Skip to content Skip to navigation

Facilities & Infrastructure

The Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve's 9,800 square foot research and education facility houses a research laboratory, two classrooms, a reference library, a herbarium, and staff offices. It is named for Leslie Shao-ming Sun, whose love of the local environment found a perfect home at Jasper Ridge. Leslie grew up in Palo Alto and was a Stanford alumna (’74, Human Biology). After working for a time on the East Coast, Leslie returned to California, and became an active supporter of Stanford University, including as a board member of the Stanford Associates. Leslie became a Jasper Ridge docent in 1992, and brought her curiosity, joy, generosity, and captivating smile to the programs and community at Jasper Ridge. For her docent class paper, she wrote with characteristic wonder and humor about banana slugs, closing with a comic by Gary Larson. In 1998, at age 45, Leslie died after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. In her honor, her husband, Anthony Sun, provided the naming gift for construction of the Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station.

Completed in June of 2002, the Sun Field Station was designed to minimize its environmental footprint and serve as an educational tool to demonstrate principles of sustainability and energy efficiency. In 2003, it was awarded the first Sustainable San Mateo County Green Building Award. The research laboratory contains lab benches, storage cabinets, water, a freezer, a refrigerator, a walk-in cold room, computer facilities, and basic laboratory equipment such as drying ovens and balances.

The research space also contains a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) lab that includes workstations and Trimble GPS units. The Jean Lane Environmental Education Classrooms have bench space, storage cabinets, audio/visual equipment, and a number of teaching collections and interpretive displays. The education library contains over 1000 titles and extensive photographic collections of plants, birds, and insects. Also, the publications library contains over 1000 papers and projects conducted at the preserve by students, docents, and researchers. The Oakmead Herbarium contains John Thomas' teaching collection of 5,000 to 6,000 mounted specimens, a collection of California lichens, and two compound microscopes.