Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CCS Biology Colloquium Resources available outside the Biology Departments

The following is an incomplete list of resources available for research purposes outside of MCDB and EEMB, both on campus and otherwise in Santa Barbara.

AT UCSB
Anthropology
Anthro has a teaching/reference collection of skeletal material of vertebrates that is largely focused to the interpretation of human habitation sites, but the collection and associated courses can be invaluable to students interested in questions of hard-part anatomy of vertebrates.

Biomolecular Science and Engineering (BMSE)
The Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering epitomizes the highly interdisciplinary approach to research and education that is the hallmark of UC Santa Barbara. In this context BMSE offers a unique mix for graduate training and research at the frontiers of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering and Biomolecular Materials. The BMSE Program may be for graduates, but an examination of Faculty research pages will lead you to some laboratories working on the forefront of materials and nano-technology where you might find a research option. See particularly:

The Bren School of Environmental Sciences and Policy
The Bren School is technically a graduate program. However, there are some good biological folk there, and if you can talk your way in, so much the better:

Environmental Studies

Department of Earth Science
The department has several mass spectrometric facilities focused upon paleoclimatology recorded by isotopes of Carbon, Oxygen, strontium and others. These isotopes can be used to track other things too. The Paleontological Collections. Ostensibly part of the Museum of Systematics and Ecology, but housed in PSB South. Largely focused upon invertebrate fossils, particularly of the last 60 million years of southern California.
  • Bruce Tiffney – Paleobotany
  • Stan Awramik – Origin and early history of life, astrobiology
  • Susannah Porter – Origins of animals, invertebrate paleontology
  • Andre Wyss – Vertebrate Paleontology, origin of pinnipeds, biogeography
  • David Valentine – microbial biogeochemistry
  • David Lea - Really a geochemist, but with spectacular abilities with isotopes and CCS friendly.

Geography
Extraordinary strengths in remote sensing; both in the use of existing technology and the development of new technologies. Very important for any research involving widespread geographic coverage
  • Hugo Loaciaga: Hydrology and Geology
  • Ed Keller: Hydrology and Geology
  • Keith Clarke: Remote Sensing
  • Jennifer King: Biogeochemistry, earth system science, global change, ecosystem ecology  
  • David Lopez-Carr: Human dimensions of global environmental change 
  • Joe McFadden: Land-use and land-cover change, biosphere-atmosphere interaction  
  • Dar Roberts:  Remote sensing of vegetation, geology, ecology, and ecophysiology   
  • David Siegel :  Interdisciplinary oceanography investigating physical, biological, optical and biogeochemical couplings on micro to ocean basin scales.
The Department of Geography hosts a wonderful resource, Spatial@UCSB, dedicated to visualizing and analyzing data in a 3D manner. They offer consultation on your data sets at specific hours.

Psychology
The Evolutionary Psychology program has strong ties to the Neurobiology Research Institute. People include:
Psychology also contains many people who overlap in interests with MCDB:

Chemistry and Biochemistry
The sixteen faculty in the area of Biochemistry center around the common themes of bio-organic and bio-inorganic reaction mechanisms, protein-nucleic acid recognition, nucleic acid structure and dynamics, and membrane transport. They can offer expertise in a number of experimental tools such as Xray diffraction, computer graphics and computational analysis.


    The UCSB Library
    Beyond standard library resources, UCSB hosts the "Map and Imagery Library" (MIL) in the first floor of the SEL wing. This is a national repository, and has both digital and paper images of just about any kind of geographic reference you could want. This includes:
    • Topographic maps
    • Geologic Maps
    • Maps & volumes summarizing vegetation, climate, hydrology, cultural and other features;
    • Aerial photographs from landsat down to old plane-flown photographs.
    • And much more!

    The Marine Science Institute
    The Marine Science Institute (MSI), established at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1969, is the focus for marine, coastal zone, and freshwater research; marine policy studies; and educational outreach in marine science. MSI administers and supports research projects involving faculty, professional researchers, technical staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students from 14 disciplines. There are a LARGE number of researchers associated with the MSI who are not faculty in one of the biology departments – and many are very student friendly. Some specific faculty to check out include :
    Carrie Culver, Tom Dudley, Jenny Dugan, Mark Page, Uta Passow, Dan Reed, and Milton Love (See especially Milton Love’s web page – it’s cool!). A complete list of MSI associated faculty can be found here.
    PISCO (Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans) is a large, long-term, ecosystem research and monitoring program that involves Santa Barbara and three other West Coast campuses (Oregon State, Stanford and UCSC).


    Center for Bioengineering
    The Center for BioEngineering (CBE) is a hub for research and teaching at the interface of biology, engineering and physical sciences. It builds on UC Santa Barbara’s strengths in biophysics, biomaterials, biomolecular discovery, and computational and experimental systems biology, enabling fundamental scientific discoveries to be transitioned to applications in medicine and biotechnology.
    Some of the faculty involved with CBE who have not already been mentioned:



    Cheadle Center for the Study of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration (CCBER)
    Located under the south end of the stadium. Used to be the Museum of Systematics and Ecology in EEMB, now independent. Houses the plant and animal collections of the University. Hosts a range of research projects, particularly concerning biodiversity and the reclamation of local ecosystems. Very strong programs in outreach to local school children. Check out their internships.


    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
    An outstanding international think tank on anything ecological and a lot evolutionary. It is a cross road of visiting scientists, in house researchers and periodic work groups who have access to a series of immense computerized databases that allow researchers to seek out explanations for gross patterns in Nature. Many UCSB faculty and graduate students participate, and there are frequent opportunities to work as paid data-collectors or enterers. NCEAS is located on State Street, in the center of the Paseo Nuevo. Note that they have a Thursday lunch seminar that hosts internationally known scholars.


    The UC Natural Reserve System.
    The UC System is unusual (not quite unique) in owning its own set of natural reserves dedicated to instruction and research. Each reserve is selected as representative of an important ecosystem in California. Most are managed by resident scientists. All are available for visitation or research with proper initial approval (signing of waiver forms indicating respect of the property, etc. ). Each Reserve has its own web site, and most list past research conducted on the Reserve. A good way to see who is doing what.

    UCSB has one on campus (Coal Oil Point Note particularly here that Cristina Sandoval (director of Coal Oil Point) is an active researcher who interacts with undergrads) and two nearby (Sedgwick Reserve & Carpinteria Salt Marsh). We also manage the Santa Cruz Island Reserve, the Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve near Cambria, the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab in Bishop, and the Valentine Camp on the eastern face of the High Sierra.

    OFF CAMPUS

    Channel Islands National Park (And the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary)
    The National Park Service manages several of the Channel Islands, and is interested in supporting research on them. Most of their voucher specimens come to Museum of Natural History

    Lotusland Botanic Garden
    Located in Montecito, Lotusland occupies 38 acres, much planted with exotic plant species in striking array. Lotusland has the world's third largest collection of cycads, and outstanding collections of Agave, Aloe and cool-tolerant palms. The garden is looking to become increasingly involved in research.

    Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
    Nearly a century old, the garden focuses upon native Californian plants. It has an outstanding living collection arranged by habitats, and a good library and herbarium focused in native flora. The Garden has a long-standing reputation for research into native Californian plants, and the biogeography of the Channel Islands. Research students interested in botany would do well to explore this.

    Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center.

    The Museum of Natural History is likewise nearly a century old, and has an established research reputation. It has internationally-recognized collections of living Mollusca and bird egg shells, and a very strong collection of marine invertebrates of the Santa Barbara Channel. Other collections include an excellent collection of mammals, particularly marine mammals, of southern California, a wide range of fossil whale material, a decent insect collection, and collections of particularly Pleistocene fossil marine and terrestrial organisms. It hosts active researchers working on - Marine Mammals, Krista A. Fahy, Michelle L. Berman, - Marine octopods, F. G. Hochberg - Marine gastropods, Henry Chaney - Marine Mollusca, Paul Valentich Scott -  Ethnobotany, Jan Timbrook, Vertebrate Biology, Paul Collins, Patricia Sadeghian - Nemertean worms - Invertebrate zoology (gastropods), Daniel Geiger

    Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens

    The Zoo is mostly dedicated to the culture and reproduction of living, endangered, taxa. However, while they might not take kindly to dissecting a living animal, they certainly offer opportunities to examine behavior, and who knows what else might be worked out.

    USC Wrigley Marine Science Center, Catalina Island
    For those of you with marine interests, a local (SoCal) resource is the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina island, run by USC. It offers research opportunities and summer courses.

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