Recently I was given the opportunity to accompany a College Eight Core Course on a field trip to Fort Ord Natural Reserve, which, according to their website, “was created from 600 acres of the former army base on the Monterey Peninsula.  Fort Ord Natural Reserve gives students, scientists, and the general public a chance “to learn about rare species and habitats, land management, and conservation biology.”  The field trip gave freshman students a chance to learn about the resources UCSC has to offer and about the specific ecosystem of the Fort Ord Natural Reserve.  Personally, the field trip gave me the chance to see new UCSC students grow closer to one another and bond over an experience unique to their class.  It was inspiring, especially in today’s technology-driven world, to see them do some hands-on work and come out smiling at the end of the day.