Executive Director for the Natural Reserve System - University of California

Opportunity Type: Job

In the late 1950s, a forward-thinking group of University of California (UC) scientists conceived of a network of natural California areas managed specifically for academic use. They were weary of seeing wildlands that had once served as outdoor laboratories be supplanted by urban development. They needed access to natural ecosystems, where their equipment would remain undisturbed and where they and their students could study plants, observe animals, and measure ecosystems over the long term.

In January 1965, seven University-owned sites became the system’s first Reserves. Today the UC Natural Reserve System (UC NRS) consists of 41 Reserves across the State, each anchored to one of the nine UC campuses that are not exclusively dedicated to health sciences. These Reserves encompass 47,000 acres owned by UC and provide access to millions of acres of biodiverse public lands. The Reserves are staffed by expert land managers, and they are available to students, teachers, and researchers from the UC and other research institutions.  In addition, the Reserves serve as outreach destinations for K-12 classes and members of the public volunteering and attending courses, workshops, and UC NRS events. No other university-operated network of field sites in the world can match the size, scope, and ecological diversity of the UC NRS.

The UC Natural Reserve System is led by the Executive Director, who reports to the systemwide Vice President for Research & Innovation at the University of California Office of the President.  The work of the UC NRS Reserves, individually and collectively, is significant.  Yet the UC NRS has the potential for more important positive impact at the local, state, national, and global levels, truly fulfilling the public mission of the UC System. At a time of unprecedented humanmade ecological destruction and climate change, global pandemics, and social and political unrest throughout the world, the Executive Director must fully recognize the potential of the UC NRS and drive the organization to address these current challenges and those to come. To that end, the University of California seeks an Executive Director to lead the UC NRS in its effort to drive existing excellent programs and to further define and develop new initiatives.