County of Marin - News Releases - Scientific Research Grants

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2016

Grant Program Opened to Nature Researchers

Qualified students, faculty and scientists eligible to study Marin locations

San Rafael, CA – Nature-loving university graduate students, faculty and independent researchers have a spectacular opportunity to vie for two $10,000 grants to conduct research in open space preserves managed by Marin County Parks.

A female scientific researcher digs a shovel into earth on an open space preserve with the skyline of San Francisco in the background.Grant recipients may conduct research on many Marin County public lands.
Through February 15, the Parks Research Grants are open to all graduate students and faculty from accredited academic institutions in Northern California, and to qualified independent researchers. The grant program is funded by Measure A, a quarter-cent retail transactions and use tax approved by voters in November 2012 to care for Marin’s existing parks and open spaces, support regional community parks projects and programs, and further farmland preservation.

“This will be mutually beneficial to the researchers and us,” said Mischon Martin, Parks’ Chief of Natural Resources and Science. “We’ve wanted to conduct more scientific studies on our lands for a long time. That was the vision of our previous director, (the retired) Linda Dahl, and our staff has continued with that interest to collect data to better inform stewardship actions and decision making. We’ve studied our infrastructure, such as the facilities, roads and trails on our lands, but this is the first time we’re setting up an ongoing cultivation of biological science.”

Research must be conducted within or include at least one of the 34 open space preserves managed by Marin County Open Space District, but may also include other public lands. The grants will support research for one year and may be renewed. Marin County Parks anticipates offering the grant program on an annual basis, subject to modification, through June 30, 2022.

The County’s open space preserve system encompasses 16,000 acres with terrestrial, wetland and estuarine habitats all within a matrix of public lands, agricultural lands, and urban and suburban developed areas. Marin has a long history of open space protection, public land management and land use change, and all living things in the preserves likely are impacted by humans in some way.

The preserves are managed to protect and enhance populations of species, habitats, ecosystem integrity, and natural processes, but also to allow for public use and recreation. The preserve system, along with other public lands within the county, provides opportunities to conduct research that can be applied to management of public lands and natural resources within the region and elsewhere.

Who will receive the grants?

“The idea is to fund research that will help us to better manage and conserve our natural resources in the preserve system,” Martin said. “We will fund those whose proposals best seek to answer questions or monitor resources that are most important and needed. We hope to support qualified scientists and get some great research and monitoring on our preserves.”


Bill Kuhn
Vegetation and Fire Ecologist
Marin County Parks

Marin Civic Center
Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-5089
Email: Bill Kuhn
Marin County Parks website