Education and Outreach

SBC programs include K-12 education, teacher professional development, undergraduate and graduate student training, plus stakeholder engagement and public events such as Earth Day. SBC students, postdoctoral scientists, and investigators are actively engaged in all facets of our education and outreach efforts.

The Kelp Forest is an iconic, vital component of the socio-economic stability of Santa Barbara. SBC LTER resarch is critical to understanding how long-term changes impact not only the ecosystem - but also the maritime community it is intrinsically connected to. Our program has developed a curricular model based on connections to our community: “Our Maritime Community - A curricular model for improving literacy.”

Earth Day, 2018


Downloadable resources are divided into four themes. Teachers, home-schoolers and curious citizens wanting to learn more about our research and its relevance to their community will all enjoy exploring this site and SBC LTER science.

Undergraduate docents lead tours of The REEF

SBC LTER's K-12 program focuses on environmental education for students and professional development for teachers using SBC research themes to foster ocean science literacy. Lessons focus on events that influence ecosystems which can be infrequent and often unpredictable.

SBC LTER collaborates with The REEF, UCSB’s educational marine aquarium facility. We work with teachers in professional development workshops and in their classrooms to improve student understanding of key environmental concepts, including ocean circulation, weather, and potential influences on biodiversity.

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Students at a beach transect

SBC’s undergraduate education program includes research and science education experiences through mentoring by graduate students, postdocs, research staff and investigators. Undergraduate students who participate in our interdisciplinary research program are exposed to a variety of hands-on research and training in kelp forest and beach ecology, coastal oceanography, watershed science, and data management and analysis. Students also have access to our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and several other mentorship programs sponsored by the University.

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Graduate and postdoctoral scholars from a range of disciplines are actively involved in all aspects of research. Our interdisciplinary research examining the response of coastal ecosystems to natural and human-induced alterations enables valuable cross-training on diverse aspects of science and its communcation. Local networking is ehanced by a student-organized California LTER Graduate Student Symposium organized with CCE and MCR. This well-attended symposium has been popular with our graduate students as an informal venue to share their work and ideas with students from other LTER sites.

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