A Weekend at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve
Old and new students meet at the start of the school year on our overnight trip to an SDSU Field Station. Located just outside of Temecula, the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (SMER) is a great location to introduce students to the coastal sage scrub and chaparral ecosystem, to current research opportunities provided by university reserves, and to each other!
On our retreat, we hike to several sites where SDSU experiments are being implemented, and the students conducting these experiments explain their projects to the group. We also hold a mini symposium that provides incoming students with an overview of the research currently conducted at SDSU, and with a summary of the resources available to them as dual students of SDSU and UC Davis. In addition to these events, we get to know each other through other activities such as cooking in the community kitchen, playing board games, and star-gazing late into the night.
Planning for the Retreat SMER has an established research facility that can accommodate large groups.
Overnight Gear: Students should bring a sleeping bag and pillow. The facility has multiple bedrooms with plenty of bunk beds and cots to sleep on. Of course, students may bring a tent to sleep outside if they desire.
Food: Bring snacks, a water bottle, and alcoholic beverages. Food is typically provided by the department. The facility has a full kitchen to our disposal.
Electronics: We will have electricity. Students presenting in the symposium should bring a flash drive with their presentation to load onto the computer.
Getting There: First year students should ride in the Ecology department van which will be checked out specifically for the trip. We will meet in Parking Lot A on campus. Carpooling is recommended for other students.