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Steve Monfort (UCNRS Executive Director) Visits the UC Merced NRS!

May 24, 2022

The UC Merced Natural Reserve System had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Steve Monfort, the new executive director of the University of California Natural Reserve System (UCNRS)! Dr. Monfort joined the UCNRS on November 4th of 2021, prior serving as the director of the Smithsonian Conservation Institute and National Zoo. He is an expert in conservation biology, reproductive biology, and endocrinology, and he is an alum of both UC San Diego and UC Davis. When Dr. Monfort was asked what he likes most about his job, he said “in my new position as Executive Director of the UCNRS, I’ve been dazzled by the CA landscapes and ecosystems in which we work.  But I have been most impressed by the passion and dedication of our small, but mighty NRS teams, who drive our mission of understanding and supporting nature through education and research conducted in service to society”.

During Dr. Monfort’s visit to the UC Merced Campus in late March of 2022; he met with the UC Merced NRS faculty director (Dr. Jessica Blois) and other supporters of the reserves and field stations. He also had the opportunity to tour the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland (MVPGR) with the reserve director (Joy Baccei), where they discussed upcoming challenges and opportunities for the MVPGR. Dr. Monfort also spent a night at the Yosemite Field Station and learned about the station facilities and ongoing giant sequoia research with the field station director (Dr. Breezy Jackson). After his visit, the associate director of the UC Merced NRS (Dr. Jessica Malisch) said, “Hosting Dr. Monfort was a wonderful opportunity. He has innovative ideas for the reserves and field stations, and we are excited to work with him to elevate the UC Merced Natural Reserve System both here on campus and within the broader UC system”.