News

6 October 2016
Situated between the shoreline and the northern Channel Islands, the Santa Barbara Basin is like a giant underwater bathtub. Like many tubs, it has a ring — in this case, a microbial watermark of epic proportions. The ring itself was a fluke discovery made by UC Santa Barbara oceanographer David...
4 October 2016
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That old adage appears to hold true for the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae), whose remarkable recovery in the face of myriad threats has now been documented in an expansive, data-rich study of the species in Yosemite...
23 September 2016
Tucked between the sandy bluffs, tranquil lagoon, and waves of Campus Point, UCSB’s REEF is where more than 10,000 Santa Barbara schoolkids are introduced to the underwater world each year. Designed and developed 13 years ago by Scott Simon, who was hired in 2003 as outreach coordinator for the...
15 September 2016
Maybe it’s all the plastic you see on the beach where you take your kids. Or that news story you read about shark-finning and can’t quite get it out of your mind. Are you frustrated trying to identify sustainable options on the menu at your favorite seafood restaurant? These are common concerns,...
27 June 2016
When you’re a firefly, finding “the one” can change the world. Literally. A new study by UCSB evolutionary biologists Todd Oakley and Emily Ellis demonstrates that for fireflies, octopuses and other animals that choose mates via bioluminescent courtship, sexual selection increases the number of...
16 June 2016
When it comes to coral reefs, there’s good news and bad news, according to one of the largest global studies of these imperiled habitats. While overfishing has led to coral reef degradation, it seems certain reef “bright spots” still manage to flourish. Researchers from 34 different universities...
14 June 2016
Halfway between Hawaii and American Samoa lies a group of small islands and inlets. Among them is Palmyra Atoll, an almost 5-square-mile ring of coral. The lagoons of Palmyra — part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument — provide sanctuary for a variety of mobile species including...
9 June 2016
Sometimes good fish go bad. But it’s not their fault. In a three-year effort to understand the effects of known stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution on coral reefs, scientists made a totally unexpected finding: A normally healthy interaction between fish and coral had turned deadly...
2 June 2016
Between April 20 and July 15, 2010, millions of barrels of crude oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico from a blown well beneath the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; it was the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. Although the oil was undetectable in surface waters within a few weeks after the well was...
16 March 2016
Beyond the breakers, the ocean is like the Wild West. While not completely lawless, its vastness and remoteness make it hard to observe and more difficult to manage human activity. Recently developed technology may change that. A navigational safety aid called AIS (Automatic Ship Identification...

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