Weekend in Merced

We just (April 20, 2019) returned from a couple of days in California’s Central Valley, mostly in and around Merced, home of the newest branch of the University of California.

UC Merced

UC Merced

UC Merced

We took a long walk around the university, which is in the midst of a big expansion. It was established in 2005 and original plans called for the expansion to occur much earlier, but the recession of 2008 curtailed a lot of the early work. Having graduated from one of the older UC branches (UCLA) ourselves, we especially enjoyed seeing a modern version establishing its own traditions. The school of engineering already has an excellent reputation, and they are expanding into a number of popular new fields, including cognitive science. If it were possible it would be tempting…

Description of an undergraduate engineering project
Description of an undergraduate engineering project

UC Merced

UC Merced

UC Merced

We also visited the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, which was a disappointment: since we had a wetter than usual winter and spring we expected to see lots of water birds, but there was only a little water and very few birds. The tule elk were hiding, too.

More enjoyable was the Merced Historical Museum and a short walk around the downtown area.

Museum in Merced
Museum in Merced

Surprising to us was how little the university and town seem to interact; our research on the web seems to indicate that the students are a rather serious lot and many stick around campus for their weekend fun. Parents, take note!

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