Field Station

Blue Oak Ranch Reserve and its facilities are available for use by educators, researchers, University of California departments, and local non-profit organizations. The Reserve cannot be used for commercial uses, outdoor recreation, weddings, or most fundraising events.

The two-acre Field Station serving Blue Oak Ranch Reserve was once a family retreat for the Blue Oak Trust, which held the property for its conservation values since 1990.  In 2007, the Trust donated the entire Ranch (3,280 acres) and the beautiful Cedar Barn they constructed in 1993, to the University of California’s Natural Reserve System. 

UC Berkeley was given administrative responsibility and, for the next eight years, the Biological Field Station was contained within the Cedar Barn which was renovated to accommodate a resident Director and Reserve Steward, basic infrastructure and utilities, and a small campground with facilities to support the needs a small number of seasonal researchers and field classes.

In 2012, UC Berkeley was granted $4,887,000 from the Wildlife Conservation Board (a State agency) to design and construct a full-scale facility for year-round academic use by up to 50 faculty and students.

BORR’s facilities were completed in February 2016, including a remodeled headquarters in the Cedar Barn, a classroom and large commons room, a group kitchen, restrooms and laundry area, a field lab, and staff offices. There is full-time housing for Reserve staff, 4 conditioned dorm and faculty cabins for up to 20, and 8 seasonal cabins that can house 30. A large off-grid solar photovoltaic system powers the entire field station along with propane stoves and heating and a backup propane generator. Facilities also include a 50,000-gallon drinking water and fire sprinkler system, a Utility Barn for general facility and ranch maintenance operations, and renovation of the historic Amos White Cabin.

Thousands of acres surrounding the Field Station are permanently protected by conservation and open space easements, ensuring that these lands will remain protected for low-impact teaching and research for generations to come.  

Reserve Hours

The Reserve is generally open seven days a week, and our office is open from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. Arrangements can be made in advance for late arrivals or early departures. BORR is occasionally closed for UC administrative holidays so plan your visits in advance contact the Resident Director for more information.

Reserve users are asked to follow these rules

No smoking, dogs or pets, collecting, hunting, mountain bikes, or ATVs on the Reserve without prior approval from Reserve staff.

Make a reservation in advance using the RAMS website. The Reserve is not open to the public or for any recreational activities.

Keep vehicles on established roadways and vehicle trails and carry a cell phone (and fire extinguisher during fire season). A fire can easily start from parking in tall grass when your car’s catalytic converter is hot.

Keep gates closed and locked.

Stop by the Administrative Office in the Cedar Barn to sign in and register your visit before proceeding to any research site or housing unit.