Skip to content

Plan Your Visit

How to plan a visit to the SCICON Field Station

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 the southern Sierra Nevada and the San Joaquin Valley. Station use must fall within this mission. Recreational stays are not permitted. 


2. Learn about our facilities at the SCICON Field Station and check our calendars for  facility availability. The facility offers a combined lab and classroom space, as well as a one-bedroom apartment for overnight stays.  Facility rates are dependent on the purpose of the visit and the affiliation of the event organizer.


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

Our mission 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 protected natural areas throughout California.  We prioritize facility use in line with our mission and will review applications accordingly.

  • 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 facility needs on defined visits to the field station.

    • Include 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 apartment space and/or lab space. The numbers and dates of the assets you request should match your participant visit 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 as a whole apartment.

  • Note any  special circumstances, including physical disability accommodation and minors or very young children. 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.

  • 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

Applications-  will be reviewed for  appropriate use  and necessary permits. 

Reservations-  will be reviewed for availability, appropriateness, and accommodations for special needs. Reservations are generally first-come, first-served, with priority given to site-based research and listed university courses.


4. Prepare for your event:

  • 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.
  • Read about  station policies and safety information, as well as  local conditions  such as weather, road closures, and driving conditions before your event.
  • Know the station 10-day cancellation policy and inform the station director of any changes in your reservations in a timely manner.
  • Obtain signed liability waivers for all guests (one per guest per year). Minors must have signatures from their parents.
  • SCICON Field Station Liability Waivers: (SCICON Adult Individual Waiver) (SCICON Waiver - Spanish) (SCICON Group Waiver). Please be sure to submit waivers ahead of your visit.
  • Multi-Reserve Waiver  (if you are visiting multiple field stations)
  • Photo consents:  Photo Consent Form
  • Print and bring with you any necessary permits, signed liability waivers, signed photo consent forms, maps, and check-out forms.
  • Communicate with the station director at least one week in advance of your visit to receive information on how to access facilities, as well as any other information necessary for your visit. If desired, arrange for a station orientation with the SCICON director for the beginning of your stay.

5. During your event:

  • Emergency information is  available here and in the binder in the apartment.

  • Know and abide by station policies, including UC Merced and SCICON 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.

  • Keep the facilities clean.  Share facilities with other guests.  Prevent rodents, bears, and other animals from accessing food and trash.

  • When away from the field station,  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 field station apartment. Follow all emergency instructions regarding hazard alerts or evacuation instructions.

  • Upon departure from the station, clean the apartment and/or the lab/classroom thoroughly, according to our  check-out checklist. 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. Leave completed checkout form on the kitchen table prior to departure.

More information

What to Expect and What to Bring

All guests must follow UC Merced policies and the field 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 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 SCICON administrator. 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