Fort Ord Natural Reserve is centrally located in the Monterey Bay area and is a great place to take classes for one day field trips. Some of the teaching opportunities include natural history, ecology, fire ecology, botany, invertebrate biology, mammalogy, and geology.  Students are also encouraged to undertake senior theses and other independent research projects. Camping is also available for courses wishing to spend extended times on the reserve.

Fort Ord Natural Reserve staff are available to assist courses. Support includes natural history and ecology field lectures as well as general assistance in the field.

All reserve users must complete an online application and obtain approval prior to visiting the reserve. Please take the time to follow these five steps to ensure your application is successfully submitted. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Reserve staff.

If you are interested in camping at the reserve we have a basic campground for class and research use.

1.  Complete an online application. This is a two step process, first you must fill out an application, then you follow-up by filling out an “activity”. The application is essentially your profile and a description of your research, class activities, or purpose of your visit, whereas the activity refers to your reservation at the facilities. Your application must be approved by the reserve director prior to arrival.

Online Application

2.  Download, review, and sign a Release of Liability Waiver form; this can also downloaded from the NRS application web site. A Group Signature Form is available for classes, but it must be attached to the Release of Liability Waiver. Signed waivers must be mailed to the research center or presented to reserve staff immediately upon arrival.


3.  Read the Rules & Regulations section of this web site and share them with each person in your group. Print a copy and bring it with you to ensure compliance with the Center rules. Applicants are responsible for the conduct of all persons in their group.