McLaughlin Reserve


The Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Natural Reserve protects ~7,000 acres of unusual habitats, including rare serpentine soils. Chemically hostile to most plants, serpentine deposits cover one third of the reserve, creating habitat islands that support rare and endemic plants adapted to these harsh soils, and numerous associated endemic insects. Where soils are "normal", vegetation shifts suddenly to more typical coast range habitats, including riparian woodland, blue oak woodland and savannah, grassland, and chaparral.

The reserve is managed by UC Davis and owned in part by the university and Homestake Mining Company (a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation). The mining company is decommissioning an innovative open-pit gold mine and reclaiming an extensive area of disturbed lands. The reserve is the repository of over 20 years of environmental monitoring data collected by the mining company.

Overnight accommodations include a fully-equipped field station and a comfortable camping area.

McLaughlin serpentine hillside

Job Opening - McLaughlin Reserve Steward

DEADLINE EXTENDED - APPLY BY DECEMBER 30, 2019. The Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Natural Reserve is one of 39 sites with the University of California Natural Reserve System, which was founded to protect representative ecosystems of California for teaching and research. The reserve encompasses 7,000 acres of wildlands at the intersection of Lake, Napa, and Yolo counties, 15 miles east of the town of Lower Lake. The reserve provides research and instructional facilities for faculty, researchers, and students from local, regional, national and international academic and research institutions. Primary research emphases are ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeochemistry, and conservation and other disciplines including humanities. Reserve facilities include a 6,000 sq. ft. field station/dormitory, a 20,000 sq. ft. shop/warehouse, small residence, and several utility buildings. Infrastructure includes paved and unpaved roads, property boundary fencing and signage, electronic sensors and radio links, photovoltaic power to remote infrastructures, and irrigation systems associated with research projects.


Under supervision, carry out resource management activities needed to maintain the McLaughlin Reserve as a viable research and teaching area including the maintenance of and improvements to Reserve infrastructure, facilities, equipment, roads, and grounds. Assist with vegetation management in coordination with Stewardship Director and to support research and teaching activities. Responsible for the diagnostics and maintenance of Reserve vehicles and equipment, including trucks, tractors, ATVs, forklift, and a variety of farm equipment

This position is full time, located in Lower Lake, California at the McLaughlin Reserve. An option for on-site residency may be available. Please see the full job posting for details: UC Davis  JOB ID 2151.