we would bill you for our time helping you get your project started. This would be discussed before billing.

Understanding Applications vs Reservations in RAMS

New research projects are submitted as an application. Individual visits within a project 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 research project is presented to the UCSB Sedgwick Reserve
  • 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)

When to file a new reservation:

  • Any time you plan to visit Sedgwick Reserve as part of an approved research 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. Researchers needing assistance should schedule a time to meet with staff during these hours. Sundays and Holidays are closed to Reserve use.

Guidelines for Research Visitors:

  • 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.
  • Let reserve staff know where your research site(s) are located by logging them in Wildnote. Ask reserve staff to borrow an ipad to log your coordinates.
  • 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.
  • Carry a fire extinguisher during fire season (June-December). 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.
  • Review our Code of Conduct.

  • 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.
  • Mention Sedgwick Reserve in your manuscripts and end us your published research! We keep records of published work since the 1980s on Zotero
  • Tag us in social media on Instagram and Facebook
  • Inform Sedgwick staff when projects are soon to be completed