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Recent stories

Mon, 03 Aug 2015

SBC LTER sites oiled by pipeline break
On May 19, 2015, a black tide of heavy oil from a broken pipeline began to come ashore at Refugio State Beach on the Santa Barbara Channel mainland. A large group of SBC investigators and students responded immediately to what became known as the Refugio oil spill, pooling their expertise and local knowledge of the SBC LTER area to help monitor the spill as it spread to many miles of coast and ocean over the next few weeks. The coastline and waters affected by the oil spill include a number of SBC's long term research sites ranging from kelp forests to sandy beaches. Working in collaboration, SBC investigators and students have been gathering and providing myriad data and observations to the state and federal agencies working to evaluate and clean up the damage from the oil spill. Although the clean up of the coastline and beaches following the Refugio spill is winding down, scientific investigation of the environmental impacts of the spill will continue for much longer. SBC's scientists are playing an important role in determining the extent of those impacts and what may be done to restore this once pristine coastline. For more information see Network News or UCSB press release.
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Tue, 10 Feb 2015

Kelp influences sandy beaches
Kelp that washes onto our local beaches provides a very important, though understudied, resource upporting food webs in sandy ecosystems. A better understanding of the relationship between kelp forests and our sandy beaches will help to manage and preserve coastal ecosystems that are important to local residents and the economies that rely upon them. A new NSF-supported project led by SBC researchers Jenny Dugan, Bob Miller and Carter Ohlmann will provide needed new insights into the dynamics of connectivity between a donor ecosystem, kelp forests, and a recipient ecosystem, sandy beaches, by measuring intertidal community structure over time in response to variability in kelp input. The project will use the Santa Barbara Channel as the study region, and includes intensive work at a well-studied SBC LTER kelp forest (Mohawk Reef) and along 10 kilometers of adjacent coastline.
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Thu, 22 Jan 2015

Carlson receives ASLO's G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award
SBC scientist, Craig Carlson, has been named 2015 recipient of the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. The goal of Carlson's research is an understanding of the role of dissolved organic material in ocean biogeochemistry and and its link to the dynamics of microbial communities. His work has established scientific concepts which are now considered essential to understanding the ocean carbon cycle and assessing its impact on future planetary health. Carlson's work with SBC is concerned with cycling of algal exudates, and the partitioning of carbon between dissolved and particulate fractions in waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. In February, Carlson will travel to Granada, Spain to receive the Hutchinson Award at ASLO's international meeting.
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