Norris's conception of the NRS was also closely aligned with his pedagogy, as he believed that protected natural reserves were essential for outdoor education. Many of the scheduled trips in the Natural History Field Quarters were to various sites in the reserve system itself. Not only did the Field Quarters make use of the NRS, but students from the Field Quarter classes directly helped with survey work for the NRS. Along with Norris and Stephen Gliessman, members from the 1985 Field Quarter surveyed Northeast California for potential reserve sites, and members from the 1986 Field Quarter assessed the potential inclusion of the Northern California Coast Range Reserve within the NRS. Such intersections between the Field Quarter and the NRS show how Norris's teaching and work were part of a larger vision wherein environmental conservation and pedagogy mutually informed each other.