Education and Outreach

graduate students
SEEDs students conduct rocky intertidal monitoring at Campus Point.

Higher Education

SBC LTER provides research training opportunities to more than 25 undergraduate students each year. Undergraduate students receive academic credits and/or monetary compensation for participating in SBC research under the mentorship of graduate students, post docs and senior investigators. SBC LTER is an active participant in NSF's Research Experience for Undergraduates program and in several mentorship programs sponsored by the University of California. Importantly, results from SBC LTER research make their way into the classroom as faculty routinely incorporate the findings from the project into their lectures.

The Schoolyard program (SLTER) at SBC LTER provides our undergraduate interns with a rigorous and pedagogically sound program of training in marine science and science education through The REEF (Research Experience and Education Facility) and other programs. These interns engage directly with middle school students as teachers and role models. For more information about The REEF or other intern programs, please send an email to: or phone 805-893-8765.

Graduate Student Activities

group photo - CCE, MCR, SBC
Participants and guests at the Second California LTER Graduate Student Syposium, February 2011 at MSI, UCSB.

In Feburary, 2011, graduate students from SBC, MCR and CCE met in Feburary 2011 at the Marine Science Institute, UCSB for the second California LTER Graduate Student Symposium. The first event was held in 2009 at Scripps Institute of Oceanography (UCSD). THe 2011 event was organized jointly by student representatives Kyle Cavanaugh (SBC) and Sammie Davis (MCR), and was attended by students from two University of California campuses (UCSB, UCSD) and the California State University at Northridge (CSUN). The event featured more than 20 presentations of student research in both 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 are available.

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SEEDS students visit the kelp forest.

In fall 2007 SBC hosted the Ecological Society of America SEEDS field trip. ESA’s SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology, Education, Development and Sustainability program mission is to diversify and advance the profession of ecology through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest and involvement of underrepresented undergraduate students. Twenty three students and six advisors arrived from all over the country for the field trip at SBC. On the first day participants boarded the R/V Cormorant to visit a kelp forest and interact with research divers at Arroyo Burro reef with Lead PI Dan Reed, they toured Santa Barbara’s working harbor guided by California Sea Grant Extension Advisor, Carrie Culver, then met with Roberta Cordero, a Chumash Elder, at the SB Maritime Museum. After lunch at the UCSB Campus the students visited THE REEF and conducted rocky intertidal and beach monitoring activities at Campus Point. The day concluded with a sunset dinner at UCSB's scenic Cliff House. After dinner SBC graduate students and faculty speakers discussed their experiences and highlighted opportunities for graduate studies at UCSB. Saturday’s activities began with a presentation on SBC watershed research followed by a tour of SBC watersheds and study sites led by SBC's John Melack. In the afternoon, there was time to explore downtown Santa Barbara before returning to their lodging at Camp Whittier in the Santa Ynez Mountains. The SEEDS field trip to SBC-LTER was made possible by a special supplemental grant from NSF.

graduate students
Graduate students working in the wet lab of the R/V Pt. Sur.

SBC LTER graduate student and postdoctoral training is integrated with a variety of other programs on the UCSB campus. With the SBC LTER, these programs emphasize interdisciplinary research to examine how coastal ecosystems change in response to natural and human-induced alterations in the environment. SBC training includes students and post docs working in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine environments with interests ranging across ecology, physiology, geology, hydrology, oceanography, and coastal policy. Objectives include (1) providing cross-training on environmental issues pertaining to coastal ecosystems, (2) providing students and post-docs with a common language for communicating scientific information on these issues, and (3) creating a diverse scientific community of students and postdocs that fosters a respect and appreciation for other disciplines. Students participate in graduate seminar courses and a variety of site and network level activities designed to foster interdisciplinary exchange. Dissertations, theses and talks given by SBC LTER students and post-docs are listed in SBC LTER's publications database.