Hiking near Davis

Now that spring is here, hiking enthusiasts are becoming antsy in lecture halls and laboratories everywhere. The perfect weather, the birds, bugs, and scents of trees in full bloom around campus all signal us to go explore the great outdoors …but where? Davis is located in the dull expanse of the central valley amidst countless acres of agricultural land – which leaves very few decent locations to hike in. Nevertheless, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and over my last three years at Davis I have tried to find the best local hikes. There aren’t many, and obviously the further you are willing to travel, the more variety in hiking you can find – but in this blog I will highlight my experiences with the closest hiking spots around Davis.

Putah Creek Riparian Reserve

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The Arboretum is often recommended as the best, closest place for a relaxing nature walk around UC Davis. It is undeniably the closest, essentially located on campus itself, and it is a great place for a relaxing stroll, but not much else. The arboretum is a relatively short loop of paved trails around a pond that used to be the north fork of Putah Creek. The plant collections are beautiful, but it is heavily landscaped with little resemblance to native riparian wilderness. A lesser known hiking option is South Putah Riparian Reserve, which is just a mile south on Old Davis Road from the arboretum. Unlike the arboretum, South Putah is a fully connected creek maintained in its natural state for research and teaching purposes, and with hiking trails all along. South Putah is full of wildlife to see- my favorite sightings have been river otters, foxes, and California kingsnakes. The creek is large enough for swimming and is frequently fished.

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

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Another local Davis hiking destination is the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. The Bypass is a huge, 16,600-acre stretch of wetlands located just East of Davis, accessible via I-80 and various Yolo County country roads. The Bypass is flat but its wetlands foster incredible biodiversity, especially migratory birds. For the birdwatchers of Davis, this spot is perfect!

Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area

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Another riparian nature reserve near Davis is the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area. Like South Putah and the Yolo Bypass, Fremont Weir is a mix of grasslands, sparse oak forests, and wetlands. This State Wildlife Area is located on the Sacramento River, but otherwise the scenery is similar to both previously mentioned nature reserves. It is a pretty location, but I felt as though it was not worth the hassle of getting out there when South Putah is so conveniently nearby.

Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve

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A personal favorite hiking destination of mine is Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve. Stebbins is a UC Davis reserve on the far south tip of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National monument, a 330,000-acre piece of land declared a national monument in 2015 by President Obama. In the same year, Stebbins was burned extensively by a wildfire, and has been a hot spot (no pun intended) of fire ecology research and teaching since then. Stebbins’ trails actually start along Putah creek, but much further upstream than the arboretum – not very far from where Putah creek exits Lake Berryessa. Sequestered in the canyons of the Mayacamas Mountains, Stebbins’ trails can be steep and cover a lot of elevation changes, which is a nice break from the uniformity of Yolo County. Reaching the top of the ridgeline on the Blue Ridge trail leaves you with a breathtaking view of Lake Berryessa, the surrounding Mayacamas, as well as Yolo County. The enormous size of the wilderness contiguous to Stebbins means that it can support a wide variety of wildlife. Although I haven’t spent enough time there to find much more than newts, skinks, and raptors, Stebbins is reportedly home to black bears, ringtails, and bald eagles.

This is not an exhaustive list of hikes near Davis – just some close spots that I have enjoyed hiking myself. Hopefully in my last year I will discover more fun hiking destinations and get the opportunity to update this blog post. I also hope that in writing this, I have inspired some of you readers to go out and explore!

Justin Waskowiak
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd Year, Genetics and Genomics major

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8 Fun Things to Do in Spring Quarter

As soon as spring quarter starts, you can immediately tell that it is very different than winter quarter. Campus seems to be filled with twice as many people (and ducks and squirrels), the winter blues are gone, and everyone seems to be in a better mood. This fresh sense of excitement is peaked by all of the events that are happening around campus. But with so much going on, it can be easy to miss out on some of the fun events, so here’s a list of 8 fun things (1 for each week left in the quarter) you simply must do before the start of summer.

 

Week 3 (4/21): PICNIC DAY!

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Whether you’re living on or off campus, you won’t be able to miss all the picnic day activities. Just a few of the fun events are the parade, the Doxie Derby, the chemistry show, and Davis Dance Revolution. For a comprehensive list of ALL the many things you can do on picnic day, check out this link: https://picnicday.ucdavis.edu/calendar/ On this website, you can also download the picnic day app so you can stay up to date with all the goings-on.

Week 4 and 6 (4/23 & 5/7): Go to a campus concert

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This spring, we have three exciting musical artists coming to our very own UC Davis. On April 23rd, alt-J and Borns are coming to Freeborn Hall to perform and on May 7th, Khalid will be stopping by the UC Davis ARC Pavilion on his “The Roxy Tour.” Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see these iconic artists.

Week 5 (4/29): Run in the Stride for Aggie Pride 5k

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The Stride for Aggie Pride 5k begins at 9am on Sunday 4/29 at the Memorial Union. It is a great way to improve your physical fitness and it benefits the ASUCD Awards Endowment and We Are Aggie Pride which both aim to support student’s holistic health.

 

Week 7 (5/19): Eat at the Street Food Rodeo

Head out to West Davis from 5-9pm on 5/19 for an event completely dedicated to food. (My favorite kind of event.) Admission to the Rodeo is free, but you certainly will spend some money getting amazing food from the 13 different food trucks. There also will be live music and a beer garden (if you are of age).

 

 

 

Week 8 (5/23 or 5/26): Hang out at the Farmer’s Market

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Stop by the Davis Farmer’s Market from 8am-1pm Saturdays or from 4:30pm-sunset Wednesdays. Bring a blanket and you can picnic in the grass while eating some of the market’s delicious foods and listening to the fun live music.

 

 

Week 9 (5/29-6/1): Snag a hammock in the quad

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As I’m sure most of you know, this is harder than it sounds. I recommend waiting nearby the hammocks right before peak class times like at 11:50, 12:50, and 1:50 to see if you can swoop in and grab one from a student leaving for class. Once you have secured your hammock, pull out a book or take a nap in the sun and be sure to post your hammock success to your Instagram story.

Week 10 (6/4-6/8): Go on a walk in the arboretum

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The flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and the green algae covering the water is almost all gone! At this point, the finals’ study crunch is in full swing and there’s no better place than the arboretum to take a quick study break.

 

Hope you enjoy this list of spring events and activities!

Katie Galsterer
4th Year Biopsychology Major
BASC Peer Advisor

Campus Food

Boasting the largest of the UC campuses, one would think that UCD would be hard-pressed to provide adequate dining opportunities for its ever-expanding population and across its sprawling campus. Yet, as I will highlight in this article, UCD has many excellent dining choices, whether you are looking for a full meal, a quick snack between lectures, or a cup of coffee before your morning lab.

Residence Hall Dining Commons

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This is the most familiar dining option for students who lived in the residence halls. The dining commons are all-you-can-eat cafeteria style buildings located in each of the three residents halls.  Each DC includes eight mini-restaurants, which each offer a couple of choices on any given day. Vegetarian and vegan options are always available. The menus change daily, and you can see the menus from each DC on the housing website. In addition to hot meals, the DC (almost) always stocks ice cream, cereal, and fruit. It has been a couple years since I have been there, but late night (~9PM-12AM) was always the most happening time at the DC, when fresh-baked cookies are available in addition to pizza and other late-night munchies.

For students without a meal plan or AggieCash: fear not! The DC accepts cash and card too.

Residential Markets

Nearby each DC is a market that offers typical convenience store snacks and drinks, in addition to smoothies, caffeinated shakes, and grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, and more. The markets also stock basic first aid, personal care, and hygiene products if you are in need of something and on campus. The residential markets’ hours vary slightly depending on the residential area, and all hours can be found on the student housing website.

The Gunrock

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Once named the Gunrock Pub, and the only place on campus to crack a cold one, “The Gunrock” is now a dry establishment, but it still has a mouth-watering menu. The Gunrock offers a sit-down restaurant environment with the convenience of being located centrally on campus in the Silo. The Gunrock accepts reservations, which is helpful for planning lunch with friends or making sure you make it to class on time.

The Silo

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In addition to The Gunrock, the Silo is home to several other restaurants. Spokes Grill offers burgers, fries, and shakes. La Crepe offers authentic French crepes, and is run by the same owner of the Crepe Bistro, a very popular restaurant downtown that closed after suffering damages in a fire. Once famous for its french onion soup as well as crepes, Davis localwiki describes La Crepe as a “small rendition of what the Crepe Bistro used to be, minus the soup”. The Silo also houses a Peet’s coffee, and a selection of grab-n-go meals.

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As all UCD students know, the construction and renovations on campus seem never-ending, but sometimes they result in new eateries that open under the radar of most of us. Most recently, the Silo Market opened, featuring a new made-to-order pizza place and a sandwich deli. The Silo Market otherwise is similar to the residential markets, offering soft drinks, candy, and snacks, although with more variety.

ASUCD Coffee House

Located on the North quad, the Coffee House is one of the most popular eating spaces on campus. It has a selection of student-staffed restaurants, including pizza, TexMex, bagels, sandwiches, and more. Of course coffee and baked goods are available.

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In addition to the eponymous Coffee House, there are places to get coffee all over campus. There are Peet’s in the Silo, the ARC, and outside King Hall. My favorite coffee stop on campus, however, is Bio Brew. Bio Brew is located on the 1st floor in the Science Laboratory Building, just inside on the North side. Just next door, you will find BASC! Stop by and say hello to a peer advisor!

Scrubs cafe

If you find yourself hungry but you are all the way in the Health Sciences district, there is no need to walk 40 miles to the Silo for a sandwich. The Scrubs cafe is conveniently located on Garrod drive next to Vet Med Student Services, and serves coffee, breakfast, and lunch items.

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Food Trucks

UC Davis is visited daily by a caravan of food trucks of different styles, which take up residence at various spots around campus. The most food trucks can be found lined up outside the Silo next to the Bike Barn. Other locations are between Science Lab Building and Storer Hall, outside the Mondavi center, and by Medical Sciences in the Health Science district. Shah’s Halal is a campus favorite, but I suggest trying them all. My personal favorite are the fish tacos from Azteca Street Tacos. Food truck schedules and locations can be found online.

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Hopefully you are hungry now after reading this. Go out and try some new UCD cuisine!

Justin Waskowiak
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd Year: Evolution, Ecology, & Biodiversity major

Exploring UC Davis’ Fitness Resources

As busy college students, it is easy to forget to self-care and maintain our physical health. However, as finals approach, it’s particularly important to take time to de-stress and relax. I have personally found that an excellent way to do this is by sticking with a general rule- exercise in any form, 4 times a week and in 30 minute increments.

Here are several great exercise resources to consider as a UC Davis student:

The UC Davis ARC

The indoor track, weight room and huge collection of exercise machines can give you the perfect workout at no extra cost during the school year. However, during the summer, you must be a registered in summer courses or else there is an extra fee. Jogging, strength training, heavy lifting, circuit training- these are all fantastic ways to stay in shape!

If you are new to the gym, the ARC provides personal trainers who can help you set long-term goals and learn how to safely use the huge collection of weights and machines in the building. Other facilities, such as the swimming pools and rock climbing walls, are also available.

Group exercise classes are also a great way to learn a new workout routine under supervised instruction. Available classes range from cycling to Zumba.

If you already enjoy playing a sport, Intramurals (IMs) are a fun way to meet people and team up for playing with friendly competition. Sports offered include basketball, flag football, volleyball, kickball, pickleball, soccer, softball, tennis, ultimate frisbee and even Quidditch. If you do not have a ready formed team,  you are still welcome to register for IMs as a free agent. More information on personal training, group exercises classes and intramurals can be found at the CRU website.

https://cru.ucdavis.edu/content/1-activities-and-recreation-center-arc.htm

PE Classes

The UC Davis Department of Physical Education provides a huge range of PE classes every quarter that are open to all undergraduate students. Classes are usually offered for 0.5 units, and meet for 2 hours every week. UCD students are allowed to take up to 6 units of PE classes for credit in their academic career (more classes may be taken beyond 6 units, but students will not receive credit for these classes). A huge variety of sports at every level is available, and the instruction is excellent because many classes are taught by seasoned trainers or university athletic coaches.  Courses include kickboxing, rock-climbing, volleyball and weight-training, just to name a few.

http://pe.ucdavis.edu/classes

CRU Outdoor Adventures

Particularly popular for summer adventures with friends, the CRU Outdoor Adventures center offers exciting ways to be active through white river rafting, hiking and camping trips in beautiful natural areas around California. More information can be found here:

https://cru.ucdavis.edu/outdooradventures

Although taking time away from work or study may seem counterintuitive, this strategy actually optimizes performance because exercise hugely boosts energy levels and concentration. Exercising regularly not only benefits your general well-being, but also greatly increases your studying productivity.

Take time out of your schedule to have fun and energize!

Janis Kim
4th Year Biological Sciences Major
BASC Peer Adviser

Deals, Deals, Deals! – Ways to Save Money as a College Student

Everyone knows college can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be expensive! Here is a list of tips and tricks that many UC Davis students use to save money on food, clothes, textbooks, recreation, and more!

  1. UC Davis Textbook Exchange and Textbook Marketplace on Facebook
    Don’t pay full price for textbooks! Buy your textbooks from other students at a huge discounted price. Add your UC Davis email to your Facebook account to join the Davis Community. Once you join the Davis Community, you will have access to both textbook exchange groups listed above. Buy, sell, or rent books and save!
  2. Pocket Points
    Pocket Points is an awesome FREE app that rewards students for not using their phones during class. Simply open the app on campus, lock your phone, and start gaining points. It’s that simple!
    Points can be redeemed for discounts/coupons at many local businesses in Davis including: Plutos, Dot Island Grill, CREAM, Jamba Juice, Wingstop, and more!
          
  3. UNiDAYS
    It’s a no-brainer. FREE to join and easy to use, UNiDAYS gives you access to the best student discount online and in-store with all the leading brands and retailers. Sign up for a free account with your UCD email and obtain coupon codes at your favorite stores like: Urban Outfitters, Express, Forever21, etc.
  4. Fruit and Veggie Up!
    This UC Davis program provides students with FREE fresh produce. Two locations for your convenience: Student Health and Wellness Center and The Pantry located at Lower Freeborn.
    *Produce will be given out on a first come first serve basis. This program is made possible by donations from UC Davis Student Farms and Nugget Markets.

    Image may contain: textA) The ASUCD Pantry
    Located in the basement of Freeborn Hall, The Pantry was established to help students offset the expensive costs of college by providing free meals and personal items. The Pantry also carries fresh produce donated by the UC Davis Student Farm in the Fresh Focus Program!
    All students are eligible with an Aggie ID Card. Check the Pantry’s Facebook page for updated dates and times and more information.B) Student Health and Wellness Center
    The SHWC distributes free fresh produce and peer to peer nutrition tips. They also have fun cooking demonstrations and food budget tips:
                                                                  Tuesdays & Wednesdays
                                                    March 1st – April 2nd, 2017: 2-3:30PM
                                   New Times Beginning April 4th, 2017:  11AM-12:30PM)
  5. CalFresh
    Have questions about Image may contain: foodCalFresh? Come stop by the CalFresh table to speak with a CalFresh rep. Many students qualify for CalFresh, a program that can assist with money to buy groceries monthly, by being granted financial aid or working over 20 hours a week. For more information, be sure to speak with the CalFresh rep while at Fruit and Veggie Up!

Although I’ve only listed 5 tips above, there are many other resources online and on campus to help students save time and money. Try these out and let us know what other things you do to save those extra dollars!

Victoria Nugent
4th year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
Sociology Minor
BASC Peer Advisor

Pumpkin Spice Is Not All That’s Nice in Davis

Fall is hands down the best time of the year. Mostly because my birthday is in the fall, but also because it means we have all finally escaped the infamous “Davis summer.” BeforeImage result for pumpkin patch davis long, it’ll be winter and we all know that once the California snow comes in, we’d rather just stay huddled up in bed. So take advantage of your newfound freedom to actually go outside without melting or freezing. Fortunately, the Davis area is full of classic fall activities to help you distress after midterms and keep a healthy mind throughout the stressful quarter. After all, the great outdoors is the perfect place to relax and be around friends.

 

UC Davis Arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum is one of the most beautiful spots on campus and a great place to unwind all year. During the fall, you can see the leaves change colors, making it the perfect place for a stroll or picnic.  The Arboretum is right on campus and is the most convenient way to get into the fall Image result for uc davis arboretum photosspirit. Besides the scenery, there are also Fall Plant Sales going on in the Arboretum (Saturday, October 22 and November 5) where you can find seasonal and local plants to brighten up your home. Be sure to stop by between classes, or make a day out of it! It might even be your lucky day and you’ll see that elusive river otter.

Corn Maze

Challenge yourself and your friends to a Guinness World Record corn maze. Cool Patch Pumpkins is located in Dixon, less than 6 miles away from campus. If you have gone before, no worries! The maze design is changed every year. If you haven’t, get ready for 43 acres of corn. Before you panic, there is an intermediate path and an advanced path to choose from. Although Cool Patch Pumpkins is open throughout the day, the most popular time to go is at night to up the thrill level, but be forewarned: the maze gets very crowded at night and it is recommended to bring a flashlight. (I went a little earlier in the afternoon and preferred it more, though, since my group essentially had the entire maze to ourselves. Tradeoffs, you know?)

Pumpkin Patch

Of course, it’s not fall without Halloween, and it’s not Halloween without pumpkins. Don’t settle for Safeway pumpkins! Treat yo’ self to fresh pumpkins at the many pumpkin patches around Davis. These include Impossible Acres Farm in Davis, Bobby Dazzler’s Pumpkin Patch in between Davis and Woodland, Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, and Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch in Sacramento. For anyone without a car, Impossible Acres Farm is not an impossible patch to get to and is a bike-able 3 miles away from campus, and Bobby Dazzler’s is just a little farther than that. Cool Patch Pumpkins is a good two-birds-one-stone patch to also experience the world record corn maze. Uncle Ray’s may be worth the drive to Sacramento for its free admission, hay rides, and corn maze (sadly, the pumpkins aren’t also free). There is a pumpkin patch for every need so don’t miss out!

Apple Hill

Spend a day with the pumpkin’s biggest fall-time rival: the apple. Apple Hill is filled with orchards, farms, and all sorts of activities. Whether it is eating fresh apple cider donuts at Rainbow Orchards or eating every other apple variety you can think of and more (apple tasting, wine tasting, juice, cider, pies, jams, syrups, etc.) at Boa Vista, you will have all your college student food cravings satisfied. And yes, you can pick and eat your own apples! For a more active day, Sly Park and Jenkinson Lake offers a picnic area, hiking/bike trails, kayak rentals, and camp grounds. Although Apple Hill is an hour away, there is more than enough to do to occupy you for an entire day or weekend.

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A big part of making yourself feel at home in Davis is exploring its surroundings. Before long, you’ll basically be a local. I finally felt like a real UC Davis student when I began to experience things outside of school and was able to recommend activities and places to visiting friends and family. Being happy and comfortable in Davis is important to your mental health and success at UC Davis. Start the school year off strong and make the most of everything our community has to offer. Good luck, and have fun!

Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Adviser
Third Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major

 

Getting Enough Fresh Air During Winter Quarter

A new quarter is now upon us! I usually picture Winter quarter as full of rain, cold wind, and long days spent indoors. In Davis however, this is not always the case. It is not uncommon for many weekends in February and March to be warm and sunny, enticing many of us to begin spending more time outside. There are many notable benefits to spending time in the outdoors. These benefits include helping you relax by decreasing heart rate and blood pressure, strengthening your immune system, cleaning your lungs, and even increasing your energy for a sharper mind. Here are some of my favorite activities to ensure I am getting enough fresh air:

Outdoor Time Makes You a Better Person

1. Bike

This is easy to do in a place like Davis. There are so many biking trails and most roads have a big enough bike lane in order to bike in safely. This makes it easy to bike from place to place to run errands, giving us a great opportunity to breathe in fresh air and increase blood flow without having to go out of our way. Although it may be cold during the winter, don’t be afraid to bike! Just grab some gloves or a beanie and you’ll be be able to keep warm while biking.

2. Study outside

This can be as simple as choosing a table outside rather than inside at the MU or Silo. I also like to bring my books to campus on weekends and sit at the tables outside the Student Community Center to study. The campus, as well as downtown Davis, have so many opportunities to choose outdoor seating when the weather permits. This is a great way to get some studying in and be surrounded by a peaceful setting at the same time. If the sun is out, studying outside can also increase your Vitamin D levels. Increasing Vitamin D levels is important because your body must have Vitamin D to absorb calcium and support bone growth.

3. Exercise

As we all know, exercising has tons of great benefits. If many of you are like me, your New Years resolution includes exercising more! Reading about the benefits of exercise may motivate you to fulfill your resolution and exercise more. The Student Health and Counseling Services describes the benefits of exercise in detail.  Exercising at the ARC is one of the most popular ways students get in their daily work out, so if it’s too cold to be outside I would recommend taking a run on the track or even signing up for some group classes, which can be done through their website.

4.  Play a sport

Playing basketball at Dairy courts is one of my favorite ways to relax. During winter quarter it’s a great option because it is usually less crowded than the basketball courts at the ARC. The court lights stay on late, usually 1am, so if you want to get out for a quick breath of fresh air you have the option of doing so late at night. Hutchison field, located right next to Dairy courts, is a great spot to kick around a soccer ball, play flag football, and/or baseball. If it’s warm enough, I sometimes like to just lay on the grass and stare at the clouds. Going out to either of these facilities always makes me feel rejuvenated and ready to hit the books!

5. Explore the Outdoors

The Arboretum is a great place to immerse yourself in nature. Located right on campus, it’s easy to take a break between classes and take a walk or run. There are a couple different areas of the Arboretum with different groves and trails, and they are all detailed on the new campus map, under “Places of Interest.” where you can I often go to the arboretum to read the plaques about the different types of trees and flowers, it’s relaxing and keeps me knowledgeable on our California native plants!

If you have good time management skills, the UC Davis Outdoor Adventures program has some great weekend events planned this quarter to help bring out the adventurer in you! Since Davis is so close to many great parks and recreational facilities these adventures are great for exploring. For example, the program offers an Intro to Cross Country Skiing trip to Tahoe, a Tomales Bay Tour in Pt. Reyes, and Yosemite Car Camping.

Remember that your first priority is school, but making sure you get some time outdoors this Winter Quarter will be very beneficial to your health!

Have fun!

Zoe Lim

Biological Sciences

BASC Peer Adviser