USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Ecosystem Processes

^ Main Topic | Tropical Ecosystems | Sierra Nevada Ecosystems

The San Joaquin Experimental Rangeimage-photo: building at experimental range

The San Joaquin Experimental Range (SJER) was established in 1934 and was California's first range research station. It was originally conceived as a cooperative interdisciplinary research center to identify cost-effect methods of commercial livestock production in the annual grass-oak pine woodlands, while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem. More recently, research objectives have expanded and diversified to include research projects making contributions to our knowledge of the patterns and processes working in this ecosystem. More than 500 scientific publications have been produced from research conducted at SJER.

Education is a secondary objective at SJER, serving as an outdoor laboratory for numerous class visits and field trips each year. Classes from California State University at Fresno (Fresno State) and Fresno City College include field trips to SJER as part of their course content. Opportunities exist for independent studies and thesis/dissertation studies.

SJER is located near the geographic center of California in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Madera County, California. SJER encompasses a total of 1806 ha (4462 acres) and ranges in elevation from 213 m (700 feet) to 518 m (1700 feet). Fresno State manages a livestock operation at SJER and opportunities exist for research using livestock as a research tool. Livestock are excluded from several locations throughout SJER that offer unique opportunities for research. A 29.4 ha (72.5 acre) parcel has been designated as a Research Natural Area (RNA) as an example of the blue oak/foothill pine vegetation type and has been ungrazed since 1934. Two smaller ungrazed areas (2.4 and 4 ha in size (6 and 10 acres, respectively)) and numerous other small exclosures (less than one acre in size) also exist.

imgage-photo: landscape at experimental rangeOther facilities available at SJER include a small conference room and limited guest quarter accommodations. The use of these facilities requires advance reservation arrangements.

To request use of SJER for research or educational purposes or to request use of the conference room, please fill out the appropriate form on this web page and follow the submission instructions. Approval of projects is necessary to ensure that they do not conflict with existing operations, research projects, and educational activities. Research proposed for the RNA must be submitted to the PSW RNA Committee for evaluation.

SJER provides a unique opportunity to conduct research and offer educational opportunities within the annual grass-oak-pine woodlands in central California. We encourage researchers and educators to explore the opportunities afforded by SJER and to take advantage of them by proposing research problems or educational activities. The past, present, and future success of the SJER is directly related to the knowledge derived from it.

More information about the San Joaquin Experimental Range

Annotated checklist of vertebrate fauna of the San Joaquin Experimental Range: The foothill oak woodlands of California are extremely rich in animal species. This recently-updated checklist provides a list of fish, amphibian, reptile, mammal, and bird species observed at SJER since its establishment in 1934.

Project Request Form

Educational Activites Request Form

Last Modified: May 23, 2013 05:58:04 PM