Hastings Natural History Reserve


Jennifer Hunter
Resident Director
Hastings Natural History Reserve
38601 East Carmel Valley Rd.
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Hastings Reserve website

Originally a cattle ranch and homestead, the Hastings Natural History Reserve is the biological field station of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology since 1937. Hastings Reserve, about 950 hectares, is located in the Sierra de Salinas, on the most northerly end of the Santa Lucia Range that make up the Big Sur wilderness of central, coastal California. Located about 26 river miles upstream of the Pacific Ocean on the Carmel River watershed.

This ecological preserve is used for ecological, evolutionary and behavioral research and education. Local and university classes statewide visit the Hastings Reserve to immerse students in California habitat, ecosystem and natural history experience. The historic barn and other buildings are complemented by state of the art sensors and a computer lab. Learn more about the Hastings Reserve and how to visit from their website.

One of the longest running behavioral studies is taking place at Hastings– that of the ecology and evolution of social behavior in acorn woodpeckers. Watch this short documentary on the research at Hastings below.