NCEAS News and Announcements

Subscribe to the NCEAS newsletter to receive the latest updates on NCEAS, new synthesis research papers, informatics developments, employment opportunities, and Calls for Proposals.
August 1, 2014

Corals species respond differently to disturbances in terms of growth and recovery rate. Based on the results of a NCEAS Working Group, scientists now know that corals reduce each others’ abundance in good times, and in tougher times with more disturbance, they can help each other persist by reducing the chance that algae takes over a coral reef. The results were published in The American Naturalist. More> 


July 31, 2014

NCEAS seeks a Scientific Programmer/Analyst (Computer and Network Technologist III) to consult with and advise NCEAS researchers on efficient, appropriate, and powerful computational and informatics approaches for advancing scientific investigations. The Scientific Programmer/Analyst will develop, test, and support analyses and informatics products using best-of-class and open-science inspired technologies. The ideal candidate will give formal instruction, as well as ad hoc assistance in the use of these cutting edge solutions. The Scientific Programmer/Analyst works with NCEAS developers and cyber-infrastructure collaborators to optimize interoperability and long-term sustainability of these codebases and datasets as generalized resources for ecological and conservation science researchers. More>



July 29, 2014

Photo by Claire Fackler, CINMS, NOAA.

NCEAS researchers are seeking citizen scientists to track giant kelp, without having to get all wet!
A NCEAS Working Group trying to answer the question, “Is climate change is having an impact on giant kelp forests and the marine ecosystems it supports?” painstakingly collected 30 years of NASA Landsat images of kelp canopies floating on the ocean’s surface. While these images could tell the scientists a lot about how kelp forests have fared through the last three decades, it turns out that computers are not able to reliably read the images to distinguish kelp from sea foam. More>


July 29, 2014

Plastic pollution is a growing concern shared by scientists and people across the world. Within the last few years, ecological and environmental researchers are shifting their concern toward a plastic-related problem that cannot be easily seen by the human eye. Researchers from the NCEAS’ Working Group “Marine debris: Scale and impact of trash in ocean ecosystems” offer their perspective on microplastics in the ocean published in Science. More>
July 21, 2014

In the spirit of collaboration and commitment to advancing scientific knowledge, NCEAS invites environmental scientists and computer programmers to come together and participate in the first Open Science Codefest, September 2-4, 2014, in beautiful Santa Barbara, California! Inspired by hack-a-thons and organized in the participant-driven, “unconference” style, the Open Science Codefest is for anyone with an interesting problem, solution, or idea that intersects environmental science and computer programming. This is the conference where you will actually get stuff done. Registration is free, register nowMore>



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>


April 1, 2014

Science for Nature and People (SNAP) announces the 2014 SNAP Call for Proposals seeking Working Groups that use existing data to fill important knowledge gaps and advance solutions to significant problems at the intersection of nature conservation and human well-being. SNAP is an innovative partnership between NCEAS, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society. From last year's call for proposals, SNAP has selected six new Working Groups that will bring science to solving some of the world's biggest challenges involving nature and human well-being -- from urban water security to hydraulic fracking's impact on water quality, from the sustainable management of fish stocks to feeding 9 billion people without destroying the planet. 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 >



March 5, 2014

Gulf Watch Logo

NCEAS seeks proposals for Working Groups and Postdoctoral Associates to conduct synthesis research and analysis for the Gulf of Alaska. Newly integrated historical data is now available from a quarter century of monitoring studies on physical and biological systems impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Call for Proposals. Proposals are due by May 1, 2014. 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>


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