UCSB’s “Introduction to Ecological Restoration Field Skills” Utilizes NCOS

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 13:08 -- jeremiahbender
Environmental Studies 95: Introduction to Ecological Restoration Field Skills (EnvS 95) is one of the few undergraduate courses offered at UCSB where more than 40 students a quarter in small sections can gain hands-on experience and get dirty in the field. Offered Fall, Winter and Spring, EnvS 95 is also one of the only courses to have been continued in-person almost entirely uninterrupted through Covid restrictions!
CCBER Nursery Manager Wayne Chapman demonstrating plant propagation techniques.
In this unique class, offered to all levels and majors, small groups of UCSB students are guided by different members of CCBER staff and faculty at various restoration sites on and around campus. The topics covered focus on the key processes of ecological restoration and include research and project design, site preparation, plant identification and propagation, bird identification and wildlife monitoring, site management, and everyone gets to do hands-on restoration work.
NCOS Project Manager Darwin Richardson and an ENVS 95 section by Whittier Pond.
Students tour restoration projects at the UCSB lagoon, Manzanita Village, San Joaquin Village, and get to work at the CCBER nursery, but much of the quarter is now spent at NCOS, as it is an ideal outdoor classroom where they can see and participate in restoration in progress. At NCOS, EnvS 95 students are not only taught about the history and processes of returning a golf course to a wetland, they also get to work alongside CCBER staff planting native plants or helping to extirpate weeds.

Restoration Coordinator Andy Lanes demonstrating the plant press for collecting herbarium specimens.

For many students, EnvS 95 is an eye-opening experience, and for many an introduction to NCOS as a site for their own future restoration work, research, or just recreation. Participants in the course are invited back to CCBER in subsequent quarters for internships, student worker positions, and volunteer opportunities. Many decide to go into the field for their careers. In fact, many of the NCOS staff started in this course!
This article was written by CCBER Restoration Coordinator Andy Lanes and edited and formatted for the web by Jeremiah Bender. Photographs are by Ann Bishop.  


Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 13:00