Education and Outreach

SBC programs range from K-12 education to teacher professional development, undergraduate and graduate student training, and 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.

Collaborations include

  • American Association of University Women
  • Ocean Education Trust, NautilusLive!
  • Multiple LTER sites
  • Santa Barbara 6th Grades, Ventura County middle school
  • UCSB Departments and Research Units in Natural Sciences
  • The REEF at MSI (Research Experience & Education Facility)
Earth Day, 2018


Schoolyard LTER

Undergraduate docents lead tours of The REEF

SBC LTER's K12 program focuses on environmental education for student and teachers, using SBC research themes to development of ocean science literacy. Lessons focus on the impact of press and pulse disturbances on ocean systems and their influence on kelp forest dynamics.

A residential math/science program brings approximately 150 middle school to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence. Efforts inform the development of new educational materials and programming at 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.

Undergraduate Education

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 from this pool and elsewhere are selected to participate in our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and in several other mentorship programs sponsored by the University of California. REU students work closely with SBC researchers on a wide range of topics and most choose to pursue an advanced degree following their undergraduate education.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Training

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Graduate and postdoctoral scholars from a range of disciplines are actively involved in all aspects of research. We promote interdisciplinary research that examines the response of coastal ecosystems to natural and human-induced alterations, enabling valuable cross-training on diverse aspects of science and its communcation. Annually, SBC investigators teach a 10-week course focused on major research themes. Exposure to Network science is achieved by a student-organized California LTER Graduate Student Symposium held annually 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.