CCBER supports a wide range of research activities based on the management areas under CCBER's direction, the plant and animal specimen collections, and the interests of affiliated faculty and staff. These research projects utilize CCBER resources, enhance our understanding of local biodiversity, and provide opportunities for students, enrolled in our restoration, curation, and educational programs, to gain valuable experience.
Ecosystem Management Research
Ecosystem management research focuses on four main areas:
Students, staff and faculty collaborate on research projects which support the design and evaluation of restoration strategies and provide insight into ecological aspects of the coastal zone.
The majority of our restoration projects include an annual monitoring component that documents change in vegetation which can provide a long term perspective on natural and unnatural perturbations in the environment.
CCBER staff and affiliated birders conduct monthly bird and wildlife surveys in several natural areas that provide insight into wildlife use of restored habitats on campus. CCBER has been surveying the campus lagoon area since 1995 and monthly since 2005. The recently released Lagoon Bird Survey Report summarizes bird use of this area by species, numbers, and frequency of sightings. Recently finished restoration projects are attracting new birds to the area, such as the Sora, shown below, that was observed using the new San Nicolas wetland this season. In addition, more than four Thrashers have started colonizing Manzanita Village and the Campus Lagoon area. These birds are strong indicators that restoration areas become functioning habitats which support increased biodiversity.
Photos by Callie Bowdish.
Water Quality Research
CCBER, with support from the Coastal Fund and other funding agencies, conducts water quality research related to stormwater management and the function of bioswales, as well as impacts to the Campus Lagoon and other managed wetland resources.
Since 1945 when the first biological collections were established at UCSB, there has been an active research program in botany and zoology. Collections have played an important role in documenting the distributions and life histories of regionally declining, threatened, and endangered species. In addition, collections provide valuable information and make critical contributions to our understanding of climate change, the effects of pollution, and other environmental perturbations. The large plant anatomy collections of Katherine Esau and Vernon Cheadle--used both in the laboratory and classroom--represent over 120 years of research in plant development, ultrastructure, virology, and evolution.
Faculty and staff from CCBER and the former Museum of Systematics and Ecology (MSE) have produced numerous publications on biodiversity and ecosystem and land management based on research conducted at UCSB.
Many publications have also cited our vouchered collections.