1. Do I need to fill out an application?
YES. All visitors must fill out an application. If you are planning to visit the Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center for the purpose of research, teaching, or public outreach you must fill out an application. If you are unsure about whether your activity fits the mission of the GMDRC or whether you need to fill out an application, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com OR (760) 733-4222.
2. How do I fill out an application?
Filling out an application is fairly simple, please go to the NRS website and follow the instructions. We recommend that you contact GMDRC staff to discuss your potential activities; please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com OR (760) 733-4222.
3. Do I need to sign a waiver?
Yes, all visitors must sign a waiver. If you have a large group, you can sign the Group Waiver (be sure to print and sign the first page). If you plan to visit several NRS reserves you can sign a multi-reserve waiver. If you are an employee of the Universtiy of California OR if you have ever signed a waiver for us before, you do NOT need to sign one.
4. How do I get to the GMDRC?
Once your application is approved, we will send you our introductory materials, including directions and appropriate gate combinations. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com OR (760) 733-4222.
5. Does the GMDRC have internet access?
Yes. Our visitors will have access to both DSL and wireless internet.
6. Why is there a fence around your property?
The 9000 acre GMDRC was established in 1978, the lands purchased by donated funds, and later designated by U.S. Congress for the purposes of supporting academic research, teaching, as well as public outreach. The GMDRC today is a world-renowned research site, supporting more than 130 research projects by scientists from all over the world. Many of these research projects are designed to be 25 years or more in duration. Some are very sensitive, and even walking through research plots will destroy important data. For example, several studies are examining microbiotic soil crust development to understand the important role these crusts have in deserts under undisturbed conditions, and to better understand the severity of impacts to soil crusts elsewhere. In addition, many of the research projects include equipment and instruments worth millions of dollars. The GMDRC is the only protected area for such studies in the 25 million acres of Mojave Desert. Without this protection, such studies would not be undertaken, or would do so at great risk on public lands. This is why we must regulate activities on GMDRC lands (even GMDRC staff are very restricted in where they can walk), and why random public access would jeopardize the very mission of the GMDRC.
To maintain protection to on the ground research, we do not allow general public access (including recreation) to the GMDRC lands. Even well-meaning hikers/climbers/naturalists may inadvertently disturb research projects (example, hiking through research plots). Impacts from research upon other research is also closely monitored here. Thus, all access to the GMDRC is monitored through an application process, and is restricted to academic research, teaching (we also host 35 visiting classes each year), or through staff or docent-led tours.