The University of California Davis is awarded a grant to remodel the existing 800-square foot field station at the Quail Ridge Reserve. The field station is the hub of all activity at the reserve - it provides support infrastructure to all researchers, classes, and visitors. The updated facility will provide an efficient, hygienic kitchen, two accessible bathrooms, a dedicated computer server room, and an open multipurpose space. The multipurpose space will serve as a central meeting area for the reserve, as a research space and an indoor dining option. All users of the reserve visit the field station when they arrive on site, before going on to a specific field area. The addition of an ADA-compliant parking space and restrooms will provide accessibility to all visitors. The field station remodel complements the recent construction of 8 tent cabins for overnight stays, increasing the overnight capacity of the reserve from 4 to 32. The server room will provide a climate-controlled home for multiple servers dedicated to the extensive cyber-infrastructure of the reserve. Increased server and computing capacity will support research activities resulting from a recently deployed automated animal tracking system and wireless mesh network. This network provides the ability for participants to access and view cameras, acoustical records, and animal movement from any location.
The research program at Quail Ridge continues to grow, and now includes several NSF-funded projects in addition to many graduate student projects. A fundamental advantage of working at a well-designed field station is the potential for cross-disciplinary interactions, often resulting in novel collaborations, and, particularly in the case of the Quail Ridge Reserve, for truly cross-cultural interactions between students from very different socioeconomic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. Half of the faculty currently involved in teaching and research at the reserve are women, several minority-serving institutions use the reserve heavily, and many of the students participating in research projects are first generation college attendees. Quail Ridge Reserve is currently in the process of coordinating with the John Muir Institute of the Environment and the Dept. of Education at UC Davis in developing a citizen-science outreach project to access, catalogue, and archive data collected by these remote sensors. For futher information about Quail Ridge Reserve, please visit their website at http://nrs.ucdavis.edu/quail.html.