News and Dates for Friends of Sedgwick Reserve                   Summer 2016, No. 16         
Sedgwick Reserve News

and upcoming events.....
Research News...

New research projects 
started in 2016

Herbivory and Maintenance of Plant Species Diversity

Jonathan Levine, ETH Zurich
William Petry, UC Irvine

Native Perennial Grasslands 2030

Carla D'Antonio & Madeline Nolan, UCSB

Assessing the impact of wild pig disturbance on understory plant communities in mixed oak woodlands
Elizabeth Hiroyasu

Western Pond Turtle Population Assessment
Barry Nerhus, Jr.
Cal State Long Beach

Refugia for Bats in a Warming, Drying Climate
Rachel Blakey
UC Santa Cruz

Using landscape genetics to explore factors affecting the biological control of yellow 
star thistle
Jeremy Andersen
University of California, Berkeley

Female Mate Choice Plasticity under Changing Density in Field Cricket
Chelsea Stehle
University of Nebraska 

Tent cabins were added in 2015 for researchers conducting 
 multi-day studies.

Native Grasslands of the Future

An element of Carl D'Antonio's new research project involving drought is its effect on native perennial grasslands that were once common across California. These grasslands are now mostly dominated by exotic annual grasses. In places like Sedgwick, these communities often remain dominated by exotic grasses after agricultural fields are abandoned which makes restoring native grasslands particularly difficult. 

This fall, Carla and her team of graduate students will be investigating ways to successfully restore native California grasslands by better understanding of what factors prevent the reestablishment of native grasses. 

They  hypothesize that abiotic stressors like drought or biotic stressors such as competition and dispersal limitation prevent the natural succession of native grasses. 

To study these factors, they plan to  carry out field experiments that involve different seed bank removal techniques, water availability treatments, and varied native plant seeding mixes. 

Their results will enhance future restoration efforts by providing insight into the processes underlying natural grassland succession in old agricultural fields.

Live Pond Camera

1. Copy and paste this address  into your web browser:


2. if it asks for a user name

and password use these:

login: root

password: 201406ucsbSNR

TriColored Blackbird

Live Sedgwick Weather 

(aka "how hot is it out there today?") 

click here

Make a Difference at Sedgwick 

There are many ways you can help transform Sedgwick into an even more prosperous and thriving reserve! 

Current projects that need your support: 
  • Water for wildlife (pond enhancement) 
  • Photovoltaic upgrade 
  • Native plant restoration and nursery support
  • General maintenance funds
  • Ranch house furnishings
  • Field Studies course scholarships for undergraduate students from UCSB

click here to 
make a tax deductible donation today!  

Contact Us





In this issue of Sedgwick News you will find updates on research projects and facilities in the lefthand column along with access to real time weather and the live pond camera. We invite you to join us for upcoming Walking Ecology Lectures, Public Hikes and our annual Barn Dance. 

Despite the drought, life is teeming on the Reserve.  It has been a banner year for deer fawns, and at least one bear has been seen with a cub. Valley oaks are loaded with acorns. Although our rolling hills are golden brown, some wildflowers are still in bloom and watering holes still offer respite to thirst animals. With wild life roaming in the background, researchers students and our ever-engaged volunteers have been industrious as ever.  

In quantitative terms during the 2015-16 academic year that ended in June:
  • 82 researchers collected field data 2621 times as part of 36 scientific investigations.
  • 353 university level students and faculty attended 930 days of field study.
  • 441 K-12 students spent 468 days learning at the reserve.
  • 43 docents contributed 2000 days of volunteer service.
  • 1384 members of the public visited the reserve. 
Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of our work here. 
 We look forward to seeing you on the reserve!

The only way to beat the heat!
The only way to beat the heat!

Summer Update

Like most Santa Barbara County residents, we're on high alert this summer. Downed trees and limbs blocking Reserve roads and smoke lingering on the horizon from local fires serve as reminders of the ongoing drought. Although concerned, we're optimistic that water saving measures we've adopted in recent years have helped conserve the precious aquifer that supports many majestic Valley oaks around the field station. You might notice the pond looking more like a marsh this fall, and that most of the native plants around the field station have gone dormant. The natural world has adapted to years of drought... and we are learning how to adapt as well. 

We are very grateful to the donors who enabled us to install water saving drip irrigation on our landscaping in 2015, and to the docents who do so much to keep the plants and oak seedlings in our restoration areas alive... for fixing water lines to keep a trickle of water going into wildlife ponds...and for doing less than enjoyable tasks such as pulling weeds for fire safety. Thank you Sedgwick volunteers and docents!

Meanwhile, it has been a busy summer of project planning at the field station...
  • The renovation of the ranch house is underway, with an estimated completion date of March 2017. A second residence, being built by IronTown Homes in Utah, is slated for delivery this winter. 
  • We've just received a solar powered in-vessel composter and are looking forward to actively composting at all building locations and events on the reserve. Our gardens and nursery will be nourished by the proceeds!
  • To deliver non-potable water for landscaping around buildings as well as the farm and pond, we will be installing new (leak free!) irrigation lines this fall. 
None of these projects would be possible without the steadfast support of Sedgwick donors - we appreciate you tremendously! Please see the side bar to the left for ways in which you can help us continue with our work. 

Mark your calendars for the annual...

We are timing it with the harvest moon rise this year.
And we have a highly rated new caller!

Stay tuned for details and registration.

Public Hikes

Hiking season will return before we know it! Sedgwick hikes are led by trained docents on maintained trails and roads on the nearly 6,000 acre reserve. On each date we offer two moderate hikes and one easy one. 

Anticipated dates of the 2016-17 hiking season:
Dec 10, Jan 14, Feb 11, March 11, April 8, May 13
Saturdays 9 a.m. - noon


1) Reservations are requested as space is limited. Please reserve your space at Public Hikes.

2) Please call us at 805.686.1941 after noon on the day before the hike. A message will be recorded on our voicemail if a cancellation is made due to rain, muddy roads or unforeseen reasons. 

3) Sedgwick events are offered by donation. We appreciate your support of our volunteer program. 

4) Dogs and other pets are not allowed. 

Walking Ecology Lecture Series
We are busy planning our upcoming season of public talks, with a special emphasis this year on new and ongoing research at Sedgwick.  

Select Fridays, 9 a.m.-noon
November - June


1)  Lectures are held at the Tipton Meeting House from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by a short walk to a nearby place for question & answer 

2) They are free of charge and there will never be a test. 

3) Lectures are a core part of our docent training. Please email us for more information on becoming a docent or volunteer at Sedgwick. 

3) Donations are accepted at the door to helps offset speakers' honorarium fees.  We appreciate your support of lecture series. 

4) Please do not bring pets, even in your car. Our parking area provides no shade. |

3566 Brinkerhoff Road

Santa Ynez, CA 93460

(805) 686-1941

Sedgwick Reserve | 3566 Brinkerhoff Road | Santa Ynez | CA | 93460