The UCSB Herbarium Publication series, started in 1981 and published by the Department of Biological Sciences, consists of six regional floras that include sites in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Mono counties. They have been digitally scanned and are now available online in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration was lucky to get in the BHL scanning queue, and now our Herbarium Publications, which have long been out of print, are online.
See, for example, Carpinteria Salt Marsh : Environment, History, and Botanical Resources of a Southern California Estuary by Wayne Ferren.
For those who aren't familiar with it, the BHL is a collaboration of natural history libraries who are digitizing the world's biodiversity literature and putting it online for all. Over 40 million pages have been scanned so far from books and journals, many of which are full color scientific illustrations. Users can read the texts online or download select pages or entire volumes as PDF files. BHL has also posted thematic groups of its most beautiful and interesting images on Flickr, Pinterest, and iTunes U.
Image from The birds of America :
New York :J.B. Chevalier,1840-1844. biodiversitylibrary.org/page/40420018
Heather Liu, Administrative Assistant, is leaving CCBER this March after her job comes to an end. Heather has worn many hats at CCBER since 2008, first as a student volunteer and research intern, then as Herbarium Assistant, and now as Administrative Assistant to Director Jennifer Thorsch. Heather has contributed to CCBER in many ways. She was first involved at Manzanita Village restoration site where she conducted vernal pool vegetation monitoring and maintenance. In 2009 she was a key member of the NSF-funded project to reorganize the herbarium plant specimens and move them into new compact storage cabinets. She created the herbarium internship program and trained many students in the art of mounting plant specimens. In addition, she catalogued and databased thousands of unprocessed specimens which will soon be uploaded into our Specify database.
Heather also contributed to the management of CCBER’s many internship programs and, with Dr. Shirley Tucker, organized CCBER’s first lichen internship in spring 2011 at Sedgwick Reserve. As a result of that course, Heather co-wrote and edited the new Lichens of Sedgwick Reserve and Santa Barbara County guide, published by CCBER. The cherry on top was the 2012 publication of her guide Raptor Watch: Birds of Prey of the UCSB Campus. Brava!
Heather will continue to work part time at ERI, so we will not be completely out of touch with her. But we will miss her weekly staff summaries, her colorful and artistic terraria, her cool nature journals, and her quiet efficiency. We thank her for her bountiful accomplishments!
Over 50 people recently attended a festive reception in honor of Emeritas faculty Dr. Bob Haller and his over 60 years of research on pines from western North America. CCBER’s herbarium II was officially renamed the J.R. Haller Pine Collection Herbarium and has been dedicated to housing his collection of 5,000 specimens.
Bob Haller and Mary Carroll with a display of his collection and publications.
The John Robert Haller Pine Collection comprises specimens from more than 300 different localities spanning a broad range of ecoregions from British Columbia to Central America. Each collection location includes five to sixty or more specimens exhibiting population variability, including cones, immature, and/or mature branches exhibiting diagnostic features. In some cases, the original collecting site was visited numerous times through subsequent decades for additional study. Associated with each collection are extensive hand-written notes and data, including more than a dozen taxonomic metrics per specimen that vary from individual to individual and by locale. Environmental characteristics of each site are also recorded and geographic reference data for many collection sites have been recently determined utilizing a combination of detailed mileage logs, topographic maps, satellite imagery, and the invaluable recollections of Dr. Haller.
The collection is still in the original herbarium cabinets that were transferred from Noble Hall in 2005, but we hope to find funding in the near future to purchase new compact shelving to better protect and preserve this valuable collection.
Bob Haller and Nancy Vivrette, center, with herbarium databasing team and Jennifer Thorsch, far right, in front of the newly dedicated herbarium.
The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration has just received a $7,500 grant from SoCalGas to support the Kids in Nature (KIN) program in 2013. KIN is an innovative and highly regarded program designed to enrich the learning experiences of underrepresented and underserved youth in our community. KIN is designed to provide each participating 5th grade classroom with a total of twelve educational activities with linkages to our partners--the Marine Science Institute’s REEF program, Coal Oil Point Reserve, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Arroyo Hondo Preserve.
The award will allow us to provide copies of the KIN science notebook and nature journal, support transportation costs for field trips for the KIN and University students, which schools can no longer provide, and provide support for a KIN staff member to assist with coordination of the program.
Despite the need for quality science instruction at an early age, a shrinking science curriculum is becoming increasingly common in elementary school classrooms (Goldstein, 2005). California elementary teachers report low levels of science subject matter knowledge and low confidence in their ability to teach science (Sanders, 2004; Fulp; 2002). These constraints may reflect inadequate undergraduate preparation in science that fails to prepare prospective teachers for the science content that they will be responsible for once inside the classroom (California Council on Science and Technology, 2010). In addition, teachers do not have sufficient time and resources to provide high quality science curriculum.
Providing quality science instruction to young children helps prepare them for future learning as well as motivates them to pursue science and technology careers. Interest in science may be affected by even earlier science experiences. Simpkins, Davis-Kean and Eccles (2006) found that students' participation in science activities in 5th grade impacted their self-assessment of their ability to do science. This in turn influenced the number and type of science classes they took in high school.
KIN Produces Good Results!
California state science assessments show that a disappointingly low number of students in this age range are performing at the proficient level. In 2010, only 55% of California fifth grade students and 59% of eighth grade students scored proficient or above on state science assessments (California Department of Education, 2010a). The students in the KIN program are designated as English Language Learners. According to the California Department of Education (2010b) only 22% of ELL students in those grades achieved the same level of proficiency on the science assessment tests as the English speaking students. During the same year, 92% of KIN students at Franklin School scored proficient or advanced on the science assessment test.
During the yearlong program, we estimate that each KIN student experiences approximately 100 hours of small group education. KIN has a significant impact on the teachers’ and students’ understanding, involvement in, and awareness of environmental issues through engaging and challenging activities and positive interactions both in class and in the field with scientists, graduate and undergraduate students who volunteer for the KIN program.
Goldstein, D. (2005). Elementary science: Left behind? Journal of Science Teacher Education, 16(3), 185-187.
Sanders, T. (2004). No time to waste: The vital role of college and university leaders in improving science and mathematics education. United Stated Department of Education.
Fulp, S. (2002). 2000 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education: Status of Elementary School Science Teaching: Horizon Research Inc.
California Council on Science and Technology. (2010). The Preparation of Elementary School Teachers to Teach Science in California. Sacramento.
Simpkins, D., Davis-Kean, P., & Eccles, J. (2006). Math and science motivation: A longitudinal examination of the links between choices and beliefs. Developmental Psychology, 42(1), 70-83.
California Department of Education (2010a). 2010 STAR test results. Accessed Online http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2010/SearchPanel.asp
California Department of Education, (2010b). Accessed Online http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/
Did you know there are about 14 different species of birds of prey, or raptors, that can be seen on and around the UCSB campus? CCBER has produced a new guidebook called Raptor Watch: Birds of Prey of the UCSB Campus by Heather Liu. It includes color photos of the most-commonly seen species, a silhouette of the bird in flight, and physical characteristics and comments to help you identify each bird. Grab your binos, pick up a copy of this book, and head outside! 82 p., $16.55.
New Algae Field Guide Available
Algae Field Guide of Santa Barbara, written by UCSB students Mary-Sophia Motlow and Alyssa Hall, includes color illustrations and descriptions of 32 local species of seaweed. 81 p. $11.95.
New Lichen Book
Nearly 150 species of lichen have been identified on the 5,896 acre UCSB Sedgwick Reserve in the Santa Ynez Valley. With funding from John and Heidi Rabel, CCBER has published Lichens of Sedgwick Reserve and Santa Barbara County. This guide helps to identify 56 of the species with descriptions by lichenologist Dr. Shirley Tucker and stunning, full color photographs by Chris Broughton, Professor of Photography at Brook’s Institute, providing a fascinating view of the beauty and complex symbiotic nature of lichens. 138 p. $18.25.
To purchase a book, please contact Jennifer Thorsch. Please pay in exact cash or make a check out to UC Regents.
The Kids in Nature program (KIN) has been awarded the 2007 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the category of Children's Environmental Education.
The Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award Program is the State of California's highest environmental honor. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, and building public-private partnerships.
Learn more about the KIN program
The third edition of Native Plants & Habitats of the UCSB Campus was released in June of 2006. The book was produced by the CCBER staff and features seven habitats and 57 plants that can be found on the UCSB campus. It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning California native plants. To order, please contact Jennifer Thorsch.