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Developing a sustainable plan to advance research and education at the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve

Award Period: 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 to Thursday, January 31, 2019

Award Amount: 

$24 990

Agency Name: 

National Science Foundation

Award Number: 

1722660

PI First Name: 

Carol

PI last name: 

Blanchette

Co-PI: 

Marion Wittmann

Area/s of Research: 

Abstract: 

The Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve (VESR) comprises 2 of 39 field stations in the University of California Natural Reserve System, and is located at the base of the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada mountains. VESR attracts researchers from throughout the US to study many wide-ranging issues, from aquatic ecosystem ecology to ecological responses to climate change, and is well known for its active outreach programs. Scientists at VESR regularly engage with local and regional resource managers in water quality, snowpack assessments, and threatened and endangered species conservation. By user-days and publications in peer-reviewed journals, the station is productive. However, use is mainly opportunistic and, with recently-improved facilities attracting heighted interest, heavier use is anticipated. To best serve the growing VESR constituency while perpetuating VESR as a resource, we propose to develop a long-term strategic plan for VESR research, education, outreach programs, and facilities. The strategic plan will articulate a scientific vision for research and educational use, and an evaluation of the programs, facility needs and resources necessary to support that vision. To develop an effective strategic plan, we will form a steering committee, engage extensively with key stakeholders through virtual and in-person workshops, and engage a professional strategic planner to facilitate the process. We will host a special strategic planning process module to identify regional coordination opportunities. The goal of the strategic plan is to enhance research and education activities at VESR as well as the regional coordination of research, education and outreach activities across the Sierra Nevada region through a network of regional agency, non-profit, academic and field station partners.