We’d like to offer a warm welcome to Bren’s 17 new PhD students! Recently, many of them joined their fellow, returning PhD colleagues at the 2nd annual Bren PhD retreat in Cambria, CA. Faculty from the PhD committee (Sarah Anderson, Arturo Keller, Bruce Kendall, and Hunter Lenihan) and some staff (Dean Steve Gaines, Satie Airamé, and Corlei Prieto) joined in on the fun as well, participating in a sandcastle building competition, beautiful hikes, and lively research discussions. The PhD students became acquainted and formed friendships, learned about the PhD program, and planned events for the coming year.
The group camped at the Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve, a 2 mile strip along the ocean that is part of the UC Reserve System (which is overseen by Bren Professor Patricia Holden). Along this ocean stretch, the students spotted sea otters and investigated (aka: smelled) a whale carcass decomposing nearby, which turned out to be a useful teaching tool. One of the highlights of the trip was a hike through the Reserve, led by Reserve Director, Don Canestro, who took the opportunity to discuss many of the research projects that occur on the Reserve, such as studying Monterey pines and how to compare native species in cattle-grazed plots versus ungrazed plots.
According to the pictures (posted below), the trip looks like a big success and a very fun time for all involved. We are very excited to stay updated on the research from our brilliant PhD students.
(Thank you to all the photographers from the trip for their photos, and thanks to Ian McCullough and Ty Brandt for compiling them.)