NCEAS News and Announcements

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July 18, 2014

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) invite you to 'Pathways to Opportunity', a NCEAS–SESYNC Mixer at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 5:30-7-30 pm at the nearby Cafeteria 15L Patio.
June 18, 2014

Loss of Dunes, Salt Marshes and Seagrasses Leaves West Coast More Vulnerable to Erosion and Reduces Natural Carbon Storage

Scientists from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Conservation International conducted the first regional assessment by the Ocean Health Index on United States Waters. This regional assessment studied 5 regions on the west coast of America: Southern, Central & Northern California, Oregon State and Washington State. Results from this study were published in the online journal PLOS ONE. More>


June 12, 2014

The U.S. Department of State will host the first “Our Ocean” Conference - focused on sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification - on June 16-17, 2014, in Washington, D.C.. Secretary of State John Kerry has made ocean issues a top priority for the Department. Long-time NCEAS Associate and Professor of the Bren School, Ben Halpern, will be speak on the first day of the conference about Ocean Health Index - an assessment designed to evaluate the economic, social, and ecological uses and benefits that people derive from the ocean. As the lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index, Dr. Halpern will join experts in the field to discuss the state of the science on marine issues, explore the challenges facing the oceans, and share the solutions that are being applied successfully. More>


June 5, 2014

This summer, UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and University of North Carolina’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) are offering a unique bi-coastal training, Open Science for Synthesis (OSS), for early career scientists who want to learn new software and technology skills needed for open, collaborative, and reproducible synthesis research.

May 20, 2014

In recent years, wood-infesting insects have caused serious environmental and economic damage in the United States and around the world, catching public and regulatory attention. Wood packaging material (WPM), such as shipping pallets, is one of the common ways wood pests move freely one country to another. In 2002, the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM15) was adopted setting standards for treatment for WPM used for international trade. An NCEAS Working Group combed federal records to determine the effectiveness of international policy The results of their efforts were recently published in PLOS ONE and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. More>


May 15, 2014

Past research on marine health and biodiversity consistently shows that coral reefs play a vital role in overall ocean health. A new study, led by Michael Beck, PI for the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) Coastal Defenses Working Group and a scientist for The Nature Conservancy, suggests the world's reefs can also offer substantial and quantifiable benefits for the world's human population. The results from this quantitative meta-analysis were published this week in Nature Communications. More>


May 12, 2014

Bering Strait

In the wake of increasing geopolitical tensions with Russia, the Arctic Options project of UC Santa Barbara is taking steps to extend science diplomacy and international collaboration by developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for academic and research cooperation with MGIMO University (Moscow State University of International Relations), which is affiliated with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The NCEAS Arctic Options project has an emphasis on three regions: 1) Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia; 2) High Seas of the Arctic Ocean beyond national jurisdictions; and 3) Marine coastal zone of West Greenland. Collaboration with legal experts and scholars from Russia is necessary to support research activities in the Bering Strait, including the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea, which involves the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. More>


May 2, 2014

KNB logo

New functionality added to the KNB Data Repository now enables researchers to measure the impact of their shared data by displaying how many times their datasets have been viewed or downloaded. The KNB Data Repository stores data for a diverse range of ecological, environmental, and Earth science research topics. Scientists use the KNB to share their data with one another while collaborating and, once their research is completed, they can openly share their datasets with the entire scientific community. More>

Are you sharing your data?

April 9, 2014

       New Summer 2014 Training Workshop


Open Science for Synthesis
Software Skills for Early Career Scientists
July 21 - August 8, 2014

Open Science for Synthesis is a unique bi-coastal training offered for early career scientists who want to learn new software and technology skills needed for open, collaborative, and reproducible synthesis research. UC Santa Barbara’s NCEAS and University of North Carolina’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) will co-lead this three-week intensive training workshop with participants in both Santa Barbara, CA and Chapel Hill, NC. More>


April 2, 2014

Manta Ray.  Photo Credit: NOAA

Brazil was the site of the first Ocean Health Index regional assessment designed to evaluate the economic, social and ecological uses and benefits that people derive from the ocean. Overall, Brazil scores 60 out of 100, with the goals of Carbon Storage (89), Coastal Protection (92) and Biodiversity (85) - all dependent on the health of marine habitats - with the highest national scores. The comprehensive findings from the Brazilian regional assessment was published in PLOS ONE. The results can help Brazilian officials identify opportunities for strategic management of ocean resources. More>


March 26, 2014

Pollen-bearing stamens.  Photo Credit Jon Sullivan

In developed countries there has been a steep decline for the support of natural history however, the importance of the essential knowledge gained through studying the fundamental nature of organisms has not waned. Josh Tewksbury, NCEAS sabbatical fellow from the University of Washington, convened a group of 17 researchers including former NCEAS deputy director, Stephanie Hampton, which resulted in an important new manuscript in the April issue of BioScience highlighting numerous examples of the essential knowledge natural history has provided for fields as varied as human health, food security, conservation, land management, and recreation. More>


March 11, 2014

The enhanced KNB Data Repository includes new fast spatial search, DOI citations for data, and intuitive user interface improving access to and better supporting the data management needs of ecological, environmental, and earth science labs and individual researchers. More >



February 24, 2014

National Geographic Explorer.  Photo Credit: Paul A. Berkman

As ice cover in the Arctic Ocean diminishes, anticipation of increased shipping activities grows. In response, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is developing a mandatory Polar Code. NCEAS' Arctic Options: Holistic Integration for Arctic Coastal Marine Sustainability project team co-convened a "Workshop on Safe Ship Operations in the Arctic" with the IMO to further the discussion on key elements of the Polar Code. More>
February 10, 2014

Peregrine falcon.  Photo Credit: Erickson

A NCEAS Working Group examined data from 147 cities worldwide and found surprisingly high numbers of plant and animal species that persist and even flourish in urban environments — to the tune of hundreds of bird species and thousands of plant species in a single city. Contrary to conventional wisdom that cities are a wasteland for biodiversity, the study found the overall mix of species in cities reflects the unique biotic heritage of their geographic location. The findings of the study were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences.


February 7, 2014

Black crappie fish

International NCEAS Working Group tracks how fast and in which direction local climates — and species — have shifted


A new study provides an innovative global map of where species are likely to succeed or fail in keeping up with a changing climate. The findings appear in the science journal Nature. A NCEAS Working Group of 18 international researchers analyzed 50 years of sea surface and land temperature data (1960-2009). They also projected temperature changes under two future scenarios, one that assumes greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized by 2100 and a second that assumes these emissions continue to increase. The resulting maps display where new temperature conditions are being generated and where existing environments may disappear.


February 6, 2014

Wolf.  Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As a result of controversy surrounding the US Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) proposal to remove the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) from the endangered species list and add the Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), the Service commissioned the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to conduct an unbiased assessment and clarify critical scientific issues.
February 3, 2014

Kepler Logo

NCEAS Informatics’ mission is to create and advance technologies and methods that enable robust, reproducible science in ecology and environmental sciences. NCEAS’ Informatics work is conducted with a number of partner collaborators and impacts the way ecological research is conducted, especially relative to synthesis and collaboration, which depend so heavily on extending access to relevant data.

January 29, 2014


Frank Davis, director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), and fellow University of California, Santa Barbara professors discuss the challenges of drought in California when coupled with a warming climate in a article, One-Two Punch of Drought, Global Warming, by Shelly Leachman.


January 29, 2014

Halloween pennant dragronfly.  Photo credit: Meng Kay, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Increases in the frequency, duration, and severity of temperature extremes are anticipated in the near future. Ecologists widely recognize the potential for warming temperatures to affect species’ home range and life cycles, diversity, and ecosystem functions and services. A recent study published by an NCEAS Working Group takes a closer look at how species respond to increasing average temperatures coupled with anticipated temperature variations and extremes.

January 27, 2014

Dear NCEAS Community,

Happy New Year from Santa Barbara!  We hope to connect with many of you in the coming year – whether through a submission to an upcoming Call for Proposals, as a participant in a new Working Group, or hosting your own collaboration workshop at NCEAS. As we head into 2014, we would like to take a moment to share with you some of NCEAS' 2013 highlights.




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