I started TA’ing my first class at UC Davis this quarter for Truman Young’s Restoration Practicum (PLS 164), and I am having a great time learning about restoration in a variety of contexts outside of grasslands! I did have to come up with the field trips on my own, so I suppose it is up to me to make it worthwhile and fun, but I think I have just been lucky so far that we have had fantastic hosts.
Field Visit One – we visited Davis Ranches in Colusa County and learned about the great restoration work they are doing in patches and along roadsides across the 5,300+ areas of farmland, where they incorporate conservation principles and practices for multiple benefits.
Field Visit Two – Putah Creek Council agreed to meet us near the Putah Creek Diversion Dam in Winters, where they are doing some great work in partnership with private landowners to keep the creek flowing for fish to spawn, and are piloting a new “field nursery” for trees to be used in restoration plantings.
Field Visit Three: See my blog post about the Restoration Practicum at Hedgerow Farms! UC Davis Restoration Practicum Course at Hedgerow Farms, in The Davis Enterprise
Field Visit Four: Jon O’Brien and Brandon from Yolo County Resource Conservation District met us out at Cottonwood Slough in Esparto. We had a great time maintaining irrigation driplines (previously installed by the PLS 164 crews in prior quarters!), checking on native plant survival, and mulching around surviving plants to improve water retention, reduce erosion, and put a crimp on weed pressure. I was working too hard to get to take many pictures, so here are the couple I got from today. In the first photo, we found a bird nest at the base of the plant tube with two new eggs in it! The second photo shows Jon O’Brien and some of our students.
Looking forward to our last meeting in early June: Stay tuned!