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COVID-19 Information

Updated 12/01/2020

The following represents current guidance for the UC Merced Natural Reserve System. We reserve the right to cancel any reservation to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff, and to revise policies in the event of specific campus, state, NRS, NPS, or CDC guidance.

The Yosemite and Sequoia Field Stations are currently operating under Phase 2 of the Guidelines for UC Merced Research Ramp-Up. 

  • Phase 1 : “Stay At Home” state

  • Phase 2: Ultra-low density research activities (~15-25% of normal density at any given time)

  • Phase 3: Low-density research activities (~25-50% of normal density onsite at any given time)

  • Phase 4: Restart a return to full research operations (a gradual ramp up toward normal density onsite at any given time)

Current Allowed Use

Currently, we are accepting applications for overnight accomodation from groups of 10 or fewer individuals who comprise a single household or vector pod (i.e., groups that have been in quarantine for 14 days prior to their visit). In some cases, use by non-household-groups may be considered, at a density of 1 individual per bedroom (which typically coincides with 1 individual per bathroom). In this case, all individuals must be on the same reservation and must coordinate/schedule their use of shared space such as kitchens and living areas, making sure to clean and disinfect the shared areas between personnel. Groups larger than 10 individuals may be split into smaller groups of 10 or fewer if these sub-groups remain distinct throughout their visit  – i.e., large groups cannot gather across houses for meals and other on-site activities and each sub-group must travel in separate vehicles to/from the field station including day trips within the area.

Groups or individuals must be performing place-based work that cannot be accomplished elsewhere. In most cases, writing and research retreats will not be approved.

No access to the classroom or office/lab is allowed by field station visitors during Phase 2. 

At the Sequoia Field Station, we are accepting applications for overnight accomodation from individuals and from groups of 3 or fewer who comprise a household.

All field station houses will be left unoccupied for a minimum of 3 days between groups.

In addition to the use fees, users may be charged a one-time cleaning fee of about $50 - $150 depending on the size of the house and duration of use. You can help us minimize these charges by cleaning houses thoroughly prior to departure.

All applicants must meet online with the Field Station Director prior to approval of their reservation.

Additional Forms

All participants will be required to read and sign the Notice of Policies and Pre-Screen and COVID-19 Acknowledgement.

Each participant must complete a daily personal health screening. Participants are welcome to use their own instutution's daily health log. If none exists, please use the one provided.

General Guidance and Expectations of Use

The following protocols are applicable to all activities at UC Merced Natural Reserves and Field Stations facilities, in accordance with UC Merced guidance.

Face Covering – Face coverings must be worn in all common areas and outside if there is a reasonable expectation of passing within 6 feet of others. Non-medical masks are acceptable, ideally double layered, tightly woven, and washable fabric. UC Merced will provide face coverings for staff, but all other individuals will provide their own.

Physical Distancing – Individuals shall maintain at least six-foot distance from other individuals, unless protocols require closer contact, and additional appropriate measures for safety are used (e.g., PPE). Individuals will cover coughs or sneezes into the sleeve or elbow, not hands. Individuals will not shake hands.

Personal Hygiene – Participants will need to carry their own hand sanitizer, which they should use before entering any reserve or field station facility. Hands should be washed with soap and water frequently, following CDC guidance.

Daily Health Checks – All on-site staff and users must comply with the daily personal health screening process at the site, which consist of completing and recording a daily symptom check, including temperature.

Notice of Policies and Liability Waivers –  All users will be required to read and acknowledge any additional Notice of Policies or Liability Waivers that are developed. These are temporary measures related to COVID-19 and are in addition to the standard Natural Reserve System policies and waivers that apply at all times.

RAMS Reservations – The RAMS reservation is required to include full names and contact info for ALL individuals using each UC Merced NRS location – generic categories for guests cannot be used during Phases 2 and 3. 

Any queries about Yosemite Field Station reservations can be directed to Breezy Jackson,, (209) 628-5758.

COVID-19 and the Yosemite and Sequoia Field Stations

Updated 01/07/2021

The Yosemite and Sequoia Field Stations are currently open with limited capacity for place-based work. Please see our COVID-19 Information page for more information.

Any queries about Yosemite and Sequoia Field Station reservations can be directed to Breezy Jackson,, (209) 628-5758.

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