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Recent stories

Thu, 29 Aug 2013

Professional Development Workshop for Teachers
In Summer 2013, SBC and the Math-Science-Partnership (MSP) Project, Pathways to Environmental Literacy, hosted a summer Professional Development for Teachers workshop that included 15 junior high and high school teachers from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The SBC MSP team, which included SBC researchers and students, led teachers through a 3 day workshop that included training on in-class science curriculum based on SBC LTER field study sites, data and ecological principles in the context of the project's environmental literacy strands of Biodiversity, Carbon and Water. Each day of the workshop was highlighted with a strand-focused research seminar led by SBC graduate researchers, post-docs and senior scientists.
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SBC student Lindsay Marks wins Nancy Foster Scholarship
SBC graduate student Lindsay Marks is one of three students nation-wide to be awarded NOAA's highly competetive Nancy Foster Scholarship in 2013, administered by the National Marine Sanctuaries. Marks studies the susceptibility of kelp forest communities to invasion by exotic species and the effects of marine protected areas (MPAs). She is specifically interested in Sargassum horneri, an invasive seaweed rapidly spreading throughout southern California, and her research is aligned with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The scholarship was established in honor of Dr. Nancy Foster, a pioneer in marine ecosystem-based management. The program encourages independent graduate-level research in oceanography, marine biology, and maritime archaeology
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Thu, 18 Jul 2013

Beach Crustaceans Suffering Localized Extinctions
A new study by SBC researchers David Hubbard and Jenny Dugan shows that two endemic isopods are suffering localized extinctions on beaches ascross Southern California. As indicators of beach biodiversity and essential prey for shorebirds, their disappearance suggests a threat to sand-dwelling animals across the state and around the world. Hubbard and Dugan's work reveals a trend toward extirpation that has began in 1905, and reflects the impact of development, climate change, and sea level rise. Throughout southern California, these isopods have vanished from about 60% of beaches where they were recorded 100 years ago. Barring the quick implementation of effective conservation strategies for sandy beaches, the isopods - and several other species - may be wiped out altogether (full story).
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SBC Researchers Named ESA Fellows
Two SBC investigators, Carla D'Antonio and Joshua Schimel, have been elected as fellows of the Ecological Society of America to recognize their exceptional scientific contributions. Both are professors in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and work in SBC LTER watersheds. Schimel's interests are primarily with nutrient cycling and the patterns and mechanisms affecting nutrient transport to the coastal ocean, and the processing and release of kelp-derived nitrogen in sediments of intertidal beaches. D'Antonio's lab evaluates how plant communities and soil and plant nitrogen respond to high-intensity wildfire, and incorporates both ground sampling and hyperspectral imagery.
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Thu, 20 Jun 2013

Rapid Adaptation May Protect Urchins Against Ocean Acidification
Rising CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is leading to the acidification of the ocean as the CO2 is absorbed. The purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) - recognized by its calcareous exoskeleton and spines - is an important kelp forest species. It is expected that increasing acidity will lower concentrations of calcium carbonate, and hamper urchins' ability to maintain their shells. SBC researchers Morgan Kelly, Jacqueline Padilla-Gamino and Gretchen Hofmann experimentally bred generations of urchins under high levels of CO2. They found that some animals had developed a tolerance for higher CO2 levels, and that this trait was passed on to their offspring, indicating that evolution may be able to mitigate some of the effects of a more acidic ocean (full story).
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Wed, 01 May 2013

MCR and SBC Host a Booth at 2013 Earth Day Festival
MCR and SBC LTER scientists, graduate students, and outreach staff hosted a booth at the 2013 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 21/22 to raise public awareness about MCR and SBC LTER research activities. This year's Earth Day festival attracted 35,894 people over its two day run. Visitors to the LTER booth were able to ask questions of SBC and MCR researchers and graduate students to view informational posters, and discuss research-related issues. Lead reef tech, Shannon Harrer, and SBC undergraduate students built a virtual kelp forest in which students acted as 'dive buddies' for children who toured the forest and collected data. For more information about Santa Barbara Earth Day 2013, visit
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Third California LTER Graduate Student Symposium at UCSB
In March 2013, CCE LTER hosted the 3rd bi-annual graduate student symposium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla to promote collegial exchange of research results among the southern California LTER sites (SBC, MCR, and CCE). The participants are students at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge, and are researching marine ecosystems in the Antarctic, French Polynesia and southern California. The symposium's format allowed for both oral and poster presentations, and also allowed students to begin developing their future collaborations. Presenters posed topics for further collaboration and/or in areas where they would benefit from additional expertise. Accompanying this was discussion specifically on enhancing collaboration and interaction among the marine LTER sites. These three LTER sites plan to continue their regular graduate symposium. Contact your site's graduate student representative for more information.
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