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Using the UC Merced Sierra Nevada Field Stations

How to plan a visit to the Yosemite or Sequoia Field Stations

1. Determine whether your visit is permitted use of the field station.  The mission of the field stations is to contribute to the understanding and wise stewardship of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at California's protected natural areas, in particular, in and around Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. Station use must fall within this mission, according to the partnership agreement between UC Merced and the National Park Service. See our field station fees to determine the appropriate rate for your event. Casual or recreational stays are not permitted. 

2. Learn about our facilities at the Yosemite Field Station or Sequoia/Kings Canyon Field Station, and check our calendars for facility availability. We have meeting rooms, office space, lab space, storage space, and various cabins. Facilities tend to book early, so plan ahead. Facility rates are dependent on the purpose of the visit and the affiliation of the event organizer. Park entrance fee waivers are given to groups with reservations at the field stations.

3. Submit an application for use and a reservation for facilities through the RAMS System.

  • Applications cover your overall project, and can include multiple visits/reservations spanning the full duration of the project. In your application, describe in detail your reason for visiting the station.
    • If you are conducting research, describe your research project, including locations and methods. List all related permits.
    • If you are leading a course, give a course number, course description, and a description of your activities at the field station.
    • If you are doing other academic or public service work, describe the event, including its purpose and agenda of activities. 
    • Undergraduate groups must demonstrate that their event is registered with the UC Office of Student Life or similar oversight body, include their alcohol policy, and list the names of faculty sponsors.
  • Reservations describe your facilities needs.
    • Include a participant list, with names, email addresses, and emergency contact information for each participant.
      • Include the affiliation and role of each participant.
      • Note when each participant is arriving/departing if the group is traveling on different dates.
    • Make a request for assets, which includes cabins and meeting spaces. The numbers and dates of your assets requested should match your participant list.
      • Asset rates depend on your activity and affiliation. Conferences, lab meetings, and writing retreats are considered "retreats".
      • Beds are requested and billed individually, not whole cabins.
    • Note any special circumstances, including physical disability accommodation, minors or very young children, service animals (no pets!), or requests to keep participants together or separately (couples together, or genders separated for example).
    • Note any special billing needs, such as separate billing for each participant.
  • Changes/cancellations. Please contact the station director if your party changes size, your dates change, or you cancel your visit. There is a 10-day cancellation window, see below.
  • Billing. Guests will receive an invoice by email after their visit. Invoices can be paid by UC Recharge or credit card, or a check. Payment instructions are in the email.

Applications will be reviewed for appropriate use and necessary permits. Reservations will be reviewed for availability, appropriateness, and accommodations for special needs. Guests may be moved to alternate cabins or meeting spaces to accommodate other groups as needed. Reservations are generally first-come, first-served, with priority given to site-based research and listed university courses.

4. Prepare for your event:

  1. As the visit organizer, you are responsible for communicating all necessary station information to your group, including facility information, safety information, and visitor conduct expectations. You are also responsible to ensure payment of station fees associated with your visit.
  2. Read about station policies and safety information, as well as park conditions such as weather, road closures, and driving conditions before your event.
  3. Know the station 10-day cancellation policy and inform the station director of any changes in your reservations in a timely manner.
  4. Obtain signed liability waivers for all guests (one per guest per year). Minors must have signatures from their parents.
    1. Yosemite Liability Waivers: (YFS Adult Individual Waiver) (YFS Waiver - Spanish) (YFS Group Waiver)
    2. Multi-Reserve Waiver (for Sequoia Field Station, or if you are visiting multiple field stations)
    3. Photo consents: Photo Consent Form
  5. Print and bring with you any park permits, entrance gate fee waivers, signed liability waivers, signed photo consent forms, maps, and check-out forms.
  6. Communicate with the station director at least one week in advance of your visit to receive information on how to to access facilities, as well as any other information necessary for your visit. Arrange for a station orientation with the station director for the beginning of your stay.

5. During your event:

  1. Immediately notify the station director and/or station steward of any safety hazards, maintenance issues, or change in facility needs (such as cancellations or additions of guests). Emergency information is available here and in the binders in your cabins.
  2. Know and abide by station policies, including UC Merced and National Park policies during your stay. Follow the UC Natural Reserve System Code of Conduct. Be a courteous member of the community during your visit. Failure to follow station policies may result in a loss of station privileges.
  3. When away from cabins, each guest should take their personal "Go Bag", containing irreplaceable items such as documents, cell phones, and medications. Fire, road closure, or other hazards may prevent returning to the cabins. Follow all emergency instructions regarding hazard alerts or evacuation instructions.
  4. Keep the facilities clean. Share facilities with other guests.  Prevent rodents, bears, and other animals from accessing food and trash.
  5. If applicable, communicate with the station director or another designated person regarding backcountry travel, expected routes, and expected return times. Check in with local rangers regarding park conditions before departure into remote areas.
  6. Upon departure from the station, clean cabins, meeting spaces, and/or other facilities thoroughly, according to our check-out checklist (one per cabin). Leave the station in better condition than you found it; the stations do not have housekeeping services. Facilities left in poor condition may result in cleaning or repair charges. Return the checkout form and waivers to the station office.

More information

Research in the National Parks

If you are planning to conduct research within either Yosemite or Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, you will need a Park Service research permit. Be sure to start the process early since permits can take several months to obtain. To request a research or collecting permit, visit the National Park Service's Research Permit and Reporting System.  If you are working on other public lands (BLM, National Forest), you will need to obtain permits for that work as well.

What to Expect and What to Bring

All guests must follow station policies, including UC Merced and National Park policies, and the station code of conduct.

We provide basic cabins: mattresses without bedding, and kitchens with standard dishes, utensils, and appliances. Users must bring linens, pillows, towels, food, and disposable kitchen and bathroom supplies. Users of classroom facilities should bring their own disposable supplies like flipcharts, markers, etc. We do not have housekeeping services. Users are expected to clean the facilities thoroughly when they depart, and we provide basic cleaning supplies. Details can be found in our Information for Yosemite Field Station Visitors and the check-out checklist.     

Cancellation Policy

There is a 10-day cancellation policy for the field stations. Reservations canceled 10 or more calendar days in advance will not be charged. However, if you cancel less than 10 days before your stay, you will be expected to pay for the first 2 nights reserved. Similarly, if your group size decreases with less than 10 days' notice, you will be charged for the initial number of people for the first 2 nights. For example, if you decrease your group from 10 people to 7 people fewer than 10 days in advance, you will be charged for 10 people for the first two nights, then 7 people for the remaining nights. If no notice is given of a decrease in group size until after the event, groups will be charged the full rate. Group leaders are responsible for informing the station director of cancellations within their groups, and communicating this policy to their participants.

In the case of extreme weather or other hazards (such as fire or road closures), the station may be closed at any time at the discretion of the station director, UC Merced, and/or the Park Service. In this case, users will not be charged for canceled reservations.

Payment Methods

Visits are billed after your stay; you will be invoiced by email. There are three methods of payment:

  1. University of California FAU
  2. Credit card - Visa or MasterCard
  3. Check - made out to "UC Regents"
  4. No cash

Pet Policy

There are no pets allowed at the Field Stations. Certified service animals are welcome following UC Policy, but please inform the station director prior to your visit.

Contact information

COVID-19 and the Yosemite and Sequoia Field Stations

Updated June 1, 2022

The Yosemite and Sequoia Field Stations are currently open with limited capacity. Please see our COVID-19 Information page for more information.

Any queries about Yosemite and Sequoia Field Station reservations can be directed to Breezy Jackson,, (209) 628-5758.