“The problem in engaging the general public is not their lack of awareness of climate science, nor a failure to understand the gravity of its potential impacts. It is, instead, a failure of this information to translate at the level of emotion/sensibility, to make the abstract tangible. The sense of what may be lost, of what precisely is threatened by climate change, gets buried in a glut of statistics and charts.
…One function of environmental art is to offer and create new routes into/modes of visualizing this crisis, ones that do not derail the possibility of hope. The ongoing art projects at Sagehen engage audiences, within the university and with the local community and the public at large to do just that…The fruit of these efforts has attracted some of the most influential people in the field of environmental art.
…In closing, the environmental challenges of the 21st century are issues whose urgency demands serious consideration from as many fields and disciplines as possible. The interdisciplinary and intersectional activities that are occurring at Sagehen bring together serious people from many fields, backgrounds, and walks of life. As far as I know, this is unprecedented in the UC Natural Reserve System as well as in most departments and programs across UC.” — E. Stephens
“Thank you for hosting a great [UCNRS] meeting and in general challenging us all to think big and tackle big problems. “ — S. Souza
“We are so very fortunate to have Sagehen Creek Field Station in our midst. The work they do on so many levels is extraordinary – and of particular interest to us is their work with artists…Your [Jeff’s] work with Faerthen at Sagehen is exceptional…It was clear that you have been way ahead of the game in terms of innovation and leadership.“ — E. Tudor
“Perhaps Sagehen’s most important legacy is cultural: persuading the Sierra’s warring stakeholders to conceive of forest management in ways they had previously rejected.” — N. Twilley
“This was truly an eye opening event for me. I have a much better appreciation and understanding of how art can be used to help people understand and experience the issues we are facing with wildfire and forest health.” — C. Anthony
“[I’m] writing this from Nevada City, California where the artists are front-and-center with the fire prevention teams on safety efforts. ‘You guys see patterns we might miss,’ we were told. The administrators at Sagehen Creek Field [Station] north of Truckee are really at the cutting edge here, what a cast of characters they’ve assembled!” — D. K. Harris
“The most compelling reasons I chose the Sierra Nevada College Master of Fine Arts-Interdisciplinary Arts program were the low residency structure and the connection with Sagehen Creek Field Station in Tahoe National Forest. I am interested in collaborating with scientists and ecological research and the Field Station offered a tangible way to do that.” — J. Brennan
“Working with Sagehen led to insights about bringing fire back to the land that will forever change the way I look at our Sierra landscape.” — R. Chase
“Sagehen is one of, if not the, leading innovator on forest restoration in the Sierra. They are widely seen as having created the model for forest restoration that now needs to be implemented at scale, which is starting to happen through Sagehen’s leadership and involvement in multiple collaborative efforts across the Northern Sierra region.” — A. Wolff
“One of the thorniest problems in the region has been the gradual demise of the timber industry over the last 40 years, leaving timber dependent communities in poverty while the increasing impact of climate change in the region leave forests in need of a much higher level of management to retain their ecological function and reduce the risk of uncontrolled wildfire. The vision of the Sagehen Forest Project to link forest restoration to local economic development, job creation and economic and environmental justice in rural communities is critical to our mission.” — S. Frisch
“When I went to Sagehen in 2008, it changed my life so wonderfully. I discovered a hidden passion and I hope Sagehen will continue to inspire blossoming scientists…” — S. Harvey
“Our local field station [Sagehen] has made a huge difference in the life of our community’s children and adults. It provides an important connection with nature and science, for many an opportunity to immerse for the first time in the marvels and importance of the natural world…” — S. Lippuner
“Sagehen Creek Field Station is near us and it is an incredible and special place. I coordinated a Family Science retreat for years at Sagehen and all the families agreed that Sagehen was a unique biological spot in California and the families were grateful for the opportunity to visit and learn at the Field Station as a family! Our local school district utilizes Sagehen Creek Field Station as part of the science and language arts curriculum in elementary and high schools. This resource is vital to UC Berkeley students, to other scientists and researchers, and to our community.” — K. Stendhal
“I was Trained in Wildlife Ecology at UCB’s Blodgett Forest Research Station and Sagehen Creek Field Station. 40 years later I am still working in wildlife research and conservation. An example: I published a paper with former Berkeley student colleagues on a 50-year study of fire recovery effects on bird populations [at Sagehen], something that could have only been done at a UC field station.” — D. Airola
“Research in the field is critical to students regardless of age or project. The work Sagehen Creek Field Station is doing in particular, will inform forest management throughout the American West–not to mention the world…” — S. Frantz
“In its ninth year, the seminar enrolled 25 international participants from 21 countries across the globe. The time you spent with our participants at Sagehen was an invaluable and meaningful experience for them, and they were deeply appreciative of the information you shared about the importance of experimental forests and field stations under climate change. The seminar participants expressed deep gratitude and praise for your efforts. Please know that your contribution of time and expertise has already inspired these international leaders. As a result, they will return home motivated by the knowledge that they are not alone in facing the tremendous challenges associated with climate change in their home countries [2018 was Sagehen’s 7th year of participation in the US Forest Service International Program].” — V. Menzainis and J. Quinn
“I graduated from UCB in Zoology in 1966. My experiences and knowledge gained in both the BNHM and the Sagehen Creek Field Station served as inspiration for 30 years of teaching Field Biology. They are a critical and important resource of practical learning.” — M. Russell
“As a doctoral student at Berkeley, my graduate research would not have been possible without the Essig Collection and the Field Stations. Sage Hen, Blodgett, Angelo, Hastings provided inspiration that set me on my path. There I met people that inspired me, studying natural phenomena they understood more intimately than anyone. I think of the months I spent at the UC Berkeley Field Stations as the most important time for the development of my own ideas…” — K. Hobson
“As a PhD student at UC Davis I participated in research and other activities at Sage Hen Creek, Blodgett Experimental Forest, and Hopland field station. I also visited many other UC field stations as part of courses, conferences, etc. The UC network of Field Stations and Experimental Forests is a jewel and a wonderful outdoor lab for research, teaching, and extension…” — S. Conard
“Field stations are living laboratories, where we can work to decipher the processes that shape the natural world. This can’t be done just by theory. Theory has to be informed by observation and tested by experiment, and field stations are where those observations can be made and experiments can be done.
Field stations are living libraries, where we can read the book of life in the language in which it was written: the language of organisms living and interacting on a landscape. This goes well beyond their DNA in a test tube: the whole story includes how their genetic code — the book of life — was written by ecological and evolutionary processes, shaped by the interaction among real organisms, in real time, in the real world, on real landscapes. Field stations are where we can observe those processes in action.
And lastly, field stations are living legacies: places where each generation acts as trustees of a landscape and its natural systems, sustaining them for the generations yet to come. We, and those who come after us, will be infinitely poorer if we break that trust.” — J. Kirchner, Sagehen Faculty Director 1996-2002, 2002-2015
“The field work for this study was performed entirely at the University of California Natural Reserve System’s Sagehen Creek Reserve. The UC reserves are an exceptional resource that played a large role in the success of this project. The station manager and assistant manager, Jeff Brown and Faerthen Felix deserve special recognition for facilitating research and life there above and beyond their duty. They are wonderful advocates for science and have made Sagehen an exceptional place to work and live.” — J. Sapp, Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz, 2017
“It was a privilege to conduct field work at Sagehen Creek Field Station which could not run without the hard work and organization of Jeff Brown and Faerthen Felix.” — A. Zemenick, Ph.D. UC Davis, 2017
“To the grantors of the Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Program and the staff of the [Sagehen Creek] Field Station. Thank you for recognizing the complementary power of conducting social science research within the UC Natural Reserve System.” — N. L. Migliarese, Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 2011
“I would like to thank the [Sagehen] ARC program, the students, and the instructors for their support. This unique and valuable experience helped me understand the importance of stepping outside of the box and the benefits it has on anyone who challenges herself to do so.” — C. Hooper, Masters Sierra Nevada College, 2008
“When you’re in an area where the organisms and systems are at your doorstep 24 hours a day over a long period of time, you can observe the unexpected. For most field studies now, you go in, do your work, and leave. There’s no opportunity for seeing things you hadn’t planned on. That’s the serendipity of science. Whenever you’re at some place and able to observe it all the time and go out at weird times, you observe things, you think about things, you see stuff you hadn’t thought about. That will always be the advantage of having a place where people can stay and live and work.” — Don Erman, Sagehen Faculty Director 1978-1985
“Part of the joy of conducting this research was the ability to live and spend my summers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Sagehen Creek Field Station was an incredible place to be based over the three years and much thanks goes to the field managers during my tenure at the station…I already miss the place and, in particular, the Meadow Cabin where I lived these past summers.” — B. Elderd, Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz, 2002
Letters of Support
Elizabeth Stephens, Art Department Chair, UC Santa Cruz