The Norris papers provide a solid picture of the early administration of the University of California Natural Land and Water
Reserve System (NLWRS) and its growth and development into the UC Natural Reserve System (NRS). Many of the files are concerned
with the role of the UC campuses within the system and the creation of a system wide academic plan as well as campus academic
plans. Notable documents include the 1978 Academic Plan, a report by Kenneth Norris called
The Importance of the Natural Reserve System to the University of California, and files on the 1989 MOU signed by the Interagency Natural Areas Coordinating Committee on ways to identify and manage California’s
natural areas. Other notable documents include the 1991
Final Report of the Natural Reserve Steering Committee on Long-Range Planning that reflects the current administrative structure, staffing, and roles of the system wide and campus offices.
Robert M. Norris was Professor of Geology at UCSB from 1952 to the early 1980s and the first chair of the Department of Geology
from 1960-64. He taught physical geology, geomorphology, geology of California, and a field mapping class.