The Partnership For Interdisciplinary Studies Of Coastal Oceans (PISCO)

PISCO is a large-scale marine science research program funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation that focuses on understanding the nearshore ecosystems of the U.S. West Coast. Representing a collaboration of scientists from four universities (including UCSB), the interdisciplinary research ranges from long-term monitoring of ecological and oceanographic processes at dozens of coastal sites to experimental work in the lab and field to explore how individual organisms and populations are affected by environmental change. PISCO research at UCSB (PIs Gaines and Warner) is tightly linked with the Santa Barbara LTER and there is considerable sharing of resources and data in areas of physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, and informatics.

Plumes and Blooms (P&B)

NASA funds a long-term study at UCSB called "Plumes and Blooms" that has investigated marine plankton blooms associated with runoff since 1996. The goal of this project (awarded to Siegel, Brzezinski, Mertes, and Washburn) is to develop new satellite ocean color algorithms to use in coastal waters influenced by terrigenous materials (sediments, dissolved organic materials, etc.). In situ optical quantities and in-water constituents are collected every two weeks on a 7-stations transect crossing the Santa Barbara Channel and then related to simultaneous ocean color images from the MODIS (and SeaWiFS) satellite sensors.


CALobster (Collaborative Lobster and Fishery Research Project) advances research and education partnerships between fishermen, scientists, resource agencies and environmental groups dedicated to generating democratic forms of resource management.

U.S. Dept of Interior - Minerals Management Service (MMS)

Minerals Management Service funds a large study of ocean circulation in the Santa Barbara Channel region. The program is run through Scripps Institution of Oceanography and includes extensive arrays of moorings to measure and ultimately model ocean swells and circulation in this (CDIP-SIO) region.

U.S. Dept. of Interior - National Park Service (NPS)

Since 1982, Channel Islands National Park has collected data annually on the abundance of a wide variety of species that inhabit intertidal reefs and kelp forests at a multitude of sites on the five northern Channel Islands. These data have proved extremely valuable in evaluating the response of nearshore reef communities to large disturbances (e.g. El NiÑo) that have occurred in the last 20 years. SBC has adopted sampling protocols similar to those used by NPS to examine long-term changes in reef populations near the mainland coast. When used in combination, NPS and SBC data provide large spatial resolution for evaluating changes in reef communities that may occur in the future. This collaboration is important because it provides NPS with important information on the physical and biological oceanography of the Santa Barbara Channel, which otherwise would not be available to them. That information is used to help NPS manage and protect the unique and valuable resources of the Channel Islands.

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS)

A major goal of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is to direct research and monitoring programs that will yield a body of information that can be used to evaluate existing management practices and provide improved understanding for future management decisions. CINMS has provided ship time and staff expertise to UCSB's Plumes and Blooms project and has offered similar support to the SBC LTER. CINMS has been an enthusiastic supporter of SBC because information generated by SBC will assist them in their efforts to manage and protect the Sanctuary. CINMS is currently considering expanding its boundaries to include much of the mainland coast in the Santa Barbara Channel and has been active in statewide efforts to establish marine reserves. Both of these activities could greatly influence the level of protection afforded to marine habitats in the SBC LTER. Six SBC investigators served on a science advisory panel to CINMS to develop a plan to create marine protected areas.

The Santa Barbara Land Trust (SBLT)

The Santa Barbara Land Trust has purchased the lower half of the Arroyo Hondo catchment, a parcel owned for generations by a couple of families and only slightly altered; the upper portion is administered by the US Forest Service as natural watershed. As part of a Bren School's Masters of Environmental Science and Management thesis project, we are developing a natural resources management plan for the Land Trust. Further, the catchment is one of our intensive sites, and we will continue to provide useful information to the Land Trust as they protect and manage the property.

Santa Barbara Channel Keeper (SBCK)

The Santa Barbara Channel Keeper conduct monthly collections along the Ventura River. We participate in this field work and complement their in situ measurements with high quality nutrient chemistry.

City of Santa Barbara (CSB)

The City of Santa Barbara obtained special funding through a voter-approved tax increase to reduce polluted runoff that has resulted in beach closures. Two of our intensively studied catchments (Mission and Arroyo Burro) are within the City, and we interact with City staff to help them plan restoration efforts.

Santa Barbara County Project Clean Water (SBCPCW)

Santa Barbara County's Project Clean Water is engaged in sampling local creeks during the initial rise of the hydrograph and measuring a suite of pollutants including metals, pesticides and herbicides. Our intensive sampling of nutrients and particulates during the whole hydrograph for most storms complements the County's effort and we share our data and interpretations. To further communication with Project Clean Water, we attend their monthly stakeholder meetings and give public presentations of our results in that forum.

Friends of the Santa Clara River (FSCR)

Friends of the Santa Clara River (FSCR) is a non-profit, public interest organization dedicated to the protection, enhancement and management of the resources of the Santa Clara River, which flows approximately 100 miles from Acton, California to the Pacific Ocean. The Santa Clara is one of only two natural river systems remaining in Southern California, and was selected by American Rivers as one of the nation's most endangered rivers for 2005.

Surfrider Foundation (SR)

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect oceans, waves, and beaches. Founded in 1984, Surfrider Foundation's coastal environmental work is carried out by its 60 chapters.


LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program & Experiential Training for Students) is for middle school, high school, and other volunteer groups to monitor the rocky intertidal, sandy shore and offshore areas of the five west coast National Marine Sanctuaries (Olympic Coast, Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, Monterey Bay and Channel Islands).