Swanton Pacific Ranch

Recognized for its high biodiversity and abundant resources, the Swanton Pacific Ranch provides a valuable opportunity to study the methods of resource conservation applied through sustainable management techniques. The ranch was donated to the College in 1993 by the late Al Smith. A Cal Poly graduate and founder of Orchard Supply Hardware, Al had specific goals, "...that Swanton Pacific Ranch be maintained as a working ranch and used exclusively for agriculture, recreational, educational purposes".

This educational and research facility is owned by the Cal Poly Corporation and managed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Faculty, graduate students and undergraduates actively pursue research opportunities, utilizing the forest, range, and watershed resources within the ranch. The ranch hosts a variety of functions some of which include the production of certified natural beef, "U-pick" certified organic apples, hosting of professional meetings and workshops, and courses offered by the Department of Natural Resource Management.

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Summer Courses

The following courses are held at Swanton Pacific Ranch. Dates for Summer 2019 are coming soon.

Course Number Name Instructor Units Duration Dates
*AG S339 Internship in Agriculture Dr. Brian Dietterick 1 10 Weeks TBD
*NR S339 Internship in Forest & Natural Resources Dr. Brian Dietterick 1 10 Weeks TBD
**BIO S329 Vertebrate Field Zoology Dr. John Perrine 4 2 Weeks TBD
**ASCI S470 Sustainable Rangeland and Livestock Management Dr. Marc Horney 4 2 Weeks TBD
*NR S475 Sustainable Forestry and Environmental Practices Dr. Brian Dietterick 12 5 Weeks TBD

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Refund Policy

Withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing. Any refund amount will be calculated based on the following chart:

Time Period Refund Percentage
60 calendar or more days prior to start date 100%
59 - 30 calendar days prior to start date 75%
29 or less calendar days prior to start date 0% - NO REFUND
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Getting There and Around

Swanton Pacific Ranch overlooks the glistening Pacific Ocean, 12 miles north of Santa Cruz, near the small town of Davenport. The closest airports are San Jose International (SJC) and San Francisco International (SFO) airports; Oakland airport is also an option. Amtrak serves Santa Cruz via bus connection with the San Jose/Diridon Station. Two buses a day connect Santa Cruz with Davenport. Rental cars are available at air travel hubs as well as in Santa Cruz.

All transportation during training hours will be provided.

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Amenities and Meals

Housing and food will be provided. Participants will make their own breakfasts, and dinners and lunches will be catered; dietary restrictions can be accommodated.



housing interior

Housing Interior

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Cell Phone Coverage

Cell phone coverage at the training venue is limited to spotty reception for Verizon only. Coverage is better a very short drive away, in Davenport. WiFi is available in public meeting spaces near sleeping accommodations and in meeting rooms. There are land lines available in Swanton Pacific Ranch’s facilities.

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Regional Context

When class is not in session, participants can enjoy some of California’s most beautiful beaches, hikes in extensive local parks, or various tourist attractions, fine food and beverage, etc in Santa Cruz and Davenport.

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