SBCLTER News

For SBC's featured stories, see News Page. This archive contains text content only. For images acompanying past stories, contact sbclter@msi.ucsb.edu.

Recent stories

Thu, 15 Dec 2016

Kelp beats the heat
In early 2014, a large-scale marine heat wave in the Pacific Ocean produced temperature anomalies greater than anything seen since record-keeping began in the early 1900s. SBC LTER researchers use their long term records to evaluate the sentinel status of giant kelp forests along the Southern California coastline as an indicator of climate change. They expected giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), known to be sensitive to such increases as well as to the resulting low-nutrient conditions, to respond quite rapidly to a rise in water temperature. To their surprise, this was not the case; kelp's response to the oceanic heat wave was really no different than the variation in the long-term temporal record. Further, for most components of the kelp forest community, large responses to the unprecedented warm, nutrient-poor conditions were not obvious. "The fact that we did not see drastic responses in the rest of the community tells us that we don't know everything we think we know about this system and about its ecology," noted Dan Reed (Lead PI). "The results have caused us to pursue lines of research to understand how this happens. More importantly, the findings underscore the value of long-term data in terms of trying to tease apart these trends." Results are published in Nature Communications (UCSB press release).
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Mon, 07 Mar 2016

Blog launched by LTER graduate students
A new blog, "Short Stories About Long-Term Ecological Research" (SSALTER), is up and running: https://ssalterblog.wordpress.com. The new blog was created by LTER graduate students following a joint SBC-MCR-CCE LTER graduate student symposium and the LTER All Scientists Meeting in 2015. The goal is to provide an outlet for students engaged in long term ecological research to informally share their research experiences with each other and the wider world. Current moderators are Stella Swanson (MCR) Ali Freibott (CCE) and Christie Yorke (SBC). SSALTER also has a facebook page ("ssalterblog") and a twitter feed ("ssalterblog1").
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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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Thu, 09 Oct 2014

UCSB scientists lead a team designing a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network
Researchers from UCSB, including several SBC LTER investigators, are joining the USGS, NOAA, NASA and BOEM to demonstrate a new prototype system - the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network. The local five-year project led by Bob Miller will focus on the Santa Barbara Channel. A total of three demonstration marine biological observation networks will be established in four locations: the Florida Keys and Monterey Bay, the Santa Barbara Channel, and the continental shelf of the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. The long-term goal is to expand the network to track diversity of marine organisms globally at scales ranging from microbes to whales. Marine biodiversity is a key indicator of ocean health and critical to sustaining natural resources such as fisheries. The networks will integrate data on large-scale sea-surface conditions observed by satellites with observations made in the ocean and the laboratory. They will build partnerships with existing long-term biodiversity efforts, explore innovative uses of new in situ observations and genomic techniques, and improve access to integrated biodiversity data (more information).
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Fri, 26 Sep 2014

Floating Forests
Two SBC LTER associated investigators, Jarrett Byrnes (UMass Boston), and Kyle Cavanaugh (UCLA) have developed a website where the public can assist with their research on kelp forests. An algorithm for estimating kelp biomass from NASA Landsat imagery using SBC data collected by divers developed by Cavanaugh has allowed new synoptic analysis of kelp forests over large spatial and temporal scales. Data are now available for central through Baja California. However, in some satellite imagery, computers cannot correctly distinguish kelp from sea foam, but fortunately human eyes can. Floating Forests displays Landsat shoreline images. and visitors are asked circle the kelp forest they see in the images, The results will help reveal valuable new information about how giant kelp and the marine ecosystems they support have changed through the last 30 years. Initially, images available on the site are of the coastlines of California and Tasmania. Kelp forests are found along 25% of the world's coastline, and subsequent sets of images will include areas from Chile to South Africa. The team plans to first analyze giant kelp dynamics and canopy coverage, and then estimate the total carbon in the giant kelp across the globe, measuring potential shifts in range, seasonality and distribution over the 30-year Landsat time scale. The collaborators on this project, which includes Zooniverse, have contributed to an education portal, ZooTeach, which contains teaching materials, including lesson plans and other resources related to kelp forests.
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Tue, 20 May 2014

SBC LTER kelp forest field guide is an iPhone app
This new application is a free field guide to 150 algae, plants, fish and invertebrates that inhabit the unique ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean kelp forests. Students, divers and nature lovers will learn about the amazing inhabitants of the California coast and Channel Islands kelp forest ecosystem. The app was a collaborative effort of UCSB Marine Science Institute and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, using data and imagery from SBC LTER. Coding was provided by Citrix Systems. The app is available from the iTunes store under "california kelp forest", and plans are underway for a version for the iPad and Android operating systems as well.
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Thu, 03 Apr 2014

SBC members at 10th International Temperate Reefs Symposium in Perth
SBC investigators Dan Reed and Steve Schroeter and graduate student Dan Okamoto participated in the 10th International Temperate Reefs Symposium in Perth, Australia in January 2014. The International Temperate Reefs Symposium (ITRS) is held every two years. This symposium is recognized as the world's premier conference on the ecology of rocky reefs. SBC lead PI Reed gave an invited plenary talk entitled "The value of a long-term perspective in understanding short-term dynamics of giant kelp ecosystems" at the symposium. SBC graduate student Dan Okamoto's presentation on "The role of food limitation on reproductive capacity and larval recruitment in purple sea urchins" was the first runner up for the Best Student Paper Award.
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Tue, 01 Apr 2014

New study of Santa Barbara coastal ecosystem vulnerability
NOAA Climate Program Office's Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program and NOAA Sea Grant recently awarded two grants to conduct a coastal ecosystem vulnerability assessment in the Santa Barbara area. SBC investigators, Melack, Page, Reed and Dugan are working with lead investigator, Monique Myers, Sea Grant advisor, Scripps researchers Dan Cayan and Sam Iacobellis and USGS scientist, Patrick Barnard on the study which focuses on the vulnerability of key coastal ecosystems including watersheds, wetlands and beaches to climate change impacts. The researchers will work with city and county partners to develop a guidance document that informs climate adaptation planning.
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Thu, 29 Aug 2013

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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Tue, 02 Oct 2012

2012 LTER All Scientists Meeting
The LTER Network-wide All Scientists Meeting (ASM) was held at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado from September 9th to 13th 2012. There were 21 SBC participants including our lead investigator Dan Reed and co- PI's Sally Holbrook, John Melack and Dave Siegel, as well as 5 project investigators, one postdoctoral scientist, our IM representative, 8 graduate students and 2 education specialists. For more information on the meeting and program visit http://lternet.edu/asm
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SBC Scientists Discover Clues to the Sustainability of Fish Populations
A 16-year study at Santa Cruz Island allowed SBC scientists to quantify how food availability becomes a critical limiting factor in the health of fish populations. They found that sufficient food can drive up to a 10-fold increase in the per capita birthrate of fish, and adequate food supports survival rates up to 10 times higher than without. Black surfperch (Embiotoca jacksoni) is not fished commercially, which makes it an ideal model species for assessing the the affects of food availability. Fish give birth to live young that rarely leave their natal reef, which allows population and cohorts to be accurately tracked for many years. First author Dan Okamoto, an SBC PhD student, said that not including food availability in calculating benchmarks for species conservation may leave out a critical element in fisheries management. However, there has been a lack of information about how survival and birthrates are influenced by food availability, which is known to fluctuate through time. The team is led by SBC scientists Russ Schmitt and Sally Holbrook, professors at UCSB. The complete story can be found at UCSB Public Affairs webpage.
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2012 International LTER Meeting
SBC investigator Scott Cooper traveled to Lisbon, Portugal to represent the SBC LTER at the Annual ILTER meeting held from 17 to 21 September 2012. The 2012 ILTER meeting was jointly hosted by the Portuguese Ecological Society (SPECO) / LTER Portugal Network and the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Scott presented two posters at the meeting: on responses of coastal watershed to wildfires, and on Santa Barbara Coastal LTER science. More information on the meeting can be found at ILTER.
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Mon, 14 May 2012

Jenny Dugan featured in BBC rddio science broadcast
A recent paper published in PLoS ONE by U.S. and international long term ecological research scientists quantifying the ecological effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Chile in 2010 is attracting a lot of attention from popular and scientific media. The authors, including Jenny Dugan of the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, found that Chile's sandy beaches had experienced significant and lasting changes due to the earthquake and tsunami-including the reappearance of long forgotten coastal habitats and the return of species that had not been seen for years. In the wake of the publication, the authors were recently interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) radio magazine, Science in Action (listen at bbc.co.uk).
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Tue, 20 Mar 2012

Workshop on Coastal Habitat Conservation and Climate Change - November 2011
BC LTER investigators, Dan Reed and Jenny Dugan, gave invited talks on kelp forest and sandy beach habitats at the Coastal Habitat Conservation in a Changing Climate: Strategies and Tools for Southern California Workshop held November 16-17, 2011, in Costa Mesa, CA. This Southern California-focused workshop was jointly organized and hosted by NOAA and a variety of partners to address the need for information, new tools, enhanced capacity and collaboration to support the management and conservation of coastal habitats under a combination of existing stressors and changing climate. Workshop participants included representatives from federal, state, local, tribal, and nongovernmental organizations directly involved in the planning and implementation of coastal habitat conservation activities in the region, including habitat protection and restoration efforts. A summary report is being prepared by NOAA. Presentations from the workshop can be accessed at Coastal Conservation and Climate Change Workshop.
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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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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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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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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 SolveClimate.com (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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Fri, 19 Nov 2010

SBC Investigator, Mark Brzezinski, becomes Director of the Marine Science Institute
SBC Investigator Mark Brzezinski became the director of the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara, on November 1, 2010. Mark has served as the interim director of the Marine Science Institute (MSI) since January 2010. Between 2001 and 2009, Mark was the deputy director and frequently the acting director of MSI. Mark has been on the UCSB faculty in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology since 1989, and was the chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science from 2004 to 2009. Mark's internationally recognized research in biological oceanography focuses on phytoplankton ecology with an major focus on diatoms and evaluating the role the role of silicon as a limiting resource for diatom growth. (for more information on his research, see Mark's website). For more information on the Marine Science Institute, visit the Marine Science Institute website.
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Fri, 05 Mar 2010

SBC research on genetics of giant kelp featured in ESA Podcast
A new research paper on the genetics of giant kelp by SBC investigators Filipe Alberto, Dan Reed, Ali Whitmer and their collaborators published in Ecology in January was chosen as the topic of a Field Talk in the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Podcasts. This feature, which interviews Filipe, highlights the importance of Euclidean distance and habitat continuity in determining genetic connectivity among populations of this important foundation species. ESA Field Talks explore research results and the stories of the ecologists behind them. The Field Talk on giant kelp can be viewed at: ESA Podcast
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Tsunami caused by Chilean earthquake detected in Santa Barbara Channel
The tsunami produced by the massive earthquake that struck Chile in February reached the coast of Santa Barbara ~14 hours after the event. The first tsunami waves appeared outside the harbor at about 12:45 p.m. on February 27 and continued for several hours. The waves were detected by a pressure sensor attached to a piling at a depth of 3 m on Stearns Wharf. The sensor is part of an instrument package maintained through a partnership of the SBC LTER, the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO). Other near real time observations from the sensor package at Stearns Wharf can be viewed through our Stearns Wharf data display. The full press release is available from the UCSB Public Affairs office: Tsunami signal, February 2010.
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Thu, 18 Feb 2010

SBC-LTER Investigator, Mark Brzezinski elected as an AGU Fellow
SBC Investigator Mark Brzezinski has been elected a 2010 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in recognition of his outstanding research accomplishments in ocean sciences. Mark is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB) and the interim director of the Marine Science Institute at UCSB. Election as an AGU Fellow is a tribute to those who have made exceptional scientific contributions and have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and Space sciences. 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.
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SBC LTER Investigator, Steve Gaines, becomes Dean of the Bren School
On January 1, 2010, SBC Investigator Steve Gaines became the new dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. Professor Gaines has been a member of of the UCSB faculty since 1994, and was the director of the Marine Science Institute from 1997 through 2009. He also served as acting vice chancellor for research from 2002-2005 and as acting dean of the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences in 2007-2008. Professor Gaines's internationally recognized research focuses on marine ecology and conservation, sustainable fisheries, the design of marine reserves, and the impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems (for information on Steve's research, see PISCO website). Under his leadership, ground will soon be broken for a new Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS), which will house state-of-the-art interactive exhibits to help connect students, educators, community groups, and the public with innovative educational programs based on the latest ocean science research.
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SBC-LTER Investigators, Brzezinski and Gaines named AAAS Fellows
SBC Investigators Mark Brzezinski and Steve Gaines have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of their research and distinguished contributions in their fields of study. Mark is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and the acting director of the Marine Science Institute. Steve is the new dean of the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management (see news item below). Mark, Steve and 5 other UCSB faculty will receive their awards at the Fellows Forum on February 20th during the 2010 AAAS annual meeting in San Diego, CA.
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Thu, 01 Oct 2009

Three major fires burn Santa Barbara Coastal watersheds in less than a year
Two major blazes, the Tea fire in November 2008 and the Jesusita Fire in May 2009, have occurred in the Santa Barbara area since the July 2008 GAP Fire that charred nearly 10,000 acres of watershed lands in the Goleta foothills, resulting in the loss of nearly 300 homes. The total acreage burned in less than one year in these three fires exceeds 20,000 acres of watershed lands located in and above the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta. Additional information and maps is available from the County Public Works Department. SBC-LTER collects data that will help evaluate the effects of these 3 major fires on the composition of runoff and stream discharge in a variety of catchments. Automated monitoring instruments such as rainfall gauges, a stream flow gauge and a remote solar powered webcam maintained by the USGS and cooperating agencies were added on San Pedro Creek in Goleta in 2008. Real time data for stream flow are available on the USGS website, and are also harvested by the Climate and Hydrology Database (CLIM/HYDRODB).
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2009 LTER All Scientists Meeting
SBC-LTER was represented by ~20 participants at the LTER All Scientists Meeting September 14-16, 2009 in Estes Park, Colorado. For more information on the meeting and program visit the http://lternet.edu/asm. Santa Barbara Coastal's posters and Powerpoint presentations can be found on our internal data server.
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Tue, 11 Aug 2009

SBC Investigator, Steve Gaines, receives award from Joint Ocean Commission
SBC Investigator Steve Gaines received the first Marc J. Hershman Excellence in Mentoring award from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative at the Coastal Zone ’09 conference in Boston, MA. This award was established to honor the memory of Professor Marc Hershman, a leader in the field of ocean and coastal policy and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. The award is presented to individuals in the academic community who educate, train and inspire students and post-docs to pursue careers in ocean and coastal policy thus exemplifying the legacy of Professor Hershman. More information on this award and Steve's research can be found in the press release on this web site: http://www.jointoceancommission.org/.
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Wed, 15 Jul 2009

SBC Investigator, Brad Cardinale, receives UCSB Plous Award
SBC-LTER Investigator Brad Cardinale was given the 2009-10 Harold J. Plous award, one of UCSB's most prestigious faculty honors. The award honors outstanding teaching and mentoring of students in biodiversity and ecosystems research. Dr. Cardinale joined the faculty in 2005, and has won international acclaim for his research documenting the impact species extinction on biolgical processes. More information on Brad's research can be found on his lab's web site: http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/eemb/labs/cardinale/.
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Fri, 27 Feb 2009

SBC Investigator, Sally Holbrook presents at NSF
SBC-LTER and MCR-LTER Investigator, Sally Holbrook, presented a talk at the 8th Annual LTER Mini-symposium hosted by the National Science Foundation on February 26. The theme of this year's symposium is: Ecological Connectivity and Climate in a Changing World: Perspectives from Long-Term Ecological Research. Sally's talk is titled "Connectivity and Species Change". The symposium will be attended by a broad spectrum of representatives from federal agencies and as well as legislators. More information and the agenda can be found here: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=114119.
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Mon, 09 Feb 2009

SBC LTER featured on NASA's Earth Observatory
SBC and the LTER were featured on NASA's Earth Observatory Image of the Day on February 9, 2009. To view the image, go to this link: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36950. SBC collects data in the kelp beds visible close to the coast in the image.
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Sun, 01 Feb 2009

LTER Investigators join Coastal Barrier Island Network
SBC investigator Jenny Dugan and Don Young from VCR participated in the inaugural meeting of the Coastal Barrier Island Network (CBIN) in Galveston, TX in January. Jenny was invited to join CBIN to represent coastal marine ecology interests in barrier islands along with a west coast perspective. The CBIN project, recently funded by the National Science Foundation, will develop an interdisciplinary network to address the effective management of barrier island ecosystems under the pressure of global climate change (e.g., sea level rise and increased hurricane activity) and continued urbanization. Through the CBIN, scientists from a wide variety of fields, as well as municipal planners, will participate in workshops, summer courses for students, newsletters, and an interactive website that will emphasize public and educational outreach activities. For more information on the CBIN, go to this link: http://www.coastalbarrierisland.org.
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Thu, 15 Jan 2009

SBC Investigator, Dave Siegel, named AAAS Fellow
SBC Investigator David Siegel was awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his research and distinguished contributions in the fields of ocean optics and bio-optics, ocean color-remote sensing, implications of ocean mixing and spatial interactions in population dynamics. Dave is a professor in the Department of Geography and the director of the Institute for Computational Earth System Science. Dave and 5 other UCSB faculty will receive their awards at the Fellow Forum on February 14th during the 2009 AAAS annual meeting in Chicago, IL. More information on Dave's research can be found on his webpage: (http://www.icess.ucsb.edu/~davey//).
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Mon, 01 Dec 2008

SBC Investigator serves as acting Dean of Bren School
SBC-LTER investigator John Melack will serve as the Acting Dean of UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management beginning January 1, 2009. Dr. Melack is currently the Associate Dean of our Bren School, and previously served as Acting Dean from July to December of 2005. He has been a member of the UCSB faculty since 1977, and is recognized around the world for his research achievements and contributions. Professor Melack has played a pivotal role in the development of the Bren School, including chairing the committee that wrote the original proposal for the school. For more information on the School, go to this link: http://www.bren.ucsb.edu.
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New webcam and instruments to monitor conditions following the 2008 Gap fire
In response to the July 2008 GAP fire that charred nearly 10,000 acres of watershed lands in the Goleta foothills, the USGS and cooperating agencies have installed new automated monitoring instruments, including three rainfall gauges, a stream flow gauge and a remote webcam on San Pedro Creek in Goleta. Two of the new gauges are located in the upper reaches, and the third in agricultural land, between Fairview Avenue and Los Carneros Road. Data are collected every 15 minutes, then transmitted by satellite to USGS, and by microwave radio to Santa Barbara County Flood Control. The solar-powered webcam monitors one of the waterfalls on San Pedro Creek, providing real time visual information on creek conditions. Real time data for stream flow are available on the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov). These data will also be harvested for the Climate and Hydrology Database (CLIMDB/HYDRODB). The remote webcam can be accessed at: (http://ca.water.usgs.gov/webcams/goleta/).
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Mon, 05 May 2008

SBC Wildlife: Sea otters and gray whales
A group of 20-30 sea otters are using the kelp beds just west of the University of California campus this spring. Although otters have been sighted regularly in the western end of the channel since 1998, this is the largest group to linger this far east into the Santa Barbara Channel for many decades. This is also a great time of year to watch California gray whales, including females with young calves, just off the coast and diving in the kelp beds as they migrate through the channel to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea.
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Tue, 15 Jan 2008

SBC Investigator, John Melack, named AAAS Fellow
SBC Investigator John Melack was awarded the distinction of Fellow by AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) in recognition of his research on the inherently interdisciplinary topics of limnology and watershed-level biogeochemical cycles in high mountains, saline lakes and Amazon wetlands. John will receive the award at the Fellow Forum during the 2008 AAAS annual meeting in Boston, MA.
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International supplement from NSF facilitates research collaboration in kelp genetics
SBC LTER was awarded supplemental funding from NSF's International Office of Science and Education to continue its collaboration on kelp genetics with researchers from the Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CMER) at the Universidade do Algarve, Portugal. Molecular microsatellites for the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera are being developed in the laboratory of Drs. Filipe Alberto and Ester Serrao from samples collected at SBC LTER's long-term study sites and being used to investigate levels of population connectivity and self-fertilization in giant kelp forests in the Santa Barbara region. Supplemental funds are being used to support the travel of SBC LTER researchers and graduate students to CMER to learn these newly developed protocols. In summer 2007 Drs. Alberto and Serrao hosted SBC LTER PhD student Laura Carney for a three month visit during which time she refined the molecular protocols for use in her studies of delayed development in the gametophyte stage of Macrocystis.
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Fri, 14 Dec 2007

Former SBC graduate student, Stu Levenbach, accepts position with NOAA Office of Management and Budget
In November 2007 former SBC LTER graduate student Stu Levenbach started a position as the Program Examiner for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the agency's Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As an examiner for NOAA, Stu reviews the agency's annual budget request and helps recommend the level of funding referred to Congress as part of the President's budget. In addition to budgetary responsibilities, the examiner performs in-depth program evaluations, reviews proposed regulations, approves agency testimony, and analyzes pending legislation. The examiner is often called upon to provide analysis for the Executive Office of the President. Stu served as the SBC LTER Graduate Student Representative until 2006 and he represented California as a Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow placed with staff of the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Stu completed his PhD in June 2007. His dissertation research focused on community-wide ramifications of an associational refuge on shallow rocky reefs.
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Mon, 01 Oct 2007

Seven SBC graduate students graduated in 2007
Complete citations for their Theses or Dissertations are in our publications database.
Clarissa Anderson: Environmental Controls of phytoplankton community structure in the Santa Barbara Channel: application to the dynamics and detection of harmful diatom blooms. PhD., Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science University of California Santa Barbara.
Jeff Brinkman: Influences of human disturbance and natural physical and chemical variables on biological community structure in streams of southern coastal Santa Barbara County, California, and an index of biological integrity. M.A., Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Brian Kinlan: Quantitative spatial ecology of benthic ecosystems in temperate coastal upwelling zones. PhD. Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Kristi Klose: Complex effects of an invasive consumer Procambarus clarkii on temperate and tropical stream benthic communities PhD. Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Sarah Lester: Marine macroecology: the effects of dispersal and reproductive output on species' geographic distributions. PhD. Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology University of California, Santa Barbara.
Stu Levenbach: Community-wide ramifications of an associational defense on shallow temperate reefs PhD. Dissertation. Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Michael Rossiter, Maya Dehner, Ruyan Siew, Christina Ciarametaro and Drew Beckwith: Evaluation of rainfall-runoff relationships to inform development of an incentive program for stormwater pollution reduction in South Coast watersheds. Group project as part of the Masters of Environmental Science and Management professional degree program at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Mon, 01 Jan 2007

Stu Levenbach receives John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
California Sea Grant announced that Stu Levenbach, an SBC graduate student, is one of two new Knauss Fellows from California and will join 42 other winners in Washington, D.C. for a yearlong mentoring program in federalmarine policy. Stu has been placed with republican staff on the Senate's Commerce Committee, which includes Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Ted Stevens (Alaska). "I have always been interested in policy," Levenbach said. "But I wanted to earn my stripes as a scientist before I ventured into policy. The fellowship allowed me to enter into the world of policy from a science background. ... I think there will be a lot of fisheries and aquaculture issues, as well as climate issues." More information on Sea Grant and the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships can be found at http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu (under "Education").
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Remote assessment of kelp dynamics
PIs Siegel, Gaines, Kyriakidas, Zimmerman (ODU) and Hill (ODU) received new funding from NASA to develop a predictive understanding of kelp canopy cover, biomass, productivity and canopy condition using SPOT imagery along with metapopulation and bio-optical modeling. They will integrate their results with measures of disturbance and other evnvironmental factors to develop a unified remote assessment of kelp dynamics for the nearshore waters off California.
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Wed, 01 Nov 2006

High resolution imagery from SPOT available
In June 2005, UCSB and TerraImage USA joined efforts to establish a unique collaboration allowing UCSB researchers unprecedented and nearly unfettered access to SPOT data and targeting opportunities for North America. In November 2006 the UCSB SPOT Center signed a contract allowing it to offer North American SPOT imagery to other U.S. academic institutions. To date, 35,000 scenes are available and it is expected that this database will grow at a rate of 8,000 scenes per month for the next year.
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Sun, 01 Oct 2006

2006 LTER All Scientists Meeting
SBC-LTER was represented by ~20 participants at the LTER All Scientists Meeting in September of 2006 in Estes Park, Colorado. For more information on the meeting and program visit the http://lternet.edu/asm. Santa Barbara Coastal's posters and Powerpoint presentations can be found on our internal data server.
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Tue, 01 Aug 2006

7th International Temperate Reefs Symposium
The 7th International Temperate Reefs Symposium was held at UC Santa Barbara June 26-July 1, 2006. More information on the symposium, sessions and speakers is available at http://sbc.lternet.edu/meetings/ITRS_2006.
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Mon, 01 May 2006

SBC LTER renewal proposal successful
The recently announced success of our renewal proposal means our project looks forward to the 6 more years of exciting research. Full text of the renewal proposal is available (SBC-LTER Proposals).
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