March 20 – 23, 2004
U.C. Hastings Reserve, CA
Hastings is a Biological Field Station of the University of California, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and Natural Reserve System. It provides the wildlands and facilities to conduct university and graduate level studies of natural systems in the Santa Lucia mountain range in Monterey County, California. An area of about 2,000 acres, Hastings was set aside in 1937 to be managed with minimal disturbance. Hastings encourages a community of researchers to live lightly in the ecosystem they study. About 500 research projects have been conducted since 1937 at Hastings.
Hastings Reserve is a mosaic of oak woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral. It is also quite varied geologically, with various granite rocks, marine sandstone, basaltic andesites, and marble outcrops. Several creeks crisscross the otherwise dry habitat. It is quite possibly the most studied site that we have ever visited for a SoBeFree — for our vascular plant enthusiasts, there is a Hastings Reserve vascular flora available to buy or download at http://www.hastingsreserve.org/index.html. Nonetheless, there is not yet a bryophyte list. Ken Kellman is working on cataloging approximately 500 moss collections (mostly from the 1940’s and 50’s) that will lead to a fairly complete list of mosses for the reserve.
Saturday 3/20 we gathered at the Hastings Reserve at 4:00pm for a brief look around the grounds and a group dinner. After dinner there was an orientation lecture about the region by the Resident Director, Mark Stromberg.
Sunday and Monday were taken up by all-day field trips, followed by microscope sessions after dinner at the Reserve. In the evenings we had slide shows about bryophytes and current research efforts of the participants.
Tuesday morning we continued exploration, breaking up as a group after lunch.