UCSB's North Campus Open Space (NCOS) comprises 136 acres of upland and wetland habitats contiguous with and augmenting the greater Elwood-Devereux Open Space. The project has restored wetland and associated upland habitats that existed before the area was converted to the Ocean Meadows golf course in the 1960s, which filled in the historic upper arms of Devereux Slough with soil from the surrounding uplands. The NCOS restoration project began in 2017 with a fine scale grading of the site in order to re-create the salt marsh and use the excavated soil to rebuild the upland habitats to the southwest, which are now called the NCOS Mesa. Contiguous with the Mesa, to the west, are the Environmental Enhancement & Mitigation (EEM) and South Parcel restoration sites, which are included as part of the 136 acres that make up the overall NCOS area. Current activities at the site are focused on the development of a variety of habitat types by establishing native plant populations and controlling invasive species.
A key goal of the NCOS project is to provide a valuable resource for nature education, research, and recreation. Programs like Kids in Nature are utilizing the site as a resource for teaching K-12 students about the local natural world and ecology. UCSB professors are using NCOS as a living laboratory for teaching field research methods, such as tracking and estimating wildlife populations and measuring greenhouse gas fluxes from vernal pools. Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students are conducting research at NCOS on topics such as ecosystem function and how various aspects of the restored habitats compare with natural reference sites. Visitors at NCOS can explore the site on 2.5 miles of trails that traverse many of the restored habitats and provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
Map of NCOS Habitats:
NCOS Reports and Data:
NCOS Restoration Plan
NCOS As-Built Report
Annual Monitoring Report: Year 1
Annual Monitoring Report: Year 2
NCOS Photo Documentation Map and Photographs
NCOS EcoAtlas Page