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Cover page of UCSBlooms: Tracking the phenology of UCSB campus plants and using citizen science on a university campus

UCSBlooms: Tracking the phenology of UCSB campus plants and using citizen science on a university campus

(2020)

Phenology is becoming more important to study with human impacts on the environment including urbanization and climate change. The UCSBlooms project is a year-long blooms tracking project that began March 11, 2019 and concluded on March 17, 2020. This project uses the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) citizen scientists and the citizen science program iNaturalist to track the phenology of six species of plants found on the UCSB campus. Citizen scientists are much more likely to participate in organized events rather than an open-ended project. Citizen scientists are also more likely to observe species in flower than species that are not in bloom. Non-native species have less variation in phenostages at a single date than native species. The environmental cues used to determine movement through a species’ phenology differs between families. There are many factors that affect the phenology of campus plants including urban heat islands, phylogeny, and native status. This report is the undergraduate senior thesis of the author in fulfillment for the UCSB Biological Sciences Senior Honors Program.

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Cover page of North Campus Open Space Restoration Project Annual Monitoring Report: Year 2 (2019)

North Campus Open Space Restoration Project Annual Monitoring Report: Year 2 (2019)

(2020)

Born out of a vision shared by the local community, students, faculty, researchers and state and federal agencies, the North Campus Open Space (NCOS) restoration project is recreating more than 40 acres of estuarine and palustrine wetlands that historically comprised the upper portion of Devereux Slough that was filled in the mid-1960s to create the Ocean Meadows golf course. Led by the UC Santa Barbara Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) in collaboration with other UCSB departments, faculty, student and local community groups, contractors and government agencies, the project is also restoring more than 60 acres of upland habitats that include native grassland, coastal sage scrub, riparian, oak chaparral woodland, vernal pools and patches of annual wildflowers in clay and sandy soils. In addition to wetland and upland habitat restoration, the goals of the NCOS project include flood reduction, support for threatened and endangered species, public access and the provision of educational opportunities. Ancillary benefits of the project include carbon sequestration, preservation of local genotypes, and protection of adjacent ecological values and infrastructure through a design that integrates sea level rise considerations.

Currently in its third year of implementation, the main planting phase of the project is approximately 90% complete, and the focus is now turning towards maintenance, continued monitoring, new research projects, and supplemental planting to add diversity, including special status species such as the Ventura marsh milk-vetch (Astragalus pycnostachys var. lanosissimus). This report describes the methods and results of monitoring for the first two years of the project, from vegetation and wildlife to wetland geomorphology, hydrology and water quality, carbon sequestration studies, community use and a detailed record of restoration efforts by type of worker, task and site location. This work documents the progress of the project and supports longer-term research and monitoring programs. Results from the second year of monitoring show substantial progress towards the project’s restoration goals, with many being met or exceeded.

Cover page of Aquatic Invertebrates of the Devereux Slough - 2018

Aquatic Invertebrates of the Devereux Slough - 2018

(2020)

In 2018, the hardscape construction of NCOS (North Campus Open Space), a restored wetland on the Northern border of COPR (Coal Oil Point Reserve), was completed, thus approximately doubling the overall size of the wetland and offering the rather unique opportunity of being able to compare the two side-by-side.  Basic water quality and aquatic invertebrate monitoring of both sites were undertaken to better understand the dynamics of how a newly constructed wetland developed into an established wetland.

The surprising result of this first year of monitoring is that COPR and NCOS were more or less equivalent in species richness and abundance, with the Shannon-Wiener Index giving a slight nod to NCOS for more diversity and Evenness in the data.

Four taxa are the most significant contributors to the total taxa observed – Copepods, Ostracods, Cladocera, and Corixidae.  Additionally, we found Chironomids, Ceratopogonidae, Ephydridae, and Nematodes in significant abundance.

Sampling protocols were evaluated indicating that sampling in algae gives more than an order-of-magnitude greater abundance and diversity than in sampling in open water and that the Filtered Beaker method gives more precise species density information than the Sweep-Net method; when sampling at shallower depths where the Sweep-Net is not fully submerged.

Additionally, the effect on other aquatic invertebrates of the use of VectoBac for mosquito abatement was looked at – indicating a minimum, if any, affect.

Cover page of BugFlipper: A freeware plug-in for human assisted image processing in the GIMP

BugFlipper: A freeware plug-in for human assisted image processing in the GIMP

(2019)

Bugflipper is an open source plugin for the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) that performs a series of standard image correction tasks that are common when digitizing natural history collection specimens. These tasks include rotating images, color and contrast correction, reduction in overall file size, cropping, and renaming the image with a barcode number as the filename.

BugFlipper automates many of the processes based on preset values, but the program also includes a human assisted step that allows custom processing of non-standard images, quality control, and image renaming during the process. A comprehensive instruction manual for BugFlipper is included here, with troubleshooting tips and advice for modifying the plugin code to simplify a variety of human-assisted image-processing problems.

Cover page of North Campus Open Space Restoration Project First Year Monitoring Report (2018)

North Campus Open Space Restoration Project First Year Monitoring Report (2018)

(2019)

This report describes the monitoring program, methods and protocols for the North Campus Open Space Restoration Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The report also includes a summary of the data collected for the first year of monitoring (September 2017 to October 2018) as an example of the types of data that are collected and the progress of the restoration project and monitoring program during the first year.

Cover page of <em>Lupinus nipomensis</em> First Season Seed Bulking Report, 2012 – 2013

Lupinus nipomensis First Season Seed Bulking Report, 2012 – 2013

(2019)

This report describes the methods and results from the first season (2012 – 2013) of Lupinus nipomensis seed bulking at the CCBER Greenhouse and Nursery facility.

Cover page of Seed Bulking of <em>Lupinus Nipomensis</em> 2016

Seed Bulking of Lupinus Nipomensis 2016

(2019)

In this collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CCBER conducts a seed-bulking project to determine if Lupinus nipomensis can be bulked in a greenhouse setting. Testing was also conducted to determine the environmental conditions that best support this endangered species. 

Cover page of North Campus Open Space Restoration Project As-Built Grading and Hydrology Report

North Campus Open Space Restoration Project As-Built Grading and Hydrology Report

(2018)

This report describes the as-built geomorphology and hydrology of the North Campus Open Space (NCOS) restoration project at the completion of the grading phase of the project. Topics covered include: a comparison of the predicted and as-built grading elevations, as-built cross-sections and thalwegs of the two main channels, and a comparison of the hydrology of the project site before and after the completion of the grading phase. A selection of photos of the project site taken before and after the completion of grading are provided at the end of the report. Ongoing project work not covered in this report includes: trail and bridge construction, planting and site maintenance, and the planned construction of a visitor interpretative plaza and maintenance equipment shed.