News

13 August 2015
On May 19, 2015, near Refugio State Beach, thousands of gallons of oil leaked from a pipeline fed by offshore platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel. Within hours, UC Santa Barbara’s David Valentine and volunteers from his lab were on site collecting samples. They came back twice the next day and...
3 August 2015
A new study, conducted by research biologist Robert Miller of UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute and colleagues from Greenpeace, combines a variety of data to identify coral and sponge habitats that may be threatened by bottom-trawling. Further, the investigators also used the results of...
16 July 2015
As a professor of marine microbiology and geochemistry at UCSB, I teach students about the ocean; sometimes I even get to teach them about its chemistry and the microbes that drive that chemistry. Normally this all occurs in the classroom, where PowerPoint slides must serve as seawater and my...
1 July 2015
Built in 1986, the Diama Dam between Senegal and Mauritania was constructed on the Senegal River to improve irrigation for nearby crops and prevent upstream saltwater intrusion. However, shortly after its completion, it became evident that what many people in the area would have gained in economic...
5 June 2015
Over the last few days, the waters off the Santa Barbara coast have turned a striking shade of turquoise. The mystery behind this unusual color change is a type of chalk-producing phytoplanktonic organism called a coccolithophore. But what makes these otherwise invisible life forms suddenly visible...
28 May 2015
The western snowy plover is a portly sort of bird, its barrel chest leaving its spindly legs in permanent shadow as it scampers breakneck across the sand in search of tasty bugs. There’s a regal intrigue to this stout, busy ornithoid — the person at the party you’d love to meet, if only you could...
22 May 2015
Igor Mezic was at a conference in Snowbird, Utah, when he got word that a ruptured oil pipeline had sent tens of thousands of gallons of crude gushing into the ocean just north of Refugio State Beach. Undeterred by distance, the UC Santa Barbara professor of mechanical engineering who with several...
21 May 2015
The octopus has a unique ability. It can change the color, pattern and even texture of its skin not only for purposes of camouflage but also as a means of communication. The most intelligent, most mobile and largest of all mollusks, these cephalopods use their almost humanlike eyes to send signals...
6 May 2015
Marine scientists have long known that some species of fish possess a unique physiological characteristic — a web of arteries and veins lying very close together — that enables them to raise their internal temperatures higher than that of the water surrounding them. Now, a new study by an...
23 April 2015
The 2010 BP oil spill left an oily "bathtub ring" on the sea floor roughly the size of Rhode Island, according to a new study. The rig blew on April 20, 2010, and spewed 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf through the summer. Scientists are still trying to figure where all the oil...

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