SNARL Management Plan Summary 

The Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) is one of the most heavily used and most productive sites in the University of California’s Natural Reserve System (NRS). SNARL is a world-class field station with modern housing, laboratory facilities, scientific instrumentation and a state-of-the-art experimental stream system.


In addition to the on-site research, SNARL provides a base of operations for research and instruction on a diverse array of natural features on public lands in the surrounding region. Located in the eastern Sierra Nevada, users of the Reserve have access to a 13,000-foot elevational gradient encompassing everything from Mojave and Great Basin Desert habitats to alpine tundra.

SNARL is administered by the University of California, Santa Barbara jointly with Valentine Camp as the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve. This plan identifies the goals, implementation, status and limitations of the various programs at SNARL. Opportunities exist to increase research use and productivity as well as instructional use of the Reserve.

Various public service uses, including K-12 education, of the Reserve are already quite extensive. There are needs for facilities improvement and development. The latter will require aggressive and creative fundraising efforts. The plan strongly supports the need for recurring funding for staffing at SNARL. Most staff are paid with non-recurring funding and many of the programs at the Reserve, including those at Valentine Camp, would be at serious risk if staffing were reduced. The Director is spending considerable time on private fundraising, with good results. Additional grant funding may also be possible. With one-time funding of $1,000,000 all the high priority needs identified in this plan could be addressed. With additional recurring funding of $100,000/year all of the high priority recurring funding needs could be met.