Scientific research is used in combination with the education and outreach programs, in order to ensure availability of scientific information in the long-term, and to establish consistency and utility for both managers and members of the public. The priorities of the research conducted in conjunction with the TRNERR are:

  1. Habitat and ecosystem processes
  2. Anthropogenic influences on estuaries
  3. Habitat conservation and restoration
  4. Species management
  5. Social science and economics

The TRNERR’s Science Advisory Council (SAC) is designed to facilitate an exchange of information between the TRNERR and scientists with experience in estuarine science and management. Most committee members are in academic institutions, but other professionals in the private sector, government, and non-governmental organizations are also included. 


Operating Agencies 

California State Parks (CSP) and US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) are responsible for approval of research that occurs on State Park and National Wildlife Refuge (including Navy lands). All research on the Reserve must be approved and authorized under a special-use permit signed by the Reserve manager or Refuge manager. CSP and FWS will institute a joint permitting system to be used whenever practical. The Navy also funds monitoring and surveys on the Navy property within the reserve.


Affiliated Organizations and Researchers 

Research personnel from all sources, including universities, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens are all welcome to apply to conduct scientific studies at the Reserve. Researchers are responsible for following the protocols established in Chapter 6 of the TRNERR Comprehensive Management Plan. Failure to follow procedures or meet deadlines may result in rejection of applications or termination of permits.

San Diego State University (SDSU) has been a long-time partner in the research program at the TRNERR. The Reserve has even been designated as an auxiliary field station of SDSU. The interaction between the SDSU Field Stations Program and the TRNERR is designed to promote mutually beneficial opportunities of both organizations.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a significant source of research funding. NOAA encourages coordinated research among reserves and other scientists by funding research proposals on specific estuarine topics that it has identified as national priorities. This unified approach promotes the exchange of research findings among reserves, state and federal agencies, and members of the academic research community. Many other sources of funding are also available for research and monitoring at the Reserve. These include national programs such as the National Science Foundation, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, regional agencies, and non-governmental organizations such as the San Diego Foundation and County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission.

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