UCSC Natural Reserve System appoints new directors

Gage Dayton is the new administrative director of the Natural Reserve System (NRS), and Mark Readdie has been appointed as resident director of Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve. The Big Creek Reserve is located in the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Big Sur coast.

Dayton replaces Maggie Fusari who retired in October after more than 26 years of service to the NRS and the Environmental Studies Department. Readdie has taken over for Kurt Merg who resigned last September.

Dayton and Readdie will work in collaboration with Don Croll, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and faculty director of the Natural Reserve System.

Dayton began his appointment in mid-January and is responsible for program development, administration, outreach, grant writing, and fundraising for the reserves administered by UCSC. He has a B.S. in wildlife management from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Texas A&M University. In addition to project and grant management experience, Dayton has conducted research and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the classroom and in the field.

Readdie has served as the interim director at Big Creek for the past six months with responsibility for program development, administration, and management of conservation programs and has began work on a major funding proposal to significantly enhance the infrastructure and usability of the reserve. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in biology. Readdie has conducted intertidal and subtidal research in a variety of settings, provided research training, and is an expert diver.

The University of California Natural Reserve System is a unique assemblage of 36 protected wildland sites throughout California. The five natural reserve sites that are administered by UC Santa Cruz are spread along 60 miles of the central coast: Año Nuevo Island Reserve (25 acres), Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve (4,200 acres), Fort Ord Natural Reserve (606 acres), Younger Lagoon Reserve (26 acres), and the UCSC Campus Natural Reserve (400 acres).

For further information about the reserves, contact Gage Dayton at ghdayton@ucsc.edu or (831) 459-4867.