With a fully equipped modern laboratory and computing facilities, SNARL serves as a major center for research for the eastern Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley.

Application Process

Research projects

For new research projects, please contact the Reserve Director (link sends e-mail) to discuss the project requirements and suitability.

  • Logon to RAMS (link is external) and follow the instructions to complete an application.
  • A new application must be submitted for each project, however multiple visits ("activities") may be appended to a single application.
  • The Reserve Director will be notified automatically and will review the application.
  • The application is not approved until the applicant is notified by the Reserve Director.
  • Download and submit Waivers of Liability as required.

The group leader is responsible for making sure each participant is aware of reserve policies and guidelines listed on the application and in the information packet on the application website.

Selected Research

Ecology of Mono Lake: UC research since 1976 on Mono Lake influenced a 1994 decision of the State Water Resources Control Board to raise the lake level, helping to restore its ecosystem; ongoing projects there include physical-limnology modeling and monitoring of brine shrimp and alkali fly populations.

Sierran snowpack: SNARL scientists operate a snow laboratory on Mammoth Mountain; the National Science Foundation and NASA Earth Observing System Project fund ongoing studies of snowpack properties and snowmelt runoff.

Aquatic biology: Ongoing studies examine impacts of livestock grazing on stream ecology and effects of nonnative trout on Sierra Nevada lake ecosystems.

Special Programs

Geologic monitoring: U.S. Geological Survey-funded scientists monitor seismic activity in the Long Valley Caldera and carbon dioxide emissions around Mammoth Mountain.

Regional field station: SNARL attracts users from all UC campuses, many out-of-state colleges/universities, federal lab-oratories and research programs; reserve manager consults on regional resource management issues. 

Field courses: University courses using site include botany, geology, environmental studies, snow science, and White Mountains Research Supercourse.