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The Vernal Pool is UC Merced’s undergraduate creative arts journal.

UC Merced’s creative arts journal was first established in Fall 2014 by teaching professor Paul Gibbons, who wanted to create a space for students to be able to express their creativity in a more professional environment. Thus, The Vernal Pool was born and the UC Merced campus gained its second official university publication.

Originally a faculty-run journal, The Vernal Pool journal has been publishing student works every semester and curating new issues for the UC Merced community. Following the creation of an associated course for students to enroll in, The Vernal Pool became a student-run publication and it continues to be today.

The Vernal Pool celebrated the release of its first print edition in Fall 2022, offering all published student authors a copy free of charge. Thanks to the cooperation of the Associated Students of UC Merced (ASUCM), The Vernal Pool is able to continue offering printed copies of the journal to all student authors.


The Vernal Pool provides a curated expressive space for the undergraduate student body to publish new original work in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, visual arts, audio, and video. As the primary venue for publishing creative works at UC Merced, The Vernal Pool works to represent the diversity and innovation of the Bobcat community and provide a platform for aspiring artists to be seen and heard. 

Our Team

The journal’s editorial board is divided into two teams— communications and editorial flows— with the managing editors and Editor-in-Chief at the helm of the operation. Though each member of the team has a unique role, the entire editorial board reviews submissions and votes on acceptances for the publication. Visit our Join the Team page to see how you can join The Vernal Pool!

Communications Team

The communications team is composed of the Public Relations Manager, Events Coordinator, and Social Media Manager. Together they handle all communications from the journal and host events and tabling to connect with the campus community.

Editorial Flows Team

The editorial flows team is composed of the Web Manager, Copyeditors, Podcast Director, and Graphic Designer. This team creates and reviews all the content coming out of the journal and ensures that our work is of the highest caliber.