Using the UC Merced Sierra Nevada Field Stations

How to plan a visit to the Yosemite or Sequoia Field Stations

1. Determine whether your visit is permitted use of the field station.  The mission of the field stations is to facilitate research, education, and public service. Station use must fall within this mission, according to the partnership agreement between UC Merced and the National Park Service. Casual or recreational stays are not permitted. 

2. Learn about our facilities at the Yosemite Field Station or Sequoia/Kings Canyon Field Station, and check our calendars for facility availability. We have meeting rooms, office space, lab space, storage space, and various cabins. Facilities tend to book early, so plan ahead. Facility rates are dependent on the purpose of the visit and the affiliation of the event organizer.

3. Submit an application for use and a reservation for facilities through the RAMS System. In the application for use, describe in detail your reason for visiting the station. If you are conducting on-site research, describe your research project and list all related permits. If you are leading a course, give the course number, course description, and a description of your activities at the field station. If you are doing other academic or public service work, describe the event, including its purpose and agenda of activities.  Undergraduate groups must demonstrate that their event is registered with the Office of Student Life or similar oversight body, include their alcohol policy, and list the names of faculty sponsors. In the reservation request, list the dates and facilities required. Describe the participants, including their affiliation and role in the project.  Let us know if there are any participants under 18, and describe the special needs of any participants. Applications will be reviewed for appropriate use and necessary permits. Reservations will be reviewed for availability, appropriateness, and accommodations for special needs. Guests may be moved to alternate cabins or meeting spaces to accommodate other groups as needed. Reservations are generally first-come, first-served, with priority given to field research and listed university courses.

4. Prepare for your event.

  1. As the visit organizer, you are responsible for communicating all necessary station information to your group, including facility information, safety information, conduct expectations. You are also responsible to ensure payment of station fees associated with your visit.
  2. Read about station policies and safety information, as well as park conditions such as weather, road closures, and driving conditions before your event.
  3. Know the station 10-day cancellation policy and inform the station director of any changes in your reservations in a timely manner.
  4. Obtain signed liability waivers for all guests (one per guest per year). Minors must have signatures from their parents.
  5. Print and bring with you any park permits, entrance gate fee waivers, signed liability waivers, signed photo consent forms, maps, and check-out forms.
  6. Communicate with the station director at least one week in advance of your visit to receive information on how to to access facilities, as well as any other information necessary for your visit. Arrange for a station orientation with the station director for the beginning of your stay.

5. During your event.

  1. Immediately notify the station director and/or station steward of any safety hazards, maintenance issues, or change in facility needs (such as cancellations or additions of guests).
  2. Know and abide by station policies, including UC Merced and National Park policies during your stay. Follow the UC Natural Reserve System Code of Conduct. Be a courteous member of the community during your visit. Failure to follow station policies may result in a loss of station privileges.
  3. When away from cabins, each guest should take their personal "Go Bag", containing irreplaceable items such as documents, cell phones, and medications. Fire, road closure, or other hazards may prevent returning to the cabins. Follow all emergency instructions regarding hazard alerts or evacuation instructions.
  4. Keep the facilities clean. Share facilities with other guests.  Prevent rodents, bears, and other animals from accessing food and trash.
  5. If applicable, communicate with the station director or another designated person regarding backcountry travel, expected routes, and expected return times. Check in with local rangers regarding park conditions before departure into remote areas.
  6. Upon departure from the station, clean cabins, meeting spaces, and/or other facilities thoroughly, according to our check-out checklist (one per cabin). Leave the station in better condition than you found it; the stations do not have housekeeping services. Facilities left in poor condition may result in cleaning or repair charges. Return the checkout form and waivers to the station office.

More information

Research in the National Parks

If you are planning to conduct research within either Yosemite or Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, you will need a Park Service research permit. Be sure to start the process early since permits can take several months to obtain. To request a research or collecting permit, visit the National Park Service's Research Permit and Reporting System.  If you are working on other public lands (BLM, National Forest), you will need to obtain permits for that work as well.

What to Expect and What to Bring

All guests must follow station policies, including UC Merced and National Park policies, and the station code of conduct.

We provide basic cabins: mattresses without bedding, and kitchens with standard dishes, utensils, and appliances. Users must bring linens, pillows, towels, food, and disposable kitchen and bathroom supplies. Users of classroom facilities should bring their own disposable supplies like flipcharts, markers, etc. We do not have housekeeping services. Users are expected to clean the facilities thoroughly when they depart, and we provide basic cleaning supplies. Details can be found in our Information for Yosemite Field Station Visitors and the Check-Out Checklist.      

Rates and fees

Yosemite Field Station UC/USGS/YOSE&SEKI NPS/USFS Non-UC UNIVERSITY Other (including K-12)
Overnight stay - site-based research, listed university courses; per person $20/night; $300/month $30/night; $450 month $40/night; $600/month
Overnight stay - conferences, meetings, retreats; per person $40/night
Office desk space; per person $5/day; $150/month $10/day; $300/month $10/day; $300/month
Data Visualization Center (multimedia conference/meeting/lab space; capacity ~50) free for research
Office meeting room (capacity ~20, with projector screen) $50/day
Lab space (per 6' of  bench space) $5/day; $150/month $10/day; $300/month $10/day; $300/month
Cleaning and/or repair of excessive damage $50/staff hour plus materials
SEQUOIA FIELD STATION UC/USGS/YOSE&SEKI NPS/USFS Non-UC University other (including k-12)
Overnight stay; per person $7.50/night

                                                       

Cancellation Policy

There is a 10-day cancellation policy for the field stations. Reservations cancelled 10 or more calendar days in advance will not be charged. However, if you cancel less than 10 days before your stay, you will be expected to pay for the first 2 nights reserved. Similarly, if your group size decreases with less than 10 days' notice, you will be charged for the initial number of people for the first 2 nights. For example, if you decrease your group from 10 people to 7 people fewer than 10 days in advance, you will be charged for 10 people for the first two nights, then 7 people for the remaining nights. If no notice is given of a decrease in group size until after the event, groups will be charged the full rate. Group leaders are responsible for informing the station director of cancellations within their groups, and communicating this policy to their participants.

In the case of extreme weather or other hazards (such as fire or road closures), the station may be closed at any time at the discretion of the station director, UC Merced, and/or the Park Service. In this case, users will not be charged for cancelled reservations.

Payment Methods

  • Checks may be made out to "Regents of the University of Caliornia", "UC Regents"
  • Credit cards accepted- Visa & Mastercard
  • No cash

Pet Policy

There are no pets allowed at the Field Stations. Certified service animals are welcome, but please inform the station director prior to your visit.

Contact information