Jasper Ridge offers virtual comfort and connection during troubled times

Jasper RidgeIn a scene familiar to many people in recent days, JORGE RAMOS, the associate director for environmental education at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, found himself uncharacteristically isolated.

He was at the preserve, but nearly all of the staff, students, faculty, docents and visitors who would usually be there with him were absent in compliance with shelter-in-place orders issued for the Bay Area. Ramos missed his Jasper Ridge community – and he realized they probably missed Jasper Ridge.

Jorge Ramos
Jorge Ramos

“I’m used to seeing these people daily, and I know they love this place,” said Ramos. “So, I wondered: In these times of social distancing, how can I cut that distance through social media?”

Taking action, Ramos sent out a tweet from the Jasper Ridge Twitter account. In it, a serene video of Searsville Reservoir accompanies an offer: If there is something that resides in Jasper Ridge that you’d like to see – animal, mineral, plant or other – send your request via Twitter and Ramos will try to provide you with a virtual view of it. (Some suggestions, if you want to get in on the action: California oaks, Anna’s hummingbirds, greenstone, bats, sticky monkey-flowers, mountain lions, serpentine, California sagebrush.)

In addition to sharing photos or videos by request, Ramos is also planning to post some unsolicited treasures, likely with some educational tidbits.

“In these times, I think it’ll be a good way to bring the outdoors to people who are staying indoors. That can be soothing,” said Ramos. “It’s also a way for us to continue to show how amazing and beautiful this place this, and to stay connected with people.”

To learn more about the research and education programs of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, visit the website.