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Deep Canyon as Desert Laboratory

Deep Canyon Reserve is the Coachella Valley’s Desert Wilderness for Science

Deep Canyon Director Allan Muth to present overview of canyon’s natural history and current research

(March 22, 2006)

Palm Desert, Calif. — Dr. Allan Muth, Director of the Philip L. Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, part of the University of California, Natural Reserve System (NRS), will give a talk titled, “Deep Canyon: A Desert Wilderness for Science,” at 5 p.m., on Wednesday, March 29 at UCR Palm Desert.

The public talk is part of the “Imagining the Future” lecture series offered at UCR Palm Desert, 75-080 Frank Sinatra Drive. Admission is free but reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (760)-834-0597.

Muth will present a sweeping overview of the abundance of animal and plant life in Deep Canyon and examples of important research now underway.

Deep Canyon, established as one of four UCR campus reserves in 1958, became part of the UC System’s Natural Reserve system in 1965. It is a Coachella Valley landmark, seen by thousands every day as eyes turn toward the Santa Rosa mountains.

But more than a landmark, the canyon holds a treasure trove of flora and fauna from its tributaries, which flow across a rolling plateau covered with piñon-juniper woodland and chaparral, to the broad alluvial fan on the southern edge of the Coachella Valley. The canyon’s vertebrate fauna is exceptionally rich, with 46 reptile, 228 bird, and 47 mammal species.

At 16,873 acres, the Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center is one of the largest NRS reserves, encompassing a major drainage system descending from the high peaks of the Santa Rosa Mountains down to the Colorado Desert.

The Natural Reserve System consists of 35 reserves that encompass approximately 130,000 acres of protected natural land available for university-level instruction, research, and public enjoyment.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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