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Recent stories

Thu, 01 Dec 2011

SBC website adds LTER-projectDB, Phase I
IProjectDB is a cross-site collaborative project of LTER information managers to create software tools to track and catalog research projects, providing the potential to document research and to present inkages between descriptions and related material such as for personnel, data or publications. For SBC, phase I included a) descriptions of broad research themes stored in SBC-Metacat and exported as lter-project XML, and b) browsing using SBC keywords groups for "Habitat" and "Core Research Area" in a manner similar to that used by the SBC data catalog. Connections to related data were accomplished by duplicating queries to appropriate SBC data collections. In future phases, SBC projectDB will incorporate descriptions of specific activities, such as sampling campaigns and student projects. We will also plan linkages from each activity to related research themes. A description of the project can be found in the LTER Information Managers Committee Newsletter "Databits", Fall 2011 issue.
path: /info_management | permanent link to this entry

Tue, 18 Oct 2011

Hopping with Life: New Beach Wrack Brochures
Working closely with SBC investigator Jenny Dugan, California Sea Grant has produced new regional brochures on the role of kelp wrack in beach ecosystems and the environmental impacts of beach grooming. These 5 educational brochures feature each of the coastal counties of southern California (Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego) giving examples of ungroomed and groomed beaches for each region. The brochures are available as pdfs for download from SBC's outreach pages and at California Sea Grant.
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From the Ground Up - Professional Development Workshop
In Summer 2011, SBC and the Math Science Partnership program hosted "From the Ground Up," a summer Professional Development for Teachers workshop that included 22 new junior high and high school teachers from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties from five different school districts. The SBC MSP team, which also included a researcher from the Colorado SGS MSP team, led teachers through a week-long workshop that included training on curricula associated with the project's environmental literacy strands of Biodiversity, Carbon and Water, as well as a theme-based Citizenship activity. Workshop participants also took a guided tour of an SBC watershed. Each day of the workshop was highlighted with a strand-focused research seminar led by SBC graduate researchers, post-docs and senior scientists.
path: /education | permanent link to this entry

International LTER Meeting
SBC investigator Mark Page, traveled to Japan to represent the LTER network and SBC at the Annual ILTER meeting held at Hokkaido University, Sapporo in September 2011. Mark presented two talks, one on climate change at coastal LTER sites and a second about tracking nitrogen from terrestrial and marine sources in nearshore SBC ecoystems at the meeting. More information on the meeting can be found at ILTER.
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Mon, 26 Sep 2011

Annual LTER IMC meeting hosted in Santa Barbara
During late September 2011 the LTER Information Managers Committee (IMC) gathered in Santa Barbara for their annual meeting and the 2011 Environmental Information Management Conference (EIMC). The EIMC is co-hosted by LTER as a mechanism to share knowledge among information management practitioners from many agencies and research groups. A variety of topics - both LTER-specific and general - were featured through a mixed venue of workshops, oral presentations, demonstrations and posters. Local information managers Margaret O'Brien (SBC) and M. Gastil-Buhl (MCR) acted as hosts for their colleagues. The group also toured SBC's local features, including the MSI REEF facility and coastal bluffs, views of watersheds, the channel and islands, and a visit to one of SBC's permanent beach sampling sites where they met beach ecologist, Jenny Dugan. More information about the meetings can be found at the LTER IMC Website.
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Tue, 24 May 2011

SBC Investigator, John Melack, named AAAS Fellow.
SBC Co-PI John Melack has been elected a 2011 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to recognize his exceptional scientific contributions. Melack, professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, and in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management said: "Besides being a personal honor, my selection as an AGU Fellow reflects well on the interdisciplinary research environment at UCSB, which encouraged my studies combining ecology, biogeochemistry, hydrology and remote sensing in lakes and wetlands in many parts of the world." Fellows are nominated by AGU members, then reviewed by Section committees and elected by a Committee of Fellows. This honor is bestowed on no more than 0.1% of the membership in any given year. For more information on his research, see John's website.
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SBC uses satellite data to track influences on giant kelp
By combining marine ecology and satellite mapping, SBC LTER graduate student Kyle Cavenaugh and scientists Dave Siegel and Dan Reed have tracked the dynamics of giant kelp in the Santa Barbara Channel from 1984 through 2010 at approximately six-week intervals using Landsat imagery, which recently became available to the public at no charge. Giant kelp is particularly sensitive to changes in climate that alter wave and nutrient conditions, and Cavanaugh explained that, thanks to the satellite images, his team was able to see how the biomass of giant kelp fluctuates within and among years at a regional level for the first time. Satellite data were augmented by kelp biomass and abundance records collected by the SBC LTER project. The group found that the dynamics of giant kelp growing in exposed areas of the Santa Barbara Channel were largely controlled by the occurrence of large wave events, while kelp growing in protected areas was most limited by periods of low nutrients.
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Thu, 14 Apr 2011

Users monitor tsunami with SBC website
Our oceanographic instruments deployed at Stearns Wharf were on hand to record the effects of the tsunami wave that swept across the Pacific Ocean following a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan on Saturday, March 12, 2011. In cooperation with PISCO and SCCOOS, we regularly record seawater temperature, salinity, and sea-level height (reported as tide height), and data are available in near real-time. As with the Chilean earthquake last year, there was evidence of tsunami waves on our instruments. In the figure below, the tsunami signal appears to start at approximately the low-tide, about 9am. The traffic on our website was also notable; traffic to the Stearns Wharf site was up more than 25-fold on Friday (the first day of the tsunami). The wave appears to have echoed in the channel for several days. And clearly, many users were curious about the behavior of the wave as it dissapated, and visited the site often during the next week. As long as the tsunami was evident, traffic to our website increased 10-20 times over normal rates.
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Wed, 13 Apr 2011

SBC work on coastal storms featured in climate news
A recent paper published in the journal Global Change Biology by SBC LTER researchers (Byrnes, et al 2011) combined data from long-term observations and experiments to show that waves and the frequency of coastal storms play an important role in structuring kelp forest communities. Two climate-focused news web sites have quoted this work in recent articles. Skeptical Science (Bruno, 2011) featured the research by Byrnes et al. as an example of a novel study of how observed increases in the frequency and intensity of storms affect coastal ecosystems, while an article at (Bagley, 2011) used the research by Byrnes and colleagues to describe how projected changes in climate might alter carbon storage in coastal marine ecosystems.
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Tue, 01 Mar 2011

Second California LTER Graduate Student Symposium at UCSB
Graduate students from SBC, MCR and CCE met in February 2011 at the Marine Science Institute of UCSB for the second California LTER Graduate Student Symposium. The first event was held in 2009 at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. This year's event, hosted by the SBC and MCR LTERs, was organized jointly by student representatives Kyle Cavanaugh (SBC) and Sammie Davis (MCR). Student participants represented the University of California campuses at Santa Barbara and San Diego, (UCSB, UCSD) and the California State University at Northridge (CSUN). This all-day event featured more than 20 presentations of student research in talks and posters. Topics ranged from consquences of urban runoff for shore communities, chemical and microbial processes, population responses to resource limitations and predation, and the relationships between physical forcing and ecosystem structure. Oral presentations were recorded and can be viewed at the SBC web site, through the education page (
path: /education | permanent link to this entry