White Mountain Research Center offers a range of scientific possibilities

Between the White Mountains and Sierra Nevada lies a chain of research stations where students and scientists research topics as varied as the environments surrounding them.

With 5,000 year-old pine trees, 10,000 feet of elevation and an abundance of animal and insect species, the four field stations of the White Mountain Research Center are prime territory to learn about California’s natural environment — from climate change ecology to how people are affected by high altitudes.

For students, the center offers a chance to explore pristine wilderness while working with expert scientists from around the world.

Originally published at UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Video description: At over 14,000 feet high, the White Mountains form a natural barrier between eastern California and Nevada. Less than 20 miles to the west, across the Owens Valley, loom the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Directly to the east, the sagebrush flats of the Basin and Range province stretch to the horizon.

White Mountain Research Center opens this remote region to university-level research, teaching, and public service. The Center consists of four research stations located along a 10,000-foot elevational gradient.

White Mountain Research Center has been a magnet for scientists for over 60 years. Located in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada, the White Mountain range experiences extremely dry air. Combined with high elevations, this provides excellent conditions for atmospheric measurements and astronomical observations. A wealth of earthquake faults, unusual rock structures, and young mountains are located within easy driving distance for earth scientists. High-elevation research facilities enable physiologists to study the effects of low oxygen on physiology as well as the impacts of climate change on alpine ecology.