Institute for Sustainable Development
Henning Barn at BCCER

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve - Henning Ranch Barn

To find out about using the reserve for field trips please visit the BCCER web site at


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Research Facilities

The Agricultural Teaching and  Research Center

The Agricultural Teaching and  Research Center (ATRC) is an 800 acres diversified farming operation about five miles south of the campus. The mission of  the ATRC is to educate our students and the public about emerging  practices that relate to the sustainable management  of plant and animal production systems. The ATRC also provides a unique environment where it is possible for students and faculty to systematically study economic and environmental issues relating to  production agriculture. Having both organic and conventional  production systems in place, the ATRC provide for comparative research not  possible with most farming operations.

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Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER) contains approximately 4,000 acres of diverse canyon and ridge habitats and is home to many species of plants and animals. The mission of the reserve is to contribute to the understanding and wise management of the earth and its natural systems by preserving critical habitat and providing a natural area for environmental research and education.

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve is an invaluable resource for environmental research and education. We encourage reserve use for field trips by classes and organizations and a wide variety of research activities. We invite field trips and research in order to use reserve resources to maximize environmental knowledge and appreciation.

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For information on public access or use please visit

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Biological Sciences Herbarium

The Biological Sciences Herbarium at California State University, Chico is the most complete repository of plant specimens from northeastern California, emphasizing local flora and including a number of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species. Established in the 1950s, the herbarium now contains more than 92,000 dried and mounted plant specimens. The herbarium is used extensively for identification of sensitive and other plant species by various agencies and individuals.

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Butte Creek Ecological Preserve

Butte Creek Ecological Preserve (BCEP) is a 93-acre site along one mile of Butte Creek. The property is manages as a demonstration site of the effects of human perturbation on ecosystem health, as a living laboratory, and as a field classroom.

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The Gateway Science Museum

The Gateway Science Museum (formerly the Northern California Natural History Museum, NCNHM) is currently under development through the College of Natural Sciences on the campus of California State University, Chico. The museum will provide basic scientific information to the public through permanent, temporary, and traveling natural history exhibits. The museum will provide support to regional teachers, including teacher pre-service and in-service continuing education, and provide classroom support materials to reinforce teachers' knowledge and confidence in addressing science in the classroom. The museum will enhance the goals of CSU, Chico by serving as a public gateway through which university research, service, and expertise can be delivered. In all, the museum will address a critical need for science education and teacher support, become a community center with dynamic, engaging programs and exhibits, and be a place that generates significant community pride in the citizens of the North State.  

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