As the NCOS project got underway, we were concerned about the 25 acres of invasive weeds between NCOS and South Parcel that could easily colonize the newly restored site. Fortunately, with a grant funded by the Ecological Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEM), our efforts to control the inhospitable weeds in what we call the EEM zone of NCOS have created openings for natural and planted restoration. Read more in this report by Beau Tindall, CCBER’s project leader at EEM and South Parcel.
Amenities that support public access and engagement at NCOS are a vital component of the project. We want to hear from you about your thoughts and ideas on these features and the long term management priorities for NCOS. Read more and learn how to register for an upcoming NCOS Town Hall webinar.
Perennial bunch grasslands are becoming increasingly rare in California, and diverse grasslands with wildflowers are even more rare. Restoration projects like UCSB's North Campus Open Space are working to curb that trend. Learn more about a project funded by the Garden Club of Santa Barbara to test different strategies for diversifying the restored grassland on the NCOS Mesa.
Staff at CCBER's award-winning Kids in Nature program have been discussing the idea of videoing lessons and activities for several years, but never felt like it was the right time to bring that idea to fruition. Covid-19 quickly made it the right time. Read more here.
In the works: Learn about the Virtual Center for the Study of Biotic Interactions (ViCSBI), a new, multi-campus research initiative under development by ecologists and evolutionary biologists at UC Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Riverside, and Davis. PIs Susan Mazer, Katja Seltmann, Isaac Park, Brent Mishler, Nicole Rafferty, Emily Meineke, Matt Daugherty, Erin Wilson-Rankin, Christiane Weirauch, Noah Whiteman, Louie Yang, and others are joining botanical and entomological forces to investigate the effects of climatic and other environmental disruptions on mutualistic and anatogonistic interactions in wild and agricultural California ecosystems. To learn more about our mission, please check out our overview of ViCSBI at this link.
Blooms are abuzz with bees and bee-searchers at NCOS and elsewhere at UCSB and beyond. Read on to learn how to recognize some of the native bees in our region (including a recent sighting of an endangered bumblebee species!) and what CCBER's student researchers are doing to improve our knowledge and ability to help support them.
Due to the current shelter at home orders for COVID-19, only a very minimal crew of CCBER staff are able to be on site, which makes it challenging to keep up with all the weeding. So, next time you're out on the Marsh trail and if you feel inspired to pull a weed or two, here is a short guide to differentiating four key weeds from their similar looking native counterparts.
Three years ago, the transformation of the former Ocean Meadows golf course to the North Campus Open Space restoration project began. Many of you may be wondering, how did the project get started and who is funding it, and why? Read on about the links between many of the key features of the NCOS project and the agencies that supported or prioritized their restoration and/or development.