Research Summaries

Research Summaries/Projects Administered

7/1/18 – 6/30/19



Sarah Anderson, Elizabeth Hiroyasu       8/15/18-7/31/20           $16,885


National Science Foundation 1747562


Doctoral Dissertation Research: Using Prospect Theory and Human Perceptions of Wildlife to Predict Support for Invasive Species Management


Invasive species are one of the most important drivers of environmental change and declines in global biodiversity (Chapin et al., 2000; M. C. Mack & D'Antonio, 1998), and are estimated to cost $120 billion annually in management and mitigation costs in the US (Pimentel et al. 2000; Pimentel, Zuniga, and Morrison 2005), making this a salient issue for land and wildlife managers. Despite this, little is known about how to frame the management of invasive species in a way that facilitates public support. Prospect theory would suggest that the public will respond more strongly to frames that communicate possible losses from invasive species. Further, invasive species impacts are an example of an environmental problem that has not become politicized, thereby providing a useful test of prospect theory in the environmental arena where costs are often concentrated and benefits diffuse (Leung et al. 2002; Finnoff et al. 2007). Invasive species cover a range of species, and human perception of them may interact with how the public perceives the potential gains or losses from the presence of the species. Prospect theory can provide important insights to how the public perceives the risks of invasive species and whether this perceived risk is consistent across species.


The primary objective of this project is to assess how prospect theory applies to environmental problems that are not yet politicized. Additionally, this project has practical implications for how managers can frame and message about invasive species to garner public support for management. To test the role of prospect theory in invasive species management, an online panel survey will be conducted with a two by two factorial design, measuring levels of support for invasive species management when it is framed in terms of the ecological or economic risks associated with the gains or losses of management. A single survey will be conducted for each species, for a total of four surveys conducted. The results will be pooled once all surveys are conducted.




Ralph Archuleta, Jorge Crempien            2/1/16-6/30/19           $30,000


University of Southern California 10436016


SCEC4 Participation, Project V: Simulation of Kinematic Rupture for Multi-Segment Faults Based on Dynamic Rupture


The ability of earthquake rupture to jump across faults, or to propagate on complex faults with multiple bends is of great importance to determine plausible earthquake magnitudes in specific regions (Wesnousky, 2006). The sub-discipline of earthquake rupture dynamics has been quite productive in determining the physics of these phenomena, which have been observed in many earthquakes such as: The 1992 Mw7.2 Landers (Hart et al., 1993) and 1999 Mw7.1 Hector Mine (Oglesby et al., 2003).  Not only is the rupture physics of these earthquakes important, but also the near field ground motion they can produce, to better inform the engineering community and to properly estimate earthquake hazard and risk. This is a priority for GMP: “Develop and implement simulation methods for the modeling of bending faults and multi-segment ruptures. The highest priority need is for kinematic rupture generators for implementation of the UCSB method (Crempien and Archuleta, 2015) on the Broadband Platform (BBP).”


Our goal is to determine plausible rupture prescriptions when generating ground motions from kinematic scenarios involving multiple fault segments or bending faults. Once the rules for simulating kinematic rupture on multiple-segment faults are specified, we will validate the model within the realm of the Broadband Validation Exercise (Goulet et al., 2015; Dreger et al., 2015). Specifically, for this proposal, we will produce kinematic models for the 1992 Landers Mw7.3 and the 1999 Hector Mine Mw7.0 earthquakes. We will use the metrics of the Broadband Validation Exercise in comparing synthetic ground motions with observations.



Ralph Archuleta, Chen Ji, Toshiro Tanimoto            2/1/19-1/31/20           $27,000


University of Southern California 118063000-G


UCSB Broadband Kinematic Rupture Simulation With A Double Corner Source Spectrum


In the current UCSB broadband simulation method (Schmedes et al., 2013; Crempien and Archuleta, 2016) there is an explicit constraint: the final moment-rate spectrum should approximate an Aki-Brune single corner spectrum that has an a priori corner based on an assumed stress drop. (The temporal parameters related to the rupture time and the slip-rate functions of each subfault are continuously adjusted in an inner loop until the spectrum of source moment-rate function approximates a specified Aki-Brune spectrum.) As shown by the Allmann and Shearer (2009) spectrum, this will lead to underestimation of the acceleration high frequency spectral level. The first priority is to replace the single corner spectrum with a double corner spectrum based on Ji and Archuleta (2018).


While we will continue to use spatial correlation for slip (𝑘−2), we will replace the regions of high correlation with crack-like asperities (Boatwright, 1988). These regions will still produce slip with 𝑘−2wavenumber and thus 𝑓−2 spectral decay (Herrero and Bernard, 1994). This is similar to what is done by Irikura and Miyake (2011). However, the location of the asperities will be randomly selected through the von Karman spatial correlation pattern, which itself is randomly generated with a given correlation length (Mai and Beroza, 2002). We will explore how the asperities will fail in time. Initially we will be guided by the work of Das and Kostrov (1983, 1985), Fukuyama and Madariaga (2000) and Dunham et al. (2003). The dynamic solutions indicate that rim of the asperity breaks first and then collapses inward. The timing of the overall rupture front and the timing of the asperity have to be coordinated. We will then re-run the SCEC broadband validation problems (Goulet et al., 2015).




Ralph Archuleta, Jorge Crempien, Toshiro Tanimoto            5/1/17-9/30/18           $18,000


University of Southern California 94315251-D


SCEC5, 17234: Estimating Path and Source Parameters in the Southern Sierra Nevada Using a Non-Parametric Approach and Special Source Constraints


Engineering site parameters such as have not been estimated in the Southern Sierra Nevada (SSN) region. We will use a non-parametric approach (Andrews, 1986; Castro et al, 1990) to estimate simultaneously source and path parameters for the SSN region. To reduce the variability of observations, we propose to incorporate additional constraints into the method of Andrews (1986) and Castro et al. (1990) by using the ratios of ground motion spectra produced by two earthquakes whose hypocenters are close to each other and recorded at the same site. This additional constraint should eliminate the path and site conditions allowing us to isolate source effects. We will apply this new approach for the CC coastal dataset that we have already analyzed to see if we can improve on the estimates of the source parameters.


Several networks in SSN record strong ground motion with stations maintained by both Northern and Southern California Earthquake Centers (NCEC, SCEC), the USGS and the California Geological Survey (CGS). Because we will be working with a limited dataset in the Sierra Nevada, we first want to test the proposed method with datasets that are more extensive as well as datasets that include recordings in deep boreholes, in order to better estimate the site conditions. The ideal place to do such work is with arrays that are maintained by Dr. Steidl at UCSB: Hollister downhole array (HEO), Garner Valley downhole array (GVDA) and Borrego Valley downhole array (BVDA). These data are available at: Once we have estimated all parameters, we will compute stress drops, apparent stress, radiated energy, and other source related parameters. 




Ralph Archuleta, Jorge Crempien, Toshiro Tanimoto           5/1/17-9/30/18           $25,000


University of Southern California 94315331-B


SCEC5, 17247: Validation of the UCSB Multi-Segment Kinematic Rupture Ground Motion Code Against Recorded Ground Motion for Several Events


Our objective is to compute large ensembles of earthquake simulations for central California sites that are suitable for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA). Compare the simulation results with those from ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs). Use this modeling to understand the aleatory variability encoded by the GMPEs and to assess the epistemic uncertainties in the simulation-based PSHA. 




Ralph Archuleta, Jorge Crempien 6/1/16-Fixed Price $35,000


University of Southern California, 10450329


SCEC4 Participation, Project U: High Frequency Path and Source Parameters Determined from Recorded Ground Motion in Central California


The Central California Seismic Project (CCSP) highlights “Use observations of ground motion from local earthquakes, and dense recordings of ground motion (where available) to characterize the ability to predict the intensity of strong ground motion and its variability.” One of the most critical factors affecting ground motion is attenuation, both regional and site specific. To our

knowledge, there have been no systematic attempts to determine the attenuation parameterized by κ (explained in the next paragraph) in Central California (CC), a region that hosts vital infrastructure such as the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and several dams, all of which are vulnerable to high-frequency ground motion (Muto, 2015).


The effective attenuation of seismic waves has been approximated by Futterman (1962) and Knopoff (1964) with the following equation A(r,f) = exp(-πfr/βQeff), where r is distance away from the fault, f is frequency, Qeff is effective seismic quality factor of S-waves, and β is S-wave velocity of the medium. There are many causes for seismic attenuation of waves, but the two

main recognized physical processes of attenuation have been pointed out to be anelasticity (Qin) and scattering (Qscat) (Dainty, 1981), where the effective attenuation can be written as 1/Qeff = 1/Qin +1/Qscat. This relationship shows the difficulty in determining the relative contributions of anelasticity and scattering to the effective attenuation. In spite of this difficulty, it has long been recognized that Qscat is frequency dependent (e.g., Jin et al., 1994). If the contribution of scattering to effective attenuation is significant, then Qeff should also be frequency dependent. Cormier (1982) proposed a model for attenuation based on the integration along a ray path such that A(f) = A0exp(-πt*f), with t* = ∫path dr/(βQeff). As the waves come to the surface, the waves experience a major increase in t*, an argument that inspired Anderson and Hough (1984) to

propose a model based on a linear decrease of the log-amplitudes of the Fourier amplitude Spectrum (FAS) of ground motion. They called the slope of this decay κ, such that A(f) = A0exp(-πκf), which implies that Qeff is frequency independent. They also concluded that κ increases with distance away from the fault, which is interpreted as the regional anelastic attenuation modeled as κ(r)= κ0 + mr, where κ0 is the intercept of κ at zero distance, and m is the slope of κ(r) as a function of distance.


Ralph Archuleta, Chen Ji 10/1/17-3/31/19 $49,747


California Department of Conservation 1017-561


Strong Ground Motion from Earthquakes on Multiple Faults


InSAR image and geological surveys demonstrate that Kaikoura earthquake resulted in slip on multiple (>12) fault segments ( InSAR cannot conclusively determine that all of these segments ruptured co-seismically. We propose a two-step approach to constrain the co-seismic rupture.


We first investigate the co-seismic moment rate distribution using strong motion records with the multiple double-couple (MDC) approach discussed above. We assume each potential fault segments as one double-couple point source and invert for its seismic moment, centroid location, centroid time, and rupture duration for each fault segment using teleseismic and far-field strong motion waveforms. The results will provide the spatial moment distribution and temporal distribution of point sources.


When the causative fault segments are constrained, we conduct finite fault inversion on a fault geometry with predefined fault segments using broadband seismic data as we did for 2008 Wenchuan and 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. As the seismic data with higher frequency is included, the fault slip is refined.



Ned Bair                10/1/18-9/30/20                $59,519


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NA18OAR4590380


Improving subseasonal water supply prediction across the Western United States through assimilation of remotely sensed snow cover snow albedo, and snow water equivalent in the NOAA National Water Model


Water managers must balance competing demands for water supply, hydropower, recreation, habitat, and flood protection. Information that can improve early season decision-making therefore benefits a wide range of end-users. In the Western U.S., where snow accounts for a large fraction of the annual water budget, one of the largest sources of uncertainty in subseasonal to seasonal water forecasts is snowpack. The NOAA National Water Model (NWM) includes a subseasonal (30-day, aka "long-range") forecasting module, which predicts precipitation, snowpack water storage and release, and streamflow. This particular NWM product is currently underutilized by water managers and resource planners, in part due to unfamiliarity with the system, high uncertainties in the estimates, and lack of grounding in the observational datasets commonly used by managers.


We propose to address these current deficiencies by assimilating a new, near-real-time suite of remote-sensing-based snow products into the NWM. The foundation of our methodology is a post-processing algorithm developed by NSIDC to create daily, spatially and temporally consistent estimates of fractional snow-covered area, clean snow albedo, and dust radiative forcing, products which perform better than traditional MODIS snow products. UCSB will expand this product suite in high-priority target regions with near-real-time snow water equivalent (SWE) estimates derived by a novel machine-learning algorithm trained on the NSIDC remote-sensing suite and a historical SWE reconstruction model. To bring this rich data suite into the NWM, NCAR has devised an ensemble particle-filter assimilation method to winnow the long-range forecast ensemble set to "optimal" combinations of model parameters and forecasts that best replicate the snow observations. To test the new framework, the team will conduct a system-level demonstration of the NWM long-range forecast configuration for the 2018-2019 period with weekly regional snow state and parameter updates, including full computational benchmarking and feasibility assessment for U.S.-wide implementation. 

The long-range configuration is ideally suited for our data-model fusion approach. Its simpler process representation and faster computational speeds allow parameter and forcing ensembles to become computationally tractable, permitting seamless assimilation of high-quality, high-impact observations like the NSIDC snow suite. With modest effort, we believe this expanded system will make substantial improvements in the accuracy and relevance of the NWM seasonal forecasts to water resource managers.



Ned Bair                3/1/18-2/28/21                $85,489


The Regents of the University of Colorado 1556287


Optimizing the Indus Basin Irrigation System and reservoir operations using remotely sensed snow surface properties in the ParBal model


This project will use sophisticated research algorithms to create essential water variables (EWVs) for snow and glacier ice. The EWVs will be analyzed as indicators to long-term trends in the Indus River basin that spans the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and China, presenting transboundary issues. 


The UCSB component of this work will focus on the implementation of the ParBal model and development of a Real-time SWE prediction model.




Ned Bair, Karl Rittger            10/1/18-9/30/21           $213,968


National Aeronautics and Space Administration 80NSSC18K1489


Fusion of MODIS, VIIRS, and Landsat snow cover data to create high spatial and temporal resolution estimates of snow water equivalent in a well-instrumented and austere basin


About 1/6th of the world’s population relies on water from snow and ice melt. Snow cover and now albedo are important properties used to estimate snow water equivalent (SWE) and snowmelt. Daily observations of snow cover and snow albedo are available from MODIS Terra and Suomi NPP VIIRS at a resolution of 500 m and 1 km respectively, but snow properties vary at an order of magnitude smaller scales. Finer scale observations at 30 m from satellites such as Landsat 5, 7, and 8 are available but only at 16-day intervals. By fusing MODIS and VIIRS snow cover retrievals together with Landsat, we will create a multi-decadal time series that can also be used as input for retrospective modeling and forecasting of SWE. We will focus on two regions: the well-instrumented Colorado River basin in the Rocky Mountains and the austere upper Indus River basin in the Himalaya-Hindu Kush.



Kelsey Bisson, David Siegel 5/15/17-6/30/19 $50,000


National Academies Keck Futures Initiative NAKFI DB53


Project ROAM: Rendering Oceanography in Artistic Mediums


Science and art are both avatars of human examination and creativity, but only rarely are they coupled on seagoing expeditions for their mutual benefit. To this end, ROAM (Rendering Oceanography in Artistic Mediums) aims to bring four artists aboard R/V Sally Ride on a graduate student led science expedition to produce creative, artistic narratives from science at sea. By translating science experiences through art, ROAM will build empathy and wonder for our ocean and, ultimately, spark a commitment to marine stewardship. The ROAM team will include a creative writer, a videographer, an illustrator, and a musician. These individuals will collaborate with each other and with the scientists aboard to produce poetry and creative prose, illustrations, music, a short animated film, a short documentary-style video, photos, and likely many unforeseen creative endeavors that will undoubtedly transpire from this dedicated cross-disciplinary engagement. The overall goal is to leverage the strengths of art and science to motivate a love for the deep ocean across a range of communities. Following the weeklong expedition, this material will be available through numerous artistic publications, a cruise website, and an art-science installation in Santa Barbara, California. The online efforts will make the ocean more accessible to people who live far away from the ocean, creating a proximal connection despite the distance. This in turn will breed concern for ocean health, stimulate interest in the deep ocean, and perhaps inspire others to pursue a career in oceanography.



Carol Blanchette, Marion Wittmann            6/13/19-3/15/21           $506,800


California Department of Forestry 5GA18206


Valentine Reserve Fuel Reduction


Valentine Reserve is an ecological reserve and research station owned and operated by the University of California. The Reserve is located at the wildland urban interface (WUI) between the resort Town of Mammoth Lakes and the Inyo National Forest. Wildfire has been suppressed on the Reserve for approximately 150 years. Historical records show that average fire recurrence intervals before that time at the Valentine Reserve were as frequent as 15 years. Very high loading of fuel has accumulated, and the forest is in a very unhealthy condition with excessive stand density (up to 900 stems/acre). We propose a hazardous fuels reduction project on 50 acres of high-density forest within the reserve to increase the health and resilience of the forest and to reduce potential future wildfire severity and protect developed infrastructure in the Town of Mammoth Lakes, CA.


Having a large, natural forest preserve in such proximity to a tourist-based semi-urban community requires special attention to both the work prescribed and the methods employed for performing the work. The WUI at Valentine Reserve will require a mixture of approaches in order to achieve fuels reduction goals oriented around preservation, conservation and wildfire safety. This includes the establishing of sustainable tree spacing, the maintenance and preservation of a diversity of tree age and tree species, and a sensitivity to wildlife habitat. This project will incorporate forest treatment prescriptions oriented around the following: selective thinning of small conifer trees by hand felling; selective removal of dead trees; removal of trees infested with bark beetles; pole saw work (raising) in some densely forested areas in order to reduce ladder fuels; and finally some raking in areas of excessive ground fuel accumulation. Treatment of the fuels material will likely be a mixture of on-site chipping, complete removal to be processed and chipped at a remote green-waste facility, and some minimal piling and burning. A variety of equipment types will be used in order to move the material out of the area. A minimal impact approach on the landscape will be followed as much as practical and possible throughout the project. Finally, all commercially viable and useable material will be removed and processed locally for either firewood or building material.




Derek Booth, Thomas Dunne 7/1/15-06/30/20 $850,034


National Park Service P15AC01121


Yosemite Valley Merced River Restoration


The purpose of this project is to provide scientific and design support to Merced River restoration efforts in east Yosemite Valley being considered or implemented by the National Park Service (NPS). This work is occurring in an area of both great natural resources and intensive human activity, with complex and potentially conflicting goals articulated by the Merced Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, issued in February 2014. 


Since the initiation of this project, the work accomplished has comprised field data collection, data compilation, channel-migration modeling, in-stream project design and construction monitoring, stakeholder outreach, and preparation of a comprehensive report on scientific activities to date. As a result of this work we have developed and completed a map-based characterization of channel attributes throughout the study area, contributed to the in-progress geologic map of the valley, participated in multiple stakeholder meetings, and provided engineering design and construction oversight on two in-stream projects constructed in the valley since initiation of the project. Research questions have been framed relating to the past and future behavior of this river, given a range of potential management prescriptions for riparian areas and under potential climate-change scenarios. 



Mark Buntaine 3/1/17-4/30/20 $208,269


University of California 00009574


Citizen Monitoring of Urban Waterways in Jiangsu, China


In collaboration with UCSB, Nanjing University will design and carry out a randomized field experiment that tests whether citizen monitoring of urban pollution and the public or official dissemination of that information improves the management of urban pollution. This effort includes:


1. Baseline survey / water quality audit: We will implement baseline household surveys and water quality audits of the urban waterways in our sample prior to assigning any of the waterways to treatment. The baseline survey will assess resident attitudes about water pollution in their neighborhoods and their willingness to take action.


2. Implementation of treatments: We will assign our urban waterways to treatment conditions that include citizen monitoring or no citizen monitoring. For those waterways that are assigned to citizen monitoring we have a further experimental arm that will dissemination the monitoring information directly to government offices or release it publicly on social media platforms.


3. Endline survey / water quality audit: We will implement the same survey and water quality audit that was take at baseline after one year, with the goal of being able to identify any changes that are caused by our planned monitoring and information dissemination treatments. 



Leila Carvalho, Charles Jones, Richard Church, Alan Murray, Dar Roberts

8/1/17-7/31/20 $1,508,987

National Science Foundation 1664173


PREEVENTS Track 2: Understanding Extreme Fire Weather Hazards and Improving Resilience in Coastal Santa Barbara, California


Frequent gusty downslope winds accompanied by rapid warming and decreased relative humidity are among the most significant fire weather conditions affecting coastal areas like Santa Barbara County (SB) in Southern California. Such conditions have affected the evolution of 15 major wildfires in SB (since 1955) responsible for loss of life, injuries, millions of dollars in property loss, and significant environmental impacts. The coastal communities of SB, with nearly 200,000 people, are particularly exposed to wildfire hazards as most of the population lives in a narrow zone between the mountains and the ocean. US-101 highway runs parallel to the coast and is the area most important evacuation route. SB Fire Department along with other agencies rely extensively on the National Weather Service (NWS) to provide accurate forecasts of wind direction and speed, onset and demise of windstorms in preparing for firefighting strategies. However, the current approaches are limited in scope, detail and how interacting mechanisms are taken into account. To enhance capabilities and understanding, an interdisciplinary team of experts in atmospheric sciences, fire-weather, ecosystem management, remote sensing, and transportation modeling propose to develop a framework that better accounts for mechanisms of downslope windstorms and fire spread regimes in order to derive probability risks of extreme hazards along this coastal region. This proposal contributes to PREEVENTS goals 1 and 2 by enhancing understanding, improving capabilities for modeling and forecasting hazards and increasing resilience. The following tasks are proposed: 1) use available observations and the Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF) at 1km resolution from 1979-present to investigate mechanisms and develop a climatology of significant downslope winds in the Santa Inez Mountains; 2) based on historical extreme events (task-1), use fire spread models (based on input from the WRF and observed fuels) assuming fire ignition in areas previously burned (validation) and in areas that presently have high density of vegetation fuels; 3) carry out fire weather risk assessment and determine the spatial probability of fire weather hazards affecting the greater SB region; and, 4) use transportation models and results from 1-3 to examine evacuation strategies and improve resilience. 



Kelly Caylor 11/17/17-7/31/20 $103,249


Clark University 2A325-7533


Hazards SEES: Understanding cross-scale interactions of trade and food policy to improve resilience to drought risk in Zambia


This effort involves the integration of data and models for improved forecasting of hydrological hazards and agricultural production, and dissemination of forecast products. Part of this considers impact reduction focusing on identifying strategies to improve early warning of hydrological hazards through use of improved forecast products and their uptake, and improving resilience of local populations through improved access to resources, and development of policy recommendations that ensure availability and access to food. There is also a biophysical science aspect of this research, including the analysis and development of improved prediction systems for hydrological hazards and agricultural impacts.  


Kelly Caylor 1/1/18 – 12/31/19 $80,267


Clark University SB180140


Developing and Scaling Up The Mapping Africa Active Learning Platform


UCSB will contribute to the following project tasks: 1)  Porting the existing active learning code to a scalable parallel computing environment (AWS EMR cluster); 2) Adapting image pre-processing to handle irregular image boundaries and incomplete coverage by training data; 3)  Converting external cython image feature extraction code into streaming Apache Spark Routine; 4) Adapting code to be image agnostic (i.e. can operate on PlanetScope, Sentinel, Landsat, etc.); 5)  Integrating, testing, and demonstrating the complete active learning platform. 



Kelly Caylor 11/28/18-12/31/19 $100,000


National Geographic Society NGS-57848R-18


Global maps of center pivot agriculture for improving estimates of crop yield and groundwater use


Agriculture is by far the sector with the highest demand for water, and increasingly, we are turning to non-renewable reservoirs such as groundwater to satisfy this demand. How resilient are food systems that rely on groundwater extraction? To answer these and other land use/ land cover change questions, we will enhance components of a machine learning system we have already developed: 1) CloudFreePlanet: an algorithm for filtering clouds and downloading Planetscope imagery to cloud storage 2) CropMask: a python API that makes deep learning object segmentation methods easily applicable to extract agricultural features from medium to high resolution time series of satellite imagery (including Worldview, Planetscope, Landsat, and Sentinel-2) and 3) CropProfile: a python API for identifying agricultural categories with temporal features (e.g. planting dates) and spectral features (e.g. annual change in reflectance). We will use this toolset to map center pivot agriculture globally. Next, fields will be classified in two stages: they will be determined to be active, fallow, recultivated, or abandoned and then active fields will have crop type classified. This dataset will be used in an empirical model to estimate groundwater use continuously over time, for arable regions across the globe. All algorithms, models, apis, jupyter notebooks and datasets for this project will be open sourced, allowing researchers to apply pretrained models to identify land cover categories, train their own models using CropMask, and conduct their own regional analysis of groundwater use.




Kelly Caylor, Leila Carvalho, Matthew Hall, Greg Husak, David Siegel

8/1/17-7/31/19 $487,730

National Science Foundation 1659449


CC* Networking Infrastructure: UCSB Network Upgrade to 100 Gigabit


This project will enhance the University of California, Santa Barbara network in order to enable global, high-performance, end-to-end access to dynamic network services that enable rapid, unimpeded movement of the diverse and distributed scientific data sets utilized by 120 research teams at UCSB, facilitating learning, science and research, and establishing greater accessibility of scientific and research data. The network enhancements will allow the UCSB Earth Research Institute (ERI) and Department of Geography researchers to effectively share data of world-wide importance and impact. This effort addresses current network saturation challenges and facilitates efficient movement of large data sets between the numerous research activities in Ellison Hall on the UCSB campus, home to both ERI and Geography, and the Alexandria Digital Research Library (ADRL), UC Santa Barbara Library’s home for collections of digital research materials, in the UCSB Library and in the North Hall Data Center on the UCSB campus. In addition, the network upgrades will also allow ERI and Geography collaborators who are located across the nation and world-wide to effectively access the data sets by increasing bandwidth from the CENIC network interface to the UCSB North Hall Data Center where increasing amounts of the data are stored.



Kelly Caylor 2/1/17-2/29/20 $628,779


National Science Foundation 1801251


WSC-Category 2 Collaborative: Impacts of Agricultural Decision Making and Adaptive Management on Food Security


Despite significant attention from governments, donor agencies, and NGOs, food security remains an unresolved challenge in the context of global human welfare. Both technical and conceptual limits have prevented the collection and analysis of rich empirical datasets with high temporal frequency over large spatial extents necessary to investigate how changes to seasonal precipitation patterns are affecting food security. This research project will transform both methodological and conceptual frameworks for assessing the sustainability of dryland agricultural systems. The research will bring new understanding of how dryland farmers adapt to within-season variability in climate and how those adaptations affect their current and future resilience to climate variability and climate change. Project findings will improve forecast models used to monitor and predict the sustainability of water-dependent agricultural systems. By marrying the simple idea of cell phone adoption with state-of-art research in data science, crop prediction, and environmental/social monitoring, the project will advance and accelerate scientific understanding of an important global sustainability problem.



Kelly Caylor 8/1/16-8/31/17 $27,518


Princeton University SUB0000189


Hazards SEES: Understanding cross-scale interactions of trade and food policy to improve resilience to drought risk in Zambia


This effort involves the integration of data and models for improved forecasting of hydrological hazards and agricultural production, and dissemination of forecast products. Part of this considers impact reduction focusing on identifying strategies to improve early warning of hydrological hazards through use of improved forecast products and their uptake, and improving resilience of local populations through improved access to resources, and development of policy recommendations that ensure availability and access to food. There is also a biophysical science aspect of this research, including the analysis and development of improved prediction systems for hydrological hazards and agricultural impacts.  



John Cottle 9/1/15-8/31/19 $257,128


National Science Foundation 1443296


Petrologic Constraints on Subduction Termination from Lamprophyres, Ross Orogen, Antarctica


This project proposes to systematically study a suite of lamprophyres, their xenoliths and

associated rocks, spanning c.1300km along-strike and emplaced during the latest stages of

the Neoproterozoic - Ordovician Ross orogeny, Antarctica. High-precision geochronology coupled with whole rock and mineral-scale elemental, isotope geochemical and petrologic analysis will elucidate: 1) the mechanisms for, and temporal and spatial scales over which, deep crustal foundering/delamination occurred and; 2) the processes responsible for the significant isotopic heterogeneities observed in these rocks.



John Cottle 1/15/17-6/30/20 $86,426


National Science Foundation 1650265


Collaborative Research: Andean plutonic perspectives on generation, storage, and eruption of rhyolite


This project will be an international collaboration to synthesize and integrate field observations, geo- and thermochronology, and compositions of rocks and minerals, together with thermal modeling of a young plutonic complex typical of the Andean orogen. The shallow emplacement, range of compositions, and three-dimensional exposures make a superb target for investigating timescales of epizonal pluton assembly, magma storage, and relationships to silicic volcanism in an active subduction zone. Our approach includes hypothesis testing aimed to: 1) establish rates and mechanisms of pluton assembly, 2) identify individual magma batches and assess interactions,

if any, between them, 3) determine the timescales of crystallization and cooling of individual magma batches, and system-wide, 4) establish petrogenetic relationships between coeval, but compositionally distinct plutons, and 5) evaluate whether eruptible rhyolitic melt formed.



Carla D'Antonio; Max Moritz 10/1/17-11/30/18 $19,763


University of California - Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) SA17-3877-01


Restoration and Resilience of Endemic Bigcone Douglas-fir after the 2007 Zaca Fire


Focusing on bigcone Douglas-fir after the Zaca Fire using a science-based restoration project. The project will be mapping the forest stands and their condition, analyses of environmental factors important for regeneration, collection and propagation of local seed, outplanting, evaluation of survival in the field, and synthesis of findings for the long-term adaptive management of bigcone Douglas-fir.



Frank Davis 10/1/15-9/30/18 $63,513


National Science Foundation 1550653


Collaborative Research: EAGER-NEON: How do microscale biophysical processes mediate ecosystem shifts during climate change-driven drought?


The project team will use National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) data in synergy with their own microclimate measurements, experimental data on tree species establishment, and ecosystem models, to test the hypothesis that microenvironments exert a strong influence on emergent macroecological patterns of forest dynamics. Research questions are: 1) How do microclimates (solar insolation, surface temperature, and soil moisture regime) vary at fine spatial and temporal scales across the southern Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of the Pacific Southwest NEON Domain? 2) How does the relationship between local microclimate and vegetation canopy cover change across the foothills to subalpine climate gradient that occur within this region? 3) How does drought-induced tree mortality affect microenvironmental conditions, and how do patterns of mortality and canopy gap formation affect subsequent forest dynamics? 



 Ranjit Deshmukh 1/1/19-12/31/20 $199,605


Oxford Policy Management A0534A


Accelerating large-scale renewable energy deployment in Southern Africa by bridging analysis and application through decision support tools


This project aims to identify renewable energy resources and grid integration strategies that are specific to the challenges, needs, and opportunities in Southern African countries, specifically mainland member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)--12 member countries of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). By doing so, this proposed project seeks to extend existing studies in a way that is directly relevant for near-term

decision-making while considering long-term development ambitions.



Timothy DeVries 7/1/16-6/30/19 $260,662


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX16AI22G


Quantifying the ocean's biological carbon pump with remotely sensed and in-situ observations


Organisms in the ocean’s sunlit surface layer take up carbon at a globally-integrated rate 5 times faster than humans emit CO2 to the atmosphere. A substantial but highly uncertain portion of this organic carbon ultimately sinks into the deeper ocean, where it is sequestered for years to millennia, significantly affecting the Earth’s climate. This process, known as the ocean’s biological carbon pump, both governs and responds to changes in Earth’s climate on decadal to millennial timescales.

This project develops new mechanistic, observationally-constrained models to address substantial uncertainties surrounding the operation of the biological pump in the contemporary ocean, and its response to climate change. This project aims to: (i) Quantify how much carbon the biological pump delivers to the deep ocean on an annual basis, and how long this carbon is sequestered in the deep ocean; (ii) Develop mechanistic models relating biological pump processes to remotely sensed variables, so that the biological pump can be monitored from space; (iii) Quantify the environmental sensitivities of key biological pump processes, so that climate predictions can be improved; (iv) Develop a new framework for assimilation and integration of satellite and oceanographic data, to maximize the useful information from space-based and ocean observing systems. The primary novelty of this project is that it integrates both satellite and in-situ oceanographic observations in the context of a global ocean circulation and biogeochemistry inverse model. Each data source provides unique constraints on different important parts of the biological pump. Satellites sense surface biological properties such as productivity and ecosystem size structure, while oceanographic tracers integrate information on the rates and pathways of organic carbon decomposition. By combining the two, this project aims to develop models that have the potential to change how NASA resources will be used to monitor and quantify the ocean’s carbon cycle.



Timothy DeVries 7/1/17-6/30/20 $274,355


National Science Foundation 1658392


Collaborative research: Combining models and observations to constrain the marine iron cycle


Iron (Fe) is an important micronutrient for marine phytoplankton that limits primary productivity over much of the ocean. However, the major fluxes in the marine Fe cycle remain poorly quantified: ocean models that attempt to synthesize our understanding of Fe biogeochemistry predict widely different Fe inputs to the ocean, and are often unable to capture first-order features of the Fe distribution. The proposed work aims to resolve these problems using advanced data assimilation (inverse) methods to "teach" the widely used Biogeochemical Elemental Cycling (BEC) model how to better represent Fe sources, sinks, and cycling processes. This will be achieved by implementing BEC in the efficient Ocean Circulation Inverse Model (OCIM) and expanding it to simulate the cycling of additional tracers that constrain unique aspects of the Fe cycle, including aluminum, thorium, helium and Fe isotopes. In this framework, our inverse model can rapidly explore alternative representations of Fe-cycling processes, guided by new high-quality observations. Through this model-data synthesis, we will address three specific objectives: (i) To quantify the magnitude of each Fe source to the ocean; (ii) To better understand the loss of Fe by particle scavenging and quantify the lifetime of Fe in the ocean; (iii) To make new robust predictions of Fe cycling under future climate change scenarios, by coupling the improved BEC to an Earth System Model.


Timothy DeVries, Michael Nowicki  9/1/18-8/31/19 $45,000


National Aeronautics and Space Administration 80NSSC18K1353


Improving satellite-based estimates of net primary productivity by assimilating oceanographic data


Accurately estimating oceanic net primary production (NPP) is imperative to increasing our understanding of the global carbon cycle, and improving our ability to attribute and predict changes in Earth's climate. Despite this necessity, current satellite-based NPP estimates have significant uncertainties, as evidenced by the wide variation between different satellite NPP products. This is due in part to a lack of adequate validation of model parameters used to produce these estimates. Efforts to validate models have been made, but the in-situ data used for validation has generally been too limited either spatially, temporally, or both to accurately extrapolate NPP estimates on a global scale. The work seeks to improve these NPP estimates through assimilation of global-scale in-situ oceanographic tracer data with satellite-based observations. The work will produce biogeochemically-consistent NPP estimates that can be applied to data from satellite-based sensors such as MODIS-Aqua, Suomi VIIRS, and the upcoming PACE mission, along with potential to support NASA projects such as the EXport Processes in the Ocean from Remote Sensing (EXPORTS). 


Qinghua Ding 6/1/18-5/31/21 $341,590


National Science Foundation 1744598


Collaborative Research: Arctic sea ice variability: Remote drivers and local processes


The goal of the research is to understand and quantify how the atmospheric circulation in the Arctic influences winds, cloudiness, water vapor, radiation and thereby sea ice variability. We will examine the dynamical mechanisms that link the Arctic circulation to remote drivers in the tropics. We will put circulation changes in the Arctic and the related climate shift over the last 40 years into a longer term, 117 years, context to better understand the relative contributions of anthropogenic and internal variability though analyses of observations and model simulations. We will then evaluate how well CMIP5/6 models reproduce the observed linkage between Arctic sea ice and tropical sea surface temperatures and diagnose potential failures, and how such failures might affect model based hindcasts and projections of Arctic sea ice and climate.



Qinghua Ding 7/1/16-4/30/20 $113,422


University of Washington UWSC10548


Collaborative Research: A high-sensitivity 10Be and extraterrestrial 3He record from an ice core at South Pole


Qinghua Ding (University of California, Santa Barbara) will work with the other project members in designing climate modeling runs to test the impact of large scale circulation changes on the deposition of 10Be to the ice surface in the Antarctic in the past 40,000 years. In the first year, runs will be conducted by Professor Ding using ECHAM5-HAMMOZ. In years 2 and 3, similar climate modeling runs will be further conducted by Professor Ding, using an updated ECHAM6-HAM2 climate model. The comparison of results from different climate models (NASA GISS) is fundamental to the project goals



Qinghua Ding 8/1/16-7/31/19 $161,045


University of Washington UWSC9314


CVP: Seasonal to interannual variability and predictability of Arctic summertime sea ice associated with tropically forced planetary wave patterns


Increases in economic, environmental, and security interests in the Arctic demand improved prediction capabilities. This project explores a new path towards improved predictions of Arctic sea ice. We are investigating how teleconnections between tropical sea surface temperatures (SST) and high latitude circulation patterns can be exploited for sea ice predictions. Recent climate change in the Arctic is generally attributed to anthropogenic drivers and related feedbacks between sea ice, the ocean, and the atmosphere. However, work by Ding et al. (2014) and others (e.g. Trenberth et al. 2014) suggest that tropical Pacific SST variability is important in modulating recent Arctic climate variability by influencing the high-latitude atmospheric circulation. So far, these papers have examined the teleconnection between tropical SSTs and Arctic circulation and surface air temperatures. One unresolved question is how much does this tropical-Arctic teleconnection affect sea ice variability and predictability? This project aims to fill that gap. Indeed, preliminary results suggest that these links with sea ice exist. This work will focus on the implications of this link for seasonal predictability of sea ice and explore how a hierarchy of models captures this link and can be used and improved to enhance Arctic sea ice prediction. 




Qinghua Ding, Charles Jones  9/1/18-8/30/20 $297,938


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NA18OAR4310424


Abrupt Arctic warming episodes driven by atmospheric circulation changes in the past 1150 years


Understanding the behavior and causes of multi-decadal variability in the Arctic is hampered by the shortness of the instrumental record and 20th century reanalyses, which only capture one or two cycles of low-frequency variability. Thus, the Last Millennium Climate Reanalysis (LMR) provides a good opportunity to build knowledge and understand how the global atmospheric circulation and Arctic climates were interlinked and how they evolved together on interdecadal to centennial time scales in the past millennium, especially due to changing natural and anthropogenic external forcing. Indeed, preliminary results offered in this proposal suggest that there exists an observed low frequency teleconnection between tropical SSTs and the Arctic in the past 60 years and a similar teleconnection could exist in a long integration of CESM that is not subject to external forcing. Thus, our working hypothesis is that in the past millennium, a low frequency SST variability in the tropics could generate and maintain a teleconnection pattern propagating toward the Arctic to cause an abrupt warming through changing the local circulation. In this project, we aim to test this hypothesis using LMR data and CESM, and develop a physical understanding of this tropical-Arctic linkage and its responses under changing natural and anthropogenic external forcing.



Jeff Dozier 3/1/18-2/28/20 $2,094,303


University of California LFR-18-548316


Headwaters to groundwater: Resources in a changing climate


Climate change and greater water demand pose new challenges for managing water resources in California. To enable California to optimize future water infrastructure, legislation, and economy, scientists at 5 UC campuses, LLNL, and LBL will address measurement and modeling of water from headwaters in the Sierra Nevada, through rivers and reservoirs, to and through groundwater in California’s Central Valley. The goal is to provide scientific information to optimize water storage, quality, and groundwater sustainability as precipitation varies, temperatures warm, and population grows. To consider the range of headwater-to-groundwater systems, we focus on three river basins comprising different climatic, geologic, and socio-economic settings -- Shasta R (volcanic, northernmost, lowest and wettest), Kings R (granitic, southernmost, driest, highest, poorest), and the American R (metamorphic, wealthiest). Novel methods to monitor and model ongoing and future changes in rain and snowmelt in the headwaters will be coupled with process-driven modeling and measurement of evapotranspiration, groundwater recharge, and withdrawal in the lowlands. Models will consider changes in water policy and infrastructure, and resulting impacts on energy production and consumption. Collaboration between the campuses and Labs will build interdisciplinary teams that include faculty in all career stages who study aspects of the water cycle from remote sensing of precipitation to water policy. Collaborators from LLNL and LBL contribute capabilities and expertise in isotopic tracing of water, high-performance computer modeling of groundwater and surface water, and energy implications of water management. This proposal strengthens DOE’s mission, to ensure America's security and prosperity by addressing energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through science and technology. Ultimately, the alliance between UC faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students with scientists at LLNL and LBL will improve understanding of how changing climate and water demand will affect water resources through the middle to the end of this century. Our proposal will nurture a new generation of scientists in the nexus of climate, water, and energy. An advisory board of water practitioners will help target our findings to help water managers make the best decisions for California’s precious water resources.



Jeff Dozier, Ned Bair 11/30/17-5/31/19 $57,432


Jet Propulsion Laboratory 1591172


Spatial Dynamics of Grain Size, Radiative Forcing by Impurities, and Spectral Albedo from AVIRIS-NG Data in the Indian Himalaya


Glaciers in the Western Himalaya have generally retreated since the mid-1800s [Bhambri and Bolch, 2009; Gardner et al., 2013], yet large uncertainties persist about the scale of that retreat, its spatial variability, its causes, and the magnitude of the resulting contribution to sea-level rise [Mayewski and Jascheke, 1979; Kaab et al., 2012; Garde/le et al., 2013; Gardner et al., 2013]. Himalayan glacier retreat is commonly attributed to global warming, but air temperature and black carbon (BC) only began to increase appreciably about 40 years ago [Kaspari et al., 2011], whereas widespread increases in dust loading to the Himalaya in the last 150 years [Thompson et al., 2000; Conroy et al., 2013] have coincided with the sustained glacier retreat in the Himalaya. Recent in situ measurements, ice cores, and modeling of aerosol transport and radiative forcing in the Himalaya suggest that snow darkening, earlier exposure of darker glacier ice owing to more rapid snowmelt, and atmospheric heating from dust and BC may have at-surface radiative forcings 1 to 2 orders of magnitude stronger than those from all greenhouse gases [Qian et a., 2011; Nair et al., 2013; Kaspari et a/, 2014]. This evidence leads us to understand that a complex mix of forcings is changing this iconic region, beyond just radiative forcing from greenhouse gases. To explore this complex mix, we work under an overarching science goal: quantitatively understand physical processes that drive changes in the snow and ice of High Mountain Asia.



Jeff Dozier; Ned Bair 1/20/15-1/19/20 $150,215


DA Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory W913E5-15-C-0003


Methods to Estimate and Validate the Spatial Distribution of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)


Accurate estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) in mountain watersheds pose a longstanding, unsolved problem. Operational models’ high uncertainty imposes costs for water users. For instance, April to July runoff forecasts for the American River in California’s Sierra Nevada have a median error of 18%, and sometimes exceed 100% [Dozier, 2011]. Uncertainty stems from the heterogeneous nature of mountain snow. Spectral mixing techniques using satellite-based imagery in the visible and near-infrared bands have been successful at mapping snow covered area (SCA) at sub-pixel resolution [e.g., Rosenthal and Dozier, 1996; Painter et al., 2009]. The remotely sensed date of disappearance of snow from each pixel can be combined with a calculation of melt to reconstruct the accumulated SWE for each day back to the last significant snowfall [Martinec and Rango, 1981]. Successful examples of reconstructed SWE include large basins in the Rocky Mountains [Molotch, 2009] and the Sierra Nevada [Rittger, 2012; Guan et al., 2013; Girotto et al., 2014]. Reconstruction’s main advantage lies in its provision of spatially resolved SWE estimates without the need for ground based observations, but its biggest disadvantage is that SWE can only be calculated retroactively after snow disappears. Alternatively, passive microwave (PM) sensors offer real-time global SWE estimates but suffer from several issues, notably signal loss in wet snow [Chang, 2000], saturation in deep snow [Kelly et al., 2003; Takala et al., 2011; Hancock et al., 2013], decreasing SWE with increasing forest fraction [Nolin, 2010; Tedesco and Narvekar, 2010], subpixel variability in the mountains owing to the large (~25 km) pixel size [Vander Jagt et al., 2013], and SWE overestimation in the presence of large grains such as depth and surface hoar [Derksen et al., 2005; Durand et al., 2011]. 



Jeff Dozier; Ned Bair 9/15/16-9/26/18 $387,268


DA Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory W913E5-16-C-0013


Methods to Robustly Assess the Snow Water Resource in Remote Mountains


A billion people depend on melt water from snow and glaciers. As the climate warms, the timing and quantity of water from snow and glacial melt is changing. Little is known about the spatial distribution of snow over vast areas of the world. A few areas have relatively dense measurement networks or aerial snow surveys that provide estimates of basin wide snow water equivalent (SWE), which greatly aid runoff forecasts. Most mountain areas, i.e. almost all of High Mountain Asia, lack such measurements, and therefore have nonexistent or poor runoff forecasts. Additionally, there is no baseline in these areas, as accurate snow measurements are not available retrospectively either. In these austere areas, estimates of snow on the ground must be derived from different satellite measurements, all of which suffer from limitations. 


We have developed a snowmelt energy balance model called the Parallel Energy Balance Model (ParBal) that is driven entirely by satellite-based measurements. ParBal is highly parallelized and optimized so that it can be run at resolutions that are an order of magnitude greater than current operational products, as well as for large areas (continents) over long time periods (decades). Recently, ParBal was used to build a snowpack in reverse with a technique called SWE Reconstruction. The reconstructed SWE was then validated using snow measurements from an aerial laser scanner and spectrometer in the Tuolumne Basin, CA. Results show that ParBal performed better than any other method tested, with no bias and very low (26%) mean absolute error (MAE) for basin-wide SWE. In contrast, the operational model used by the National Weather Service, The Snow Data Assimilation System, overestimated SWE in every year with a 33% mean Bias and a 65% MAE. SWE Reconstruction has several limitations: it is only available retrospectively after the snow melts; it can only estimate ablation; and it is only valid for regions with little accumulation during ablation. Because of these limitations, we will use reconstructed SWE as training data in machine learning techniques. We will use snow measurements that are available daily from optical- and micro-wavelength sensors aboard satellites as predictors. Machine learning allows for flexible utilization of these predictors since it is known that certain sensors are more effective in certain geographic areas and during certain times of the year. In this manner, we will generate models that can be used for near real-time SWE prediction, with the lags (i.e. a day or two) coming only from processing time.




Jeff Dozier, William Tyler Brandt 9/1/16-8/31/19 $120,000


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX16AO25H


Using the spatial variability of snow accumulation to evaluate the orographic effect in California's Sierra Nevada


California depends greatly on snow accumulation in high altitude watersheds in the Sierra Nevada for its annual water supply. Snowfall is typically generated by the topographic lifting of moist air advected to the region by powerful winter storms. Higher elevations tend to receive more precipitation that the lowland areas due to orographic effects. To capture this spatial variability we currently use a combination of rain gauges and snow pillows. However, the paucity of these stations, particularly at high elevations, makes the estimate of mountain precipitation error prone and hard to assess. This has large implications for the hydrologic modeling of these watersheds and therefore streamflow forecasting. In order to reduce the error around these forecasts, we need alternatives to surface stations that can truly capture the spatial patterns of precipitation. Remotely sensed snow depth and water equivalent, at a time scale that resolves storms, could offer a truly unique answer to this problem. Even though NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory’s (ASO) primary mission objective is to measure snow depth and reflectivity for streamflow forecasting, it has recorded a number of storms in 2014 and 2015, and will again fly this year. This has presented a truly unique opportunity to study the spatial distribution of snowfall in the Tuolumne basin in California’s Central Sierra Nevada. Therefore, I will use ASO to first investigate the spatial structure of precipitation through changes in snow depth, and then use these observations to assess whether gridded precipitation products and surface station data can replicate these observed spatial patterns. Finally, I will analyze the regional atmospheric circulation patterns for the individual events, as this may be key to understanding the differences in snow accumulation between storms. Collection of the ASO data upfront and preliminary testing have demonstrated the feasibility of this study, thus minimizing the proposal risk, while also indicating the potential for considerable scientific reward. The proposed study directly supports the “Water and Energy Cycle” focus of NASA’s Earth Science Research program and the “Water Resources” focus area of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program. The work will provide valuable insights into to the distribution of water in mountain environments through an innovative and unique blend of NASA remotely sensed observations and models.



Zachary Eilon 8/15/17-7/31/21 $244,801


National Science Foundation 1658214


Collaborative Research: Imaging small-scale convection and structure of the mantle in the south Pacific: a US contribution to an international Pacific Array


This project is a collaborative seismological exploration of shallow Earth structure at two locations within the Pacific plate, over a four-year time frame. The primary target is to image putative small-scale convection beneath the oceanic plate that may give rise to distinctive gravitational lineations. Numerous secondary targets include: investigation of the poorly understood base of tectonic plates (the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary); analysis of rock fabrics and anelasticity that can inform us about the distribution of melt and the deformation history of the plate; and refining our limited understanding of plate ageing processes. The two ocean bottom seismic instrument deployments will contribute towards an international effort to instrument better the Pacific ocean basin in order to improve global seismological coverage that currently limits community Earth models. The relatively remote field locations were selected to significantly expand existing instrumental coverage and to interrogate potential small-scale convection structures. UCSB will be one of three US institutions responsible for this portion of the international Pacific Array campaign; the other institutions are LDEO Columbia University and Brown University. International partners include teams from Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan.



Zachary Eilon 5/15/18-4/30/21 $179,944


National Science Foundation 1723170


Collaborative Research: The context for rifting in East Africa - melt distribution and lithospheric removal imaged from axis to flank


Continental rifting is inherent to the process of plate tectonics and lies at the nexus of geodynamical, geochemical, geological, and seismological research. Rift zones exhibit marked variability in terms of extension rate, magmatism, pre-existing structure, and temporal evolution, and initial conditions and geologic idiosyncrasies likely play a key role in rift dynamics. Therefore, understanding the entire extensional system – from rift axis to flank – is critical. Our study will explore extensional deformation of mantle lithosphere and the crust: how strain varies with distance from the axis, whether along-axis heterogeneity is a function of time or pre-existing conditions, and how extension is accommodated at crustal versus mantle depths. This work will help us ascertain whether rifting is controlled by shallow or deeper processes, with an emphasis on the location of melt and its role in modifying lithospheric strength at different depths. This project entails seismic imaging in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and Gulf of Aden (GoA) out to the rift margins. In addition to data from existing experiments since 2001, this project will utilize a new dataset collected by Keranen that extends seismic coverage of the MER to ~500 km off the rift axis. The wide aperture array is critical to constrain pre-rifted structure that may control rift dynamics, as well as to image the geodynamically-crucial transitional zone between rift and flank. By comparing the incipient MER and the more mature GoA, we will elucidate the time-dependency of lithospheric strain geometry. The proposed imaging comprises simultaneous inversion of P and S receiver functions with Rayleigh wave phase velocities within a Bayesian framework; this approach is ideally suited to constrain lithologic/seismic discontinuities, the presence of melt, and complex 3-D rift structure. Anisotropic body wave inversions and splitting studies will help constrain the locus of melt as well as the time-integrated strain history of this rift. 



Zachary Eilon 1/1/18-12/31/19 $183,537


National Science Foundation 1753722


Collaborative research: Lithosphere-scale anisotropic imaging across the Eastern North America Margin's ocean-continent transition


The project is a new seismological analysis of the Eastern North American Margin (ENAM). The US east coast is an archetypical example of a passive continental margin, the remnant of a once-dynamic rifting system that enabled the breakup of the Pangean supercontinent and the earliest formation of the northern Atlantic Ocean at incipient seafloor spreading centers. This margin holds clues to the processes of continental breakup, encoded in the transitional region between continent and young ocean. New broadband seismological data from a 2014-2015 amphibious seismic deployment holds promise for a more detailed analysis of the ENAM region, particularly offshore, where little work has thus far been carried out using the newly available data set. Preliminary research in this region revealed unexplained patterns of seismic anisotropy (a directional dependence to seismic velocity, often linked to ancient flow and/or architecture of magmatic plumbing systems), and unclear linkages between crustal thickness, magnetic anomalies, and deeper structure of the tectonic plates. We propose an integrated analysis of the anisotropic seismic properties of this margin using a combination of different seismic data types. We propose using new codes developed by PI Eilon to conduct a joint inversion of surface and body waves for lithospheric velocity structure. This approach provides constraints on discontinuities and absolute velocity, including unprecedented lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary constraints. 



Erica Fleishman 2/1/10-Fixed Price $266,000


BP Exploration - Alaska SB100049


Cumulative Effects of Anthropogenic Underwater Sound on Marine Mammals.


There are no standards for assessment of cumulative effects of underwater sound. Quantitative assessments typically consider a single source whereas qualitative assessments may include multiple sources but rarely identify response variables. As a step toward understanding cumulative effects of underwater sound, we are developing complementary quantitative and qualitative methods for assessing the aggregated sounds from multiple sources received by marine mammals. As a case study to refine the transferable methods, we are assessing sounds received by migrating bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea during their 2008 autumn migration. The quantitative method models the sound field from multiple sources and simulates movement of a population through it. The qualitative method uses experts to assess responses of individuals and populations to sound sources and identify potential mechanisms. These methods increase the transparency of assessments. Results of this work were published in 2016: Ellison, W.T., R. Racca, C.W. Clark, B. Streever, A.S. Frankel, E. Fleishman, R. Angliss, J. Berger, D. Ketten, M. Guerra, M. Leu, M. McKenna, T. Sformo, B. Southall, R. Suydam, and L. Thomas. 2016. Modeling the aggregated exposure and responses of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus to multiple sources of anthropogenic underwater sound. Endangered Species Research 30:95–108.





Joan Florsheim 11/21/16-6/30/20 $125,000


Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District 1016


Biophysical Approach Toward Riparian Conservation and Floodplain Ecosystem Functionality


In collaboration with SCAPOSD, this project will develop a biophysical rationale for designation of spatial extent required for riparian corridor conservation and floodplain ecosystem functionality using available LiDAR data. This project will also develop a science (bio-physical)-based rationale to identify elements central to conservation of floodplain ecosystems. 



James Frew 8/1/13-7/31/19 $250,364


National Science Foundation 1302236


III: Medium: Collaborative Research: Citing Structured and Evolving Data


Citation is an essential part of scientific and scholarly publishing: it is used to gauge the trust placed in published data and, for better or worse, is an important factor in judging academic reputation. Now that much scientific publishing – especially data publishing – takes place through a database rather than conventional journals, how should something that is found in a database be cited? More generally, how should digital data that is stored in a repository with internal structure and which is subject to change be cited? This is the case for the very large number of curated databases through which much scientific publishing now takes place; it is also true of most scientific data collections, which are seldom stable.


There has recently been substantial interest in the problem of data citation, and various organizations have proposed structures for the format and content of citations; however most proposals do not address issues of structure and change that are intrinsic to databases. The focus of this proposal is to develop a framework for data citation which takes into account the following issues: (1) the potentially very large number of possible citations; (2) citations should be both human and machine readable; and (3) citations must conform to specifications prescribed by both the publishers of the data and by the various standards that are being established. All these give rise to interesting computational challenges: citations must be generated automatically from the data; the source data must be guaranteed to support the generation of these citations; and the generated citations must be guaranteed to conform to the specifications. Of course, as with any computational problem, all this must be done efficiently.


Citation is also closely related to provenance and issues of reproducible results. Workflows, executable papers, and microcitations have all been proposed to support reproducible analysis of data. The work of this project will explore the connections between these ideas and, where possible, establish a common framework.


For many databases, the publishers and authors have a clear idea of how they would like their data to be cited, and there is enough information in the database to enable these citations to be generated once the right computational machinery has been developed. However, interesting questions arise when a set of data to be cited is arrived at by means of a query, in which case the query itself may need to be included (an actionable citation). In other cases, the navigational structure needed for meaningful citation – such as in the case with linked open data or RDF, which are ostensibly large amorphous graphs – may be missing. The challenge here is to find techniques for discovering or adding that structure to provide the necessary basis for citation.



James Frew 8/30/18-8/29/20 $233,470


Rilee Systems Technologies 80NSSC18M0118-1


STARE: SpatioTemporal Adaptive- Resolution Encoding


UCSB will develop two implementations of a multiresolution snow mapping procedure using STARE-indexed MODIS swath data: one based on files of MODIS granules with ancillary STARE indices, and one based on swath data loaded continuously into ScIDB with internal STARE index support. We will use these implementations to evaluate (a) the effectiveness of STARE indexing as an adjunct to a traditional file-based workflow; (b) the performance of SciDB versus a file-based workflow; and (c) the extent to which a non-trivial Earth science workflow can be implemented in SciDB. UCSB anticipates NASA funding the proposed scope directly 



James Frew 10/1/12-9/30/18 $372,000


University Industry Research Corporation SB130034


Intel Science and Technology Center for Big Data - ISTC-BD


This project focuses on constructing EarthDB, a SciDB database of primary Earth observation data. Primary data is original sensor outputs or human observations, not subject to any reformatting, reprojection, aggregation, or other transformations beyond those required to digitize and ingest them. SciDB will allow common Earth science analytical operations (e.g., coordinate transformations, aggregation, spatial algebra, etc.) or data fusion (e.g., joins across multiple heterogeneous data types and representations) to be expressed as database queries against original observations, providing heretofore unavailable flexibility and traceability. We will populate the EarthDB pilot with data sources that challenge both scalability and heterogeneity. We have already demonstrated the feasibility of managing and processing MODIS "level 1" swath data (the lowest-level digital representation of this Earth imaging satellite sensor) in SciDB.




Brad Hacker 6/1/16-5/31/20 $260,623


Boise State University 6800-G (NSF Flow-through)


PIRE: ExTerra Field Institute and Research Endeavor (E-FIRE)


The rheology of quartzofeldspathic crust is not well understood, despite being a critical aspect underpinning geodynamic models. Measurements of U-Pb ages of titanite of subducted crust can provide a map of how extensively quartzofeldspathic rocks recrystallize at subduction-zone conditions. In this project, U-Pb ages and trace-element concentrations of titanite will be measured in situ by laser ablation split-stream ICP mass spectrometry to provide a nappe-scale map of strain in the Brossasco–Isasca unit of the diamond-bearing Dora Maira massif. In collaboration with T. Gerya, geodynamic models of subduction of quartzofeldspathic rocks at similar P-T conditions will be assessed for concordance with the implications of the titanite measurements. Methods: Detailed field study, chemical mapping of major elements, trace elements and U-Pb ages using EPMA and LASS.



Brad Hacker 9/1/18-8/31/21 $91,110


National Science Foundation 1829426


Collaborative Research: Structure and dynamics of the Alaska mantle wedge


The Alaskan subduction system is one of the planet's archetypal subduction zones, and studies here are the basis of much first-order understanding of subduction dynamics. The Alaska Transportable Array combined with several dense portable broadband experiments (BEAAR, SALMON, MOOS, WVLF) achieves unprecedented sampling of seismic wave propagation in the Alaska subduction zone. This proposal takes advantage of these data to test fundamental hypotheses regarding subduction structure and dynamics. The proposed project integrates new seismic observations, state-of-the-art wavefield simulations, and petrologically consistent models of subduction-zone mantle structure to test these hypotheses. It focuses on three distinct corridors for which EarthScope and related projects provide unusually good sampling: (a) the Cook Inlet corridor where normal Pacific lithosphere subducts and the arc is robust; (b) the nearly amagmatic Denali corridor where the Yakutat oceanic plateau subducts and generates intermediate-depth earthquakes; and (c) the Wrangell Volcanic Field corridor where slab seismicity is nearly absent but there is very high-volume volcanism. Observations of seismic attenuation provide proxies for thermal structure and melt abundance, and observations of shear-wave splitting constrain the anisotropic fabric and its variation between hot and cold parts of the mantle wedge. Parallel observations of seismicity and high-frequency phases that interact with the slab surface then allow Inferences about the mantle wedge to be compared with slab dehydration. High-frequency wavefield simulations of split shear waves will assess the maximum depth of a supra-slab anisotropic slow layer, a probable signature of slab-mantle coupling depth.




Brad Hacker, John Cottle 2/15/16-1/31/20 $332,772


National Science Foundation 1551054


Collaborative Research: Characterizing and Modeling Crustal Recycling


Recycling of continental crust into the mantle is among the most-important processes driving the chemical and physical evolution of Earth. Mechanisms of crustal recycling include arc subduction, sediment subduction, continent subduction, subduction erosion, and foundering. These processes dictate the rates and types of crustal chemical and physical evolution—and even more-fundamental issues such as the secular evolution of continental volume—but are only loosely understood. This limitation has led to a wide range of viewpoints on the efficiency of the recycling process. If, for example, 95% of continental crustal material that is ablated by subduction erosion is returned to the mantle [Scholl and von Huene, 2007], this process reduces the global continental volume at a rate of ~1.3 km3 /yr and the eroded material comes from all crustal levels. Alternatively, if crustal material removed by subduction erosion undergoes buoyancy-driven fractionation, the mafic material may return to the mantle, but the felsic material may be relaminated to the base of the crust [Hacker et al., 2011; 2015]. Our understanding of crustal recycling comes chiefly from i) geodynamic models, ii) large-scale box models that use specific isotopic systems to quantify recycling rates [Coltice et al. , 2000; Simon and Lécuyer, 2005]; iii) exposed arc rocks [Kelemen et al. , 2003; Ducea et al. , 2013], from which one can infer the magnitude and timescale of lower crustal foundering; iv) geophysical images of foundering material [Zandt & Carrigan, 1993]; and v) xenoliths, which provide snapshots of processes at depth. Among these techniques, xenoliths provide our only actual samples of the physical and chemical materials and processes involved in crustal recycling, and constitute our only way to verify or “ground truth” inferences made from geodynamic models, box models, exposed arcs, and geophysical images. For example, xenoliths provided the spectacular record of foundering of the Sierra Nevada arc lower crust and upper mantle [Ducea & Saleeby, 1996; Chin et al., 2013], and the foundation for interpreting seismic velocities as images of the recycling process [Zandt & Carrigan, 1993]. In spite of the tremendous insight that xenoliths afford our understanding of crustal recycling, basically all xenoliths from mantle depths are mafic or ultramafic—with two exceptions: one locality in the Pamir and one in Tibet. These unusual xenolith localities thus present a special opportunity to understand the chemical and physical processes that attend crustal recycling.

We propose to integrate geochemical constraints from the Pamir xenoliths with geodynamic models to address the following questions:

  • What is the timescale of recycling: how rapidly did the crust sink, metamorphose and melt?
  • How do typical continental crustal rocks reach mantle depths?
  • What mineralogical changes occur during recycling?
  • How do density and buoyancy evolve during recycling?
  • Under what circumstances can part of a typical crustal section founder?
  • To what extent does sorting occur during recycling? For example, can mafic or ultramafic rocks pull felsic rocks down into the mantle? Or do the felsic rocks always manage to escape on the way down?
  • Is crust in the process of being recycled differentiable from the surrounding mantle using seismic wavespeeds?



Brad Hacker; Andrew Kylander-Clark 3/1/14-2/28/19 $304,644


National Science Foundation EAR-1348003


What Causes UHT Metamorphism: Lengthscales and Timescales


Four endmember hypotheses for the cause of UHT metamorphism--subduction beneath an arc, collisional thickening + plutonism, strain heating, and extreme collisional thickening—will be tested using Ti-in-zircon, Ti-in-quartz, and Zr-in-rutile thermometry and pseudosection modeling, in conjunction with laser-ablation split-stream U/Th-Pb dates and trace elements of monazite and zircon. 




Robert Heilmayr 7/1/18-5/31/19 $73,615


Global Canopy 20181164


Trase for Indonesian Palm Oil


The proposed research will collect and analyze data on palm oil supply chains and their impacts on forests and rural communities in Indonesia through an expansion of the Transparent Supply Chains for Sustainable Economies (Trase) platform ( 



Robert Heilmayr 4/1/18-3/31/19 $51,220


University of Wisconsin 811K204


Deforestation impacts of the Amazon Soy Moratorium


In 2017, the Gibbs Land Use and Environment Lab (GLUE) and the Heilmayr lab began a research collaboration to use econometric methods to assess the impact of the Amazon Soy Moratorium. Preliminary research focused on existing datasets spanning the Brazilian regions of Matto Gross and Pará. Consistent with previous studies, we found remarkably few violations of the Soy Moratorium. However, we also found no evidence to indicate that the Soy Moratorium caused observed reductions in deforestation and soy conversion. 


To control for differences in public policies across Brazilian states, and to take advantage of available datasets, our preliminary analysis chose to focus upon the states of Mato Grosso and Pará. However, prior assessments have highlighted contrasting rates of deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado portion of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia (Matopiba) as evidence of the moratorium’s impact (Gibbs et al. 2015). The spatial scope of our research must be expanded to assess whether the null result found within Matto Gross and Pará holds across the Amazon. 


In this proposed research, we will expand the spatial scope of our analysis to include Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia. Across this expanded study region, we will use quasi-experimental econometric methods to estimate the causal impact of the soy moratorium. Furthermore, we will explore spatial variations in impacts from the Soy Moratorium as a function of the stringency and enforcement of public policies, and the cleared land bank in each of these regions. In addition, we will explore the possibility of using the assembled datasets to contrast the effectiveness of the Soy Moratorium to the Cattle Moratorium.



Laura Hess 12/14/18-2/28/20 $35,837


National Science Foundation 1851993


Balancing biodiversity conservation with development in Amazon wetlands


The overall objective of the project is to work with stakeholders to identify solutions enabling preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Amazon floodplain environments under a variety of development scenarios, and to provide support for decision-making at local and regional scales. An international team of scientists from Brazil, Colombia, the U.S., France, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom will develop scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services for the extensive floodplains of the lowland Amazon basin, which support one of Earth's great reservoirs of biodiversity. The focus is on floodplains of "whitewater" rivers, which include the mainstem Amazon floodplain and tributaries such as the Juruá. Seasonally inundated by nutrient-rich sediments, these floodplains have historically been centers for human settlements practicing subsistence agriculture supplemented by fishing and hunting; whitewater floodplain districts are thus the most densely populated rural areas in central Amazonia.

To explore scenarios of Amazonian floodplain biodiversity and services in a rapidly changing socioenvironment, the project will: 1) Map spatio-temporal variability of floodplain habitats, providing a basis for scaling up existing biodiversity data sets and for evaluating the potential impacts of regional drivers such as climate, land use intensification, and dams upon wetland habitats. 2) Characterize interactions between local populations and their environment and how they may adapt to changes in regional drivers, including socio-demographic and socio-economic drivers. 3) Analyze how public policies and governance have contributed to wetland habitat protection and freshwater biodiversity conservation.



Laura Hess, John Melack, Thiago Silva 1/14/14-1/13/19 $529,966


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 426670-19B03


Impacts of floods and droughts on aquatic macrophytes, forests, and fisheries of central Amazonian river floodplains


The annual flood of the Amazon River is the world’s largest inundation event, flooding about 300,000 km2 for six or more months each year, with water levels reaching as high as 15 meters. This seasonal inundation connects river channels to adjacent floodplains, driving immense biological and ecological productivity. The ecosystem services derived from this floodplain system provide food and livelihoods for local people. However, climate and land-cover changes are increasing the frequency and severity of extreme climate events such as droughts and intense rain, resulting in greater variability and decreased predictability of the annual flood. This disruption may adversely affect fishery yields and floodplain vegetation productivity. Despite the importance of Amazon inundation dynamics for both ecosystem health and local livelihoods, we know relatively little about the vulnerability of these systems to changing climate and extreme events. This project will increase our understanding of the mechanisms linking basin-wide hydrology, river-floodplain connectivity, and the productivity of floodplain ecosystems by 1) quantifying the relationship between flood extent and the productivity of fisheries and floodplain vegetation and 2) modeling the effects of deforestation and extreme climatic events on inundation dynamics under historic and alternative future scenarios. This work is funded by NASA's Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science program.



Patricia Holden 1/1/15-11/30/19 $1,987,869


California Department of Water Resources 14-476-550


Microbial Source Tracking in the Santa Barbara Region


Coastal marine waters in human developments may be contaminated by fecal indicator bacteria whose presence signals fecal pollution that impinges on public health and coastal fisheries. New DNA-based technologies can assist in determining if fecal pollution is associated with human waste and thus human pathogens, or if other animal hosts or natural sources explain. Further, such technologies, if applied in a watershed context within a qualified field study design, can enable determining fecal sources, e.g. failed civil infrastructure whose repair by owners can remedy the pollution and restore water quality. To date, several beaches in the Santa Barbara area have been researched for fecal pollution since fecal indicator bacteria concentrations in coastal waters were chronically elevated. Three beaches in Santa Barbara remain a high priority as determined by the Clean Beach Initiative in CA: East Beach at Sycamore, Leadbetter Beach, and Goleta Beach. In this project, the lower watersheds of each beach will be characterized for sources of fecal pollution, including evaluating infrastructure location and age. Hypotheses will be developed regarding potential fecal sources that impinge on surf zone water quality. Hypotheses will be tested using state of the art approaches in microbial source tracking applied within a field sampling program for each beach. Results will be used to inform stakeholders, i.e. water quality and infrastructure managers in the region, regarding sources that can subsequently be remediated. This is a three year project that builds on expertise in the Holden Lab group previously demonstrated in various State of CA clean beach initiatives and in the Santa Barbara region.



Patricia Holden 1/1/17-12/31/19 $209,151


UC Irvine 2017-3429


Fighting Drought with Stormwater: From Research to Practice


In this project, researchers from the six southern California UCs will catalyze widespread adoption of natural treatment systems (in particular, biofilters) for capturing, treating, and reusing urban runoff. The faculty team will conduct collaborative research across the following themes: (1) Human and ecosystem benefits of biofilters (UCLA lead); (2) Microbial communities in biofilter sediments in relationship to nutrient and pathogen removal (UCSB lead); (3) Biofilter removal of metals and nanoparticles (UCR lead); (4) Multi-physics modeling of biofilter water budgets and treatment performance (UCI lead); (5) Tailoring biofilter hydraulics to minimize urban flood risk (UCI lead); (6) Ecosystem and human co-benefit modeling plus coordinating field sampling across five UC campuses (UCI lead); (7) Cost-benefit analyses to uncover the true value of biofilters (relative to conventional stormwater management approaches), and evaluating the effectiveness of existing economic tools to incentivize their adoption (UCSD lead); and (8) Institutional and governance barriers to biofilter adoption (UCI lead). A citizen science component, to facilitate technology information transfer beyond the borders of UC campuses, will be led out of UCLA. Because the six campuses will be utilized as experimental test beds, our project will inform UC’s aggressive systemwide water-saving goals, and leverage UC’s goal of aligning research and academics with campus operations in a functional ‘living laboratory’.


This multi-campus UC program will solve, through interdisciplinary research and education, the biophysical and social barriers that currently limit the capture, treatment, and reuse of urban runoff in Southern California. The center will focus on natural treatment systems, such as biofilters (also known as rainwater gardens) that simultaneously augment municipal water supply and provide myriad co-benefits, including: receiving water quality and ecosystem protection, flood mitigation, urban heat island mitigation, carbon sequestration, urban green space creation, and local community engagement. Our center will be unique in its tailoring of sustainable runoff harvesting and reuse to southern California’s semi-arid climate, and it will leverage a multi-million dollar NSF-funded Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project that supports an evaluation of natural treatment systems implemented in Melbourne (Australia) during their decade long Millennium Drought.



Patricia Holden 7/1/18-12/31/19 $509,325


University of California MRP-17-455083


Fighting Drought with Stormwater: From Research to Practice


In this project, researchers from the six southern California UCs will catalyze widespread adoption of natural treatment systems (in particular, biofilters) for capturing, treating, and reusing urban runoff. The faculty team will conduct collaborative research across the following themes: (1) Human and ecosystem benefits of biofilters (UCLA lead); (2) Microbial communities in biofilter sediments in relationship to nutrient and pathogen removal (UCSB lead); (3) Biofilter removal of metals and nanoparticles (UCR lead); (4) Multi-physics modeling of biofilter water budgets and treatment performance (UCI lead); (5) Tailoring biofilter hydraulics to minimize urban flood risk (UCI lead); (6) Ecosystem and human co-benefit modeling plus coordinating field sampling across five UC campuses (UCI lead); (7) Cost-benefit analyses to uncover the true value of biofilters (relative to conventional stormwater management approaches), and evaluating the effectiveness of existing economic tools to incentivize their adoption (UCSD lead); and (8) Institutional and governance barriers to biofilter adoption (UCI lead). A citizen science component, to facilitate technology information transfer beyond the borders of UC campuses, will be led out of UCLA. Because the six campuses will be utilized as experimental test beds, our project will inform UC’s aggressive systemwide water-saving goals, and leverage UC’s goal of aligning research and academics with campus operations in a functional ‘living laboratory’.


This multi-campus UC program will solve, through interdisciplinary research and education, the biophysical and social barriers that currently limit the capture, treatment, and reuse of urban runoff in Southern California. The center will focus on natural treatment systems, such as biofilters (also known as rainwater gardens) that simultaneously augment municipal water supply and provide myriad co-benefits, including: receiving water quality and ecosystem protection, flood mitigation, urban heat island mitigation, carbon sequestration, urban green space creation, and local community engagement. Our center will be unique in its tailoring of sustainable runoff harvesting and reuse to southern California’s semi-arid climate, and it will leverage a multi-million dollar NSF-funded Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project that supports an evaluation of natural treatment systems implemented in Melbourne (Australia) during their decade long Millennium Drought.




Matthew Jackson 7/1/16-6/30/19 $299,928


National Science Foundation 1624840


Preservation of Hadean geochemical signatures in the Icelandic high 3He/4He mantle domain


Helium isotopes provide a powerful tool for tracing early-formed reservoirs in the Earth’s interior. Lavas erupted at the Baffin Island flood basalt province, which record the initiation of Icelandic hotspot volcanism at 62 Ma, host the highest know terrestrial mantle-derived 3He/4He (50 Ra, ratio to atmosphere). Mid-Miocene Icelandic lavas record the second highest 3He/4He globally (43 Ra). Unlike the Baffin Island lavas, the mid-Miocene Icelandic lavas were not emplaced through continental crust. Thus, the Icelandic lavas provide the best opportunity to evaluate the radiogenic isotopic composition of the highest 3He/4He mantle domain, free of continental assimilation.


A recent discovery identified large magnitude 182W anomalies in Baffin Island lavas with high 3He/4He (≥ 43 Ra). In the 182Hf-182W system, 182Hf decays to 182W (t1/2 = 8.9 Ma), thus all 182W/184W heterogeneity was generated during the lifetime of 182Hf (<50 Ma after accretion). Therefore, the discovery of 182W anomalies shows that early-Hadean signatures have survived for >4.5 Ga in the dynamic mantle. The preservation of Hadean 182W anomalies in the modern high 3He/4He mantle is an exciting discovery, and provides a key constraint for geodynamic models seeking to describe the time-scales over which geochemical heterogeneities are preserved in the mantle.


The discovery of Hadean-generated 182W anomalies in lavas sampling the modern (62 Ma) mantle leads to several key questions regarding the 3He/4He mantle sampled by the Icelandic hotspot: 1. Are positive 182W anomalies associated with high 3He/4He ratios in mantle-derived lavas at other localities? 2. Does a moderately high 3He/4He lava from Iceland’s neovolcanic zone, which hosts a Hadean 129Xe/130Xe signature, also preserve a Hadean 182W anomaly? 3. Do 182W anomalies exhibit relationships with He, Sr, Nd, Pb and Os isotopes? Such relationships will provide insights into the geodynamic processes that preserve 182W anomalies in the mantle.



Matthew Jackson 8/15/17-7/31/20 $299,756


National Science Foundation 1736984


Origin of highly heterogeneous 87Sr/86Sr in melt inclusions from oceanic hotspot lavas


Whole rock geochemical analyses of ocean island basalts (OIB) have long been considered windows into the composition of the mantle. However, blebs of trapped melt in phenocrysts, called melt inclusions, complicate this picture; this is because melt inclusions from a single lava can exhibit highly heterogeneous 87Sr/86Sr ratios that span much of the variability observed in oceanic lavas globally. The origin of the isotopic diversity in melt inclusions remains a source of debate: Is it the result of mixing pristine magmas from different mantle sources, or the result of crustal assimilation? At the heart of this question is the origin of the geochemical diversity in oceanic lavas and their utility as windows into the mantle’s composition.



Matthew Jackson 5/1/19-4/30/22 $98,714


National Science Foundation 1900652


Collaborative Proposal: Deciphering the LLSVP-plume relationship


Amongst the most enigmatic aspects of the mantle are anomalously low shear wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) whose origin, composition, dynamics and interaction with the mantle remain controversial. LLSVPs have been suggested to control the distribution and chemistry of hot spots. For example, it has been suggested that plumes form predominantly at the edges of LLSVPs and that entrainment from the edges of LLSVPs causes the distinct chemical asymmetry observed at many hotspots. Elucidating how LLSVPs control plume location and entrainment can explain both geochemical observations at hotspots and provide crucial information on the nature and composition of LLSVPs. We are proposing an experimental fluid dynamical study to explore how three proposed LLSVP structures control and interact with mantle plumes. These three structures represent the range of LLSVP formation hypotheses so far proposed: a) purely thermal; b) dense and deformable; c) undeformable and uncoupled. We will use state-of-the-art visualization tools, including scanning particle image velocimetry and thermometry to measure the three-dimensional temperature and flow fields, laser induced fluorescence and Lagrangian analysis tools to locate plumes and quantify entrainment to very high spatial and temporal resolutions. We will use idealized and realistic LLSVP geometries derived from seismic tomography to make predictions about plume location and material entrainment. We seek to test both location control and whether entrainment at the edges explains the observed chemical asymmetry in hotspot lavas.



Matthew Jackson, John Cottle, Brad Hacker, Matthew Rioux, Syee Weldeab

9/1/14-8/31/18 $524,244

National Science Foundation EAR-1429648


MRI: Acquisition of a Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS) for high-precision research of the Earth's mantle, crust and oceans


The Earth Science Department at UCSB has maintained a core strength in radiogenic isotope geochemistry since the 1960s, from the Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS)-based geochronology and geochemical advances of George Tilton and James Mattinson to the modern laser ablation split-stream (LASS) inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) facility currently operated in the department. Four young PIs leading this project (Jackson, Cottle, Rioux and Weldeab) were trained on modern TIMS instruments and actively utilize TIMS-based measurements in their current NSF-funded research; the students and post-docs of PI Hacker also make extensive use of TIMS in their research. However, a modern functioning TIMS is lacking at UCSB. This project will replace the 30-year-old MAT261 TIMS at UCSB to enhance the success of the research programs of the PIs and their ability to teach and mentor graduate and undergraduate students. The arrival of the new instrument will coincide with the completion of a state-of-the-art, metal-free clean lab built as part of PI Jackson’s start-up. The new TIMS facility at UCSB will: 1) enable new fields of discovery by opening up new analytical avenues for research (e.g. ultra-precise 142Nd/144Nd, precise analyses of sub-nanogram quantities of Sr and Nd isotopes, and high-precision U/Pb ages on (sub-) single zircons); 2) transform UCSB’s analytical capabilities, permitting development of cutting edge new analytical techniques that combine high precision TIMS with in situ isotopic and elemental analyses using the laser ablation multi-collector (LA-MC)-ICP-MS and electron-probe microanalyzer (EPMA); and 3) carry the excitement for research and discovery in analytical geoscience to the next generation of researchers and teachers. The new TIMS at UCSB will enable transformative research in studies of the Earth’s crust, mantle and oceans. 



Arturo Keller 8/1/17-7/31/18 $25,000


National Science Foundation 1748352


Sustainable Nanotechnology Conference


The Sustainable Nanotechnology Conference will be held in November 5 - 7, 2017 in Marina del Rey, California, supported in part by National Science Foundation resources. The 2017 conference will cover the following topics: Green Synthesis, Life Cycle Assessment, Water Treatment, Fate and Exposure, Nanotoxicology, Sensors & Measurement, Education and Social Aspects, and Food & Agriculture. All of these topics will address the sustainable use of nanotechnology to achieve societal goals.



Arturo Keller 5/15/19-4/30/22 $389,981


National Science Foundation 1901515


Developing and Integrating "-Omic" Tools to Elucidate Nanoparticle Transport Mechanism and Responses in Agricultural Crops 

Overview. The tunability of the surface properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) continue to broaden the range of their applications in food, agriculture and environmental protection. In agriculture, ENMs are used in biosensing, enhanced nutrient transport, and improved pathogen protection by controlling size, surface charge, polarity, and electronic properties. However, their proposed applications and associated responses are mostly based on assumptions that ENMs are taken up by terrestrial plants via diffusion of constituent ions through stomatal openings on leaves, root epidermis or tissue injury. The dissolved ions or bio-transformed ENMs are anticipated to move through the apoplast to reach the plant vascular system, following the established route of mineral nutrients through ion channels. There is limited understanding and no conclusive evidence yet on the mode of entry of ENMs and subsequent transport in plants. Advanced spectroscopic and microscopic techniques have been used to locate ENMs and transformed species within plants; however, despite the depth and precision of these powerful techniques, they are limited by resolution, sampling bias, analytical costs, high exposure concentrations and sample preparation artefacts.  In addition, the current literature is contradictory with regards to the transport kinetics, and reported mechanisms differ with plant species, exposure conditions, as well as growth medium. This gap in the understanding of nano-plant interaction limits utilizing ENMs in agricultural applications at their utmost potential. Sensitive endpoints at a molecular level are needed to identify the biomarkers associated with ENM cellular transport. We propose to use -omic approaches to elucidate the mode of uptake of metal based nanoparticles (MNPs) by crop plants. Our primary objectives are to: (1) characterize MNPs in natural exposure conditions and in vivo; (2) apply discovery proteomic tools to identify plasma membrane and apoplastic proteins involved in cellular uptake and transport of MNPs in plants; (3) apply untargeted metabolomics to identify metabolite regulation in plant tissues involved with MNP uptake and localization; (4) validate the candidate biomarkers using targeted proteomics and metabolomics.


To address these objectives, we propose root and foliar exposure of three crops (soybean, corn, and lettuce), grown in artificial soil medium. The plants will be exposed to MNPs such as Cu(OH)2, MoO3, Mn3O4, and CeO2 at environmentally relevant concentrations. Plant plasma membrane proteins (IMPs) and apoplastic proteins (APs) are critical candidates for this study as they participate in communication between cells and extracellular environment, ion transport, protein translocation/integration, and signal transduction. To achieve our goal, the IMPs and APs in roots and leaves from respective root and foliar exposures will be selectively enriched in our sample pool, which will then be used for discovery proteomics. The tissue metabolites will also be collected and fractionated into hydrophilic and hydrophobic components for untargeted metabolomics. Advanced high-throughput liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) will be employed for the untargeted proteomics and metabolomics. Upon initial screening, the candidate proteins and metabolites will be validated and quantified using targeted approaches across different exposure period and concentrations, followed by meta-data integration to identify universal biomarker of MNP exposure. This workflow has been shown to be effective for drug development and targeted delivery in humans; thus it is a logical approach for elucidating MNP transport and effects mechanisms in plants.


Arturo Keller, Patricia Holden, Hunter Lenihan, Galen Stucky, Joshua Schimel, Roger Nisbet, Sangwon Suh, Robert Miller, Barbara Herr-Harthorn

9/1/13-8/31/20 $5,384,336

National Science Foundation SB140059


CEIN Predictive Toxicological Assessment and Safe Implementation of Nanotechnology in the Environment


The UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN) studies the effects of nanomaterials on a range of biological systems in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. From this research, the UC CEIN will design a comprehensive risk-ranking model, based on the potential toxicity, mobility, and persistence of the nanomaterials. With the rapid development of nanotechnology, little is known about the possible environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanomaterials. UC CEIN research is primarily conducted at UC Los Angeles and UC Santa Barbara, with several important partner institutions. Within the UC CEIN, UCSB takes the lead on fate and transport, ecotoxicological, and risk perception studies, collaborating primarily with researchers at UCLA, UC Davis, UC Riverside, University of Texas at El Paso, Columbia University, and University of British Columbia. 



Arturo Keller 7/1/18-12/31/19 $7,980


University of California SB190022


Magnetic permanently confined micelle arrays (Mag-PCMAs) for the elimination of emerging contaminants from environmental samples from Lake Chapala


We propose the use of Mag-PCMAs for the elimination of emerging organic contaminants from natural waters of Lake Chapala, México, focusing on the adsorption of PPCPs, which represent a threat to the organisms living in the lake and the surrounding communities. Initially, batch treatments will be conducted to determine the removal efficiency of the most abundant contaminants found in the water samples. We also propose the dispersion of Mag-PCMAs within alginate-based hydrogels to evaluate their suitability and efficiency to remove contaminants from water when embedded in a 3D matrix. A filter will be designed and tested at laboratory scale to demonstrate the suitability of this novel platform for the removal of contaminants of emerging concern from water. This ultimately might lead to the development of large scale engineered filters for the supply of clean water.



Roland Knapp 3/23/17-10/31/19 $92,862


California Department of Fish and Wildlife P1620105


Three crucially important conservation actions to recovery R. sierrae in the northern Sierra


This effort aims to inform recovery of Federally Endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs. Actions will be undertaken to reestablish three Rana sierrae populations in the portion of the Desolation Wilderness managed by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. This work will continue efforts conducted during 2013-2016, that included translocations of adults and egg masses from the Rivendell source population (Eldorado National Forest) to Lake Lucille and/or Jabu Lake in 2013 and 2014, collection of eggs and/or metamorphs from the Rivendell source population in 2013 and 2014 for captive rearing at the San Francisco Zoo, and reintroduction of captive-reared adults to Lake Lucille and/or Tamarack Lake in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Insufficient time has elapsed to determine the outcome of these efforts. During the current project (11/1/2016-10/31/2019), we will continue efforts to establish self-sustaining R. sierrae populations at Jabu Lake, Lake Lucille, and Tamarack Lake. This will be accomplished via translocations, and reintroductions of captive-reared frogs. All populations will be intensively monitored using capture-mark-recapture (CMR) methods. On completion, this project will provide key insights into the feasibility of restoring R. sierrae to this portion of the Desolation Wilderness, allow comparisons of the success of frog translocation versus captive rearing/reintroduction, and make recommendations regarding recovery methods that should be considered in future R. sierrae recovery efforts both in the Desolation Wilderness and across the species' native range. 



Roland Knapp 6/10/15-6/10/20 $10,325


National Park Service P15AC01412


Restoring rare frogs in Yosemite National Park


This project focuses on the restoration of rare frogs in Yosemite National Park. Work includes site visits and follow-up assessments at nine SNYF populations using visual encounter survey (VES) at: Galllson Lake, Unicorn Basin, Conness Pond, East Merced Pass Lakes, Breeze Lake, No. Lyell Basin Lakes, Kuna Basin Lakes, Obelisk Lakes and Clark Ford Lakes. Continue to assess past SNYF translocation success at six sites, using capture-mark-recapture (CMR); translocate SNYF into six locations. 



Roland Knapp 9/30/16-9/30/21 $44,703


National Park Service P16AC01701


Critical Restoration Efforts to Recover Endangered Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks


In this collaborative effort, UCSB will focus on assessing one high-priority persisting Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (MYLF) population using visual counts, translocate adults to augment or re-establish MYLFs in a separate waterbody, and assess translocated frogs using CMR; assess one reintroduced MYLF population using CMR (translocating frogs to separate waterbodies if large enough to safely allow and assess translocated frogs using CMR); perform sex determinations and install PIT tags in all translocated frogs prior to being moved; conduct disease assays in all waterbodies containing reintroduced or translocated frogs.



Roland Knapp 9/30/18-9/30/23 $96,601


National Park Service P18AC01415


Restoring Genetic Diversity of Endangered Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs in Extirpated Watersheds


Recovery of the endangered Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frog is dependent upon reintroductions of genetically appropriate source populations to historically occupied habitats. Currently, large portions of formerly occupied watersheds are now completely extirpated due to human-induced factors such as fish stocking and the importation of disease. Even when these factors are reversed or stabilized, remnant yellow-legged from populations are often too small and at risk of local extinction to act as sources from reintroduction. In order for the Park Service to fulfill its mission of recovering this listed species, a ground-breaking new approach is being proposed to preserve as much genetic diversity as possible while there is still time. Should this effort prove successful through a culmination of partnerships with researchers and close collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the results could be far reaching beyond park boundaries and set the course for reintroductions and recovery range-wide.




Roland Knapp 4/1/18-3/31/19 $4,372


San Francisco Zoo SB170145


Disease Assays for Frog Captive-Rearing Program – San Francisco Zoo


The San Francisco Zoo participates in a broad range of public outreach and public service programs, including supporting the recovery of endangered amphibians in California by rearing animals in captivity. For the past five years, the Knapp research group at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory has been assisting the zoo in their efforts related to recovery of the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa, Rana sierrae). During this time, we have collected early life stage animals for captive rearing and reintroduced captive-reared animals back into the wild. One of the major threats to the mountain yellow-legged frog is the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Bd). This novel pathogen has been spread worldwide by global commerce and has caused the decline or extinction of hundreds of amphibian species. Given the high susceptibility of mountain yellow-legged frogs to this pathogen, as part of the captive-rearing protocol animals are frequently screened for the presence of Bd. Because the Bd assay requires highly specialized and expensive equipment that the zoo does not have access to, the zoo requires assistance in analyzing these samples. Sample analysis entails extraction of DNA from skin swabs, and the use of real-time quantitative PCR to estimate Bd concentration. Sample results will be provided to the zoo in digital form, and additional interpretation and analysis of the results will be provided as necessary to aid the zoo in making husbandry decisions.



Roland Knapp 9/22/15-7/31/20 $46,464


USDI Fish and Wildlife Services F15AC00500


Treatment and prevention of infection by Bd in two species of mountain yellow-legged frogs


This research focuses on 1) completing a range-wide assessment of Mountain Yellow Legged Frog genetic diversity and 2) understanding specific factors that may confer resistance to an invasive fungal pathogen. The Rosenblum Lab at the University of California, Berkeley is responsible for conducting molecular lab work and molecular data analysis for the project. Specifically, the Rosenblum Lab will be genotyping frog samples using several custom genotyping assays we have developed. In year 1, we will run a custom Fluidigm assay on swab samples. In year 2, we will run a restriction site associated DNA sequencing "RAD-seq" assay and an Exon capture assay on tissue samples. The Rosenblum Lab will work collaboratively PI Knapp on data synthesis, manuscript preparation, and translating findings for conservation managers.


Francis MacDonald 9/1/18-8/31/20 $91,191


National Science Foundation 1916698


Collaborative Research: Did the Formation of the Great Unconformity Trigger Oxygenation and the Cambrian Explosion?


This proposal aims to constrain the timing, magnitude, and spatial heterogeneity of erosion that lead to development of the Great Unconformity (GU) to test hypotheses for oxygenation and the Cambrian explosion. The GU is one of the most geologically significant and largest temporal gaps in the rock record, marking the boundary between Precambrian and Phanerozoic time. It has been proposed that erosion below the GU delivered bio-limiting phosphorous to the ocean, which spurred organic carbon burial, oxygenation of the ocean-atmosphere system, and the rise of animals. Determining when the GU developed (whether during Rodinia mantle upwelling, early Rodinia breakup, the Cryogenian Snowball Earth glaciations, or Late Ediacaran rifting) and deciphering the size of the last erosion event preceding GU formation (whether km's or 100s of m) are critical for identifying viable mechanisms for evolutionary change during this pivotal interval of Earth history. However, because the temporal gap across the GU is so substantial, the timing and magnitude of erosion under the GU are largely unconstrained. Recent advances in (U-Th)/He thermochronology allow access to the thermal histories required to unravel the history of this iconic feature. This proposal outlines a strategy to acquire zircon and titanite (U-Th)/He data for samples along two regional transects characterized by minimal post-GU burial overprinting from: (1) the Superior Craton eastward across the Appalachian margin; and (2) the Kalahari craton westward to the Gariep belt. These transects are designed to capitalize on the PIs' collective experience working in these regions. Study sites will be targeted to fully exploit Neoproterozoic and Cambrian geologic constraints, which will be vital for narrowing the range of viable thermal histories to enable discrimination between GU formation models. The results will dramatically improve constraints on the Neoproterozoic cooling history of each margin, which will be used to test competing models for GU development and significance.



Francis MacDonald 11/1/18-5/31/20 $77,882


National Science Foundation 1927851


COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Testing proposed rapid true polar wander in the Neoproterozoic Zavkhan Volcanics of Mongolia and the Banxi Group of South China


In 2016, fieldwork was conducted in China during which 351 oriented cores were sampled for Paleomagnetism and ~30 horizons were sampled for geochronology and geochemistry. Additionally, ash samples collected during 2016 were processed.  Preliminary dates from multiple tuffs have enhanced the chronostratigraphic framework for the group. In 2017, fieldwork was conducted in Mongolia focused on conducting geological mapping, stratigraphic study and paleomagnetic and geochronologic sample collection from the Zavkhan Volcanics in the primary study region of the Zavkhan Terrane. The fieldwork led to an enhanced stratigraphic framework for the Loven and Zavkhan Formations including the first ever stratigraphic section measured through the entirety of the >3200 meter thick Zavkhan Formation. Paleomagnetic data have revealed directions of dual polarity that pass a regional fold test. These new results are significant as they support a primary remanence being preserved by the sedimentary rocks of the group. The results developed thus far have steep inclinations indicating a high latitude position of South China at the time of Banxi Group deposition. In the data developed thus far, this position looks to be maintained throughout Banxi Group deposition which would be incompatible with oscillatory true polar wander if the remanence is primary and if the U-Pb dates reveal that the deposition of the rocks within the sites to both predate the Bitter Springs Stage and be deposited during it. Preliminary geochronology indicate a pre-Bitter Springs Stage age of ca. 813 Ma near the base of the succession, but dates still need to be developed higher in the succession. This high latitude position for South China implied by these new paleomagnetic data are likely incompatible with models that place the craton as the conjugate margin to western Laurentia at the time. This new constraint will be important in the development of future paleogeographic models for the supercontinent Rodinia and in constraining the related geodynamics.

Work to be completed includes: 1) Finalizing paleomagnetic and geochronologic analyses, 2) Extending geochemical analyses from both China and Mongolia to better assess the tectonic environment of magmatism, and 3) Additional field studies in Mongolia to expand data set and test hypotheses generated with initial dataset. 



Stéphane Maritorena 8/12/15-9/30/19 $144,592


Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Inc. 154444UCSB


CORAL: COral Reef Airborne Laboratory


UCSB will contribute to the development, implementation and refinement of the benthic production and calcification algorithms. In addition, UCSB will participate in several Productivity and Calcification field experiments and will perform validation analyses of the Level-4 data products (Production and Calcification). Specifically, this work includes: 1) the conception and implementation of the benthic production and calcification algorithms and the associated processing flows; 2) the benthic community productivity and calcification field experiments in Key West and Guam; 3) the benthic community productivity and calcification field experiments in Hawaii and Moorea; 4) the comparison of the production and calcification in situ measurements with the products derived from the PRISM measurements; 5) performing individual and/or collaborative data analyses to address the project objectives; 6) refinement and modification of the production and calcification algorithms and processing flows as dictated by the comparison analyses.




Stéphane Maritorena 2/1/19-1/31/20 $12,819


California State University - San Marcos 92329/85142


Carbon-based phytoplankton size classes using multi-platform ocean color observations and Earth System Models: satellite algorithm development and interannual variability


As part of the proposal entitled “Carbon-based phytoplankton size classes using multi-platform ocean color observations and Earth System Models: inter-annual variability and trend power analysis”, in answer to NASA Program Announcement “THE SCIENCE OF TERRA, AQUA, AND SUOMI NPP” (NNH17ZDA001N-TASNPP ), this project will help in the development and testing of the non-spherical particles and two component PSD models in collaboration with Dr. Kostadinov (Years 1 to 3). It will also help in developing the error propagation scheme that accounts for uncertainties in the merged multi-platform remote sensing reflectance and in the IOP model (Year 2 and Year 3).



Stéphane Maritorena 12/1/18-9/30/19 $124,164


Jet Propulsion Laboratory 1616469


CORAL {Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory}


As part of the proposal entitled CORAL (COral Reef Airborne Laboratory), in answer to NASA Program Announcement “Earth Venture Suborbital-2”, this project will contribute to the development and implementation of the algorithms for the benthic community productivity and calcification L4 products. The productivity estimates will be derived following the light-use efficiency approach used in land productivity studies and adapted to coral reefs by Hochberg & Atkinson (2008). The approach uses a combination of incident irradiance, light absorption and a community-based light use efficiency factor to calculate gross primary productivity. Except for the light-use efficiency factor, all variables used in the algorithm can be obtained from remotely sensed data (benthic community, incident light, community absorption). Approaches to derive these variables will be tested in collaboration with colleagues working on the atmospheric and optics components of the project. The calcification product cannot be derived directly from measurements made above a reef and thus will be based on the documented relationships between productivity and calcification for various organisms or communities. This project will also contribute to the U.S.-based field campaigns for Cal/Val of the productivity and calcification products by participating in the gradient flux experiments and Eulerian DIC measurements.



Stéphane Maritorena, David Siegel 11/25/14-11/24/18 $364,386


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX15AC65G


How useful will the PACE UV bands be for IOP retrievals and atmospheric correction?


Several prospective ocean color sensors such as PACE will have spectral bands in the UV in addition to those in the visible and those designed for atmospheric correction in the NIR and SWIR regions. The expected usefulness of the UV bands for ocean color sensors is two-fold: 1) they should allow a better discrimination between phytoplankton and CDOM -through their inherent optical properties, IOPS-in the ocean and 2) they can help in the atmospheric correction when absorbing aerosols are present. They PACE UV bands are expected to help mostly in coastal and turbid waters where both high amounts of CDOM and the presence of absorbing aerosols are frequent. Because both CDOM and absorbing aerosol show increased absorption toward short wavelengths, confounding effects may limit the ability of the UV bands to discern the role of CDOM and aerosols in the remote sensing signal. Here, we propose to test the use of the PACE UV bands for both IOP retrievals and atmospheric correction. We will test the performance of a semi-analytic ocean color algorithm (an upgraded version of the GSM model) for the retrieval of IOPs using available in situ data that cover the UV and visible domains. Using simulated data, we will also test how perturbations in the NIR and SWIR atmospheric bands affect the spectral IOP retrievals (from UV to the green wavelengths). Last, we will test if the UV bands can be used to better constrain the aerosol path radiance and improve atmospheric correction. Some of these analyses will also be considered with the HICO data.



Robin Matoza 8/1/15-7/31/20 $220,000


National Science Foundation 1446543


Characterizing fault zones at Kilauea & Mauna Loa volcanoes by large-scale mapping of earthquake stress drops and focal mechanisms


The analysis and interpretation of seismic sources from within Earth’s mantle up to the surface plays a key role in understanding how volcanoes work. Hawaii Island is one of the most tectonically, volcanically, and seismically active regions on Earth. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) operates a seismic network that has recorded over 260,000 earthquakes since 1986, but this rich dataset has not been fully exploited. This project supports collaboration between HVO and U.C. San Diego to apply a number of new large-dataset processing methods to learn more about seismic activity on Hawaii and its relationship to faults and volcanoes. It also supports the educational program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and U.C. San Diego by providing funds for graduate student support. The results from this study are expected to yield a sharper and more comprehensive view of fault zone characteristics as well as generate public databases of high-resolution information on seismicity characteristics, suitable for other researchers in their studies of Hawaiian geology, tectonics, and volcanism. This research will lead to improved descriptions of seismicity and tectonics for Hawaii, which will improve our ability to monitor and characterize volcanic and earthquake hazards.


By performing systematic and comprehensive analyses of seismicity recorded by HVO, this work will improve earthquake location precision, provide robust estimates of the patterns of earthquake stress drops, and compute more reliable earthquake focal mechanisms on Hawaii. Integrating these results will better characterize crustal and mantle fault zones and magma conduits in and around Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, and will help to resolve the relationships between seismicity, volcanic activity, and strain transients. Our results will address the following questions: (1) Relocated microearthquakes in Hawaii align along resolvable fault and conduit structures—what do these structures reveal about tectonic and volcanic processes? (2) What is the origin of recently discovered seismicity rings in Hawaii? (3) How do the stress drops of Hawaiian earthquakes compare to other regions? Are there variations in earthquake stress drops that can be used to characterize stress field heterogeneity and identify regions of stress concentration? (4) Can focal mechanisms be improved for small earthquakes in Hawaii and what do they reveal about the faulting process and stress state? (5) Can repeating earthquakes with nearly identical waveforms be used to resolve temporal variations in seismic velocity associated with tectonic and volcanic activity? (6) How do the characteristics of long-period (LP, 0.5-5 Hz) seismicity at Kilauea volcano relate to redistributions of magma and stress within its magma supply system?



Robin Matoza 6/1/16-5/31/20 $261,778


National Science Foundation 1614855


Collaborative Research: Quantifying explosive volcanism in Alaska using seismo-acoustic wavefields recorded by USArray


Alaska is home to 130 potentially active volcanoes, of which more than 50 have been active in historical times. On average 2 volcanoes are in a state of eruption every year. Volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska Peninsula, and Cook Inlet are capable of sudden, explosive, ash-cloud forming eruptions, which are potentially hazardous to passenger and freight aircraft along this heavily travelled air corridor. Many of Alaska’s volcanoes are in remote locations with harsh environments. Monitoring these volcanoes represents a formidable challenge and many of the volcanoes are not instrumented. Infrasound (acoustic waves with frequencies below the 20 Hz hearing threshold of the human ear) is a rapidly developing technology to understand and monitor explosive volcanic eruptions. Modest-sized explosive eruptions produce powerful infrasound signals that propagate efficiently over thousands of kilometers in the atmosphere. However, to date, these signals have been recorded by sparse infrasound sensor networks, limiting our understanding of their source generation and propagation through the atmosphere. The EarthScope Transportable Array (TA) is currently being deployed in Alaska, bringing the densest ever combined seismic and infrasonic network to one of the world’s most active volcanic regions. Exploiting this novel dataset, this project will advance the capability of acoustic early warning systems of volcanic eruptions for aviation safety and will assess the potential contribution of large sensor networks such as the TA to volcano monitoring. At the end of the project, an operational volcano-acoustic monitoring system resulting from this work will be implemented at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.


This work will capitalize on the unprecedented seismo-acoustic dataset starting to become available as the TA records Alaska’s routine explosive volcanism with dense spatial wavefield sampling. Volcano seismo-acoustics is a rapidly advancing research field, where basic questions remain on the source mechanisms, source directionality, atmospheric propagation, and seismo-acoustic coupling from explosive volcanic eruptions. This project will focus on detection, discrimination, and location of the signals using novel methods; quantifying the seismo-acoustic wavefield; investigating the source mechanisms; quantifying seismo-acoustic wave coupling; and understanding infrasound propagation in the spatio-temporally varying atmosphere. Through a combination of data analysis and modeling, we will characterize and quantify diverse seismic and infrasonic signals recorded at a range of distances and directions from the explosive eruption source. We will address the following questions: (1) How do observed acoustic and seismic signals from explosive volcanic eruptions vary with distance and azimuth to the source? (2) How does acoustic propagation differ for various types of explosive eruptions? (3) What kind of volcanic source information can be determined from long-range seismo-acoustic data? (4) What are the wavefield sampling limitations in previous volcano infrasound studies? (5) What other infrasound sources are present in Alaska? Our team will work with the EarthScope National Office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to help highlight this research and its impacts. Multi-media products illustrating seismo-acoustic wavefields from volcanic eruptions in Alaska will be distributed via the web for use in public information packets and education and outreach. Event catalogs and related data products will be publically available, with notable infrasound events uploaded to the IRIS TA Infrasound Reference Event Database (TAIRED).



Robin Matoza 3/1/17-2/29/21 $290,000


National Science Foundation 1620576


Investigating the seismic signatures of volcanic unrest and eruption: Spatiotemporal distribution and source origin of tiny long-period seismicity


Seismicity generated during volcanic unrest and eruption plays a central role in our understanding of how volcanoes work. Long-period (LP, 0.5-5 Hz) seismicity, a particular type of volcanic seismicity, is used routinely by volcano monitoring scientists to forecast and assess eruptions and mitigate hazards, but its source origin remains controversial. This project will perform detailed investigations into the origin of an intriguing and largely overlooked additional type of volcanic seismicity: numerous tiny-amplitude LPs (LP subevents) that accompany the regular LPs. Tiny LP subevents have apparently been recorded at multiple volcanoes worldwide, but their origin remains mysterious. Millions of tiny LP subevents were exceptionally well recorded by a dense seismic network during the 2004-2008 eruption of Mount St. Helens (MSH), but were not cataloged or analyzed. These LP subevents contain rich, unexploited information that has the potential to better elucidate the processes generating volcanic seismicity. This project will utilize novel computationally intensive processing methods adapted from studying regional seismicity in Southern California and Hawaii. This research will map the spatiotemporal distribution and source mechanisms of millions of tiny LP subevents to high precision and determine their relation to other volcanic seismicity and eruptive activity. The primary dataset is from MSH, but additional datasets from Mammoth Mountain, CA, Kilauea Volcano, HI, and other volcanoes will be exploited for comparative analyses and hypothesis testing across multiple volcanic systems.



Robin Matoza 6/1/19-5/31/24 $387,073


National Science Foundation 1847736


CAREER: Seismo-acoustic signatures of volcanic unrest and eruption: Local. Regional, and Remote


This CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) project will support a 5-year comprehensive research program integrated with a range of undergraduate and graduate educational activities led by Prof. Robin Matoza at the Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). I propose a comprehensive research program on the source, propagation, and remote detection and quantification of the seismo-acoustic signatures of volcanic unrest and eruption. We will collect next-generation, multi-parametric, seismo-acoustic geophysical field data from active volcanoes in Vanuatu, Mexico, and Chile at local (15 km), regional (15–250 km), and remote (>250 km) distances from the source. In tandem, we will develop an array of computationally intensive data processing methodologies and modeling and inversion strategies to systematically mine large volcano seismo-acoustic datasets and test multiple scientific hypotheses about the source and propagation of these wavefields.



Robin Matoza 7/1/18-12/31/19 $13,553


University of California SB190021


Seismic and infrasonic signature of explosive eruptions at Popocatépetl volcano, México


This collaboration brings together volcano geophysicists from the US and Mexico to refine our understanding of how volcanoes work and potentially improve monitoring methods for active volcanoes in both countries. Seismology and acoustics are complementary methods for quantifying volcanic eruption processes. Seismic data form the backbone of most volcano monitoring systems. Seismic signals at erupting volcanoes capture subsurface magma transport and degassing associated with explosive eruptions. Infrasound (acoustic waves with frequencies below 20 Hz) is a newer technology; infrasound data record subaerial degassing and allow physical quantification of explosive eruption mechanisms. Popocatépetl is the most active volcano in Mexico and a prodigious source of explosive activity, making it an ideal target to combine seismic and infrasound investigations. We have collected the first continuous infrasound and seismic data ever at Popocatépetl. 



Robin Matoza, Toshiro Tanimoto  2/1/19-1/31/20 $25,000


University of Southern California 118063069-H


SCEC5 Participation, Project H: Shallow Elastic Structure from Co-located Seismic and Pressure Sensors


This project is related to a novel approach of deriving shallow structure of the Earth based on co-located seismic and pressure data. The project consists of two tasks. 1.  Analyze thirteen co-located station data in Southern California that existed between 2000 and 2010. 2. Conduct a pilot observational study by installing portable seismometer and infrasound sensors (pressure sensors) for 3-6 months and apply our inversion method for shallow structure. The location of observation will be determined in a few weeks. We expect to begin collecting data this summer.



Douglas McCauley 10/1/17-9/30/18 $20,200


National Geographic Society WW-151R-17


Deploying next-generation remote sensing technologies to understand collective behavior in animal groups at multiple scales


Animal aggregations provide some of the most visually compelling examples of biological self-organization in the natural world. From a school of anchovies avoiding a shark to a swarm of locusts engulfing a cornfield, these impressive displays afford a unique opportunity to directly observe fundamental ecological processes in real time. While the biology of aggregating behaviors is relatively well studied in model species of small animals (e.g., minnows, locusts), the challenge of observing groups of large bodied animals in the wild has hindered our understanding of this most basic phenomenon in ecosystems worldwide. However, recent advancements in remote sensing technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and very high-resolution satellite imagery (VHRS) have opened up exciting new pathways for studying aggregating behaviors of large vertebrates in situ and at unprecedented spatial scales. We propose to use novel remote sensing technology and automated image analysis to experimentally test the ecological causes of aggregation behaviors in migratory wildebeest in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem of Tanzania. Specifically, we aim to identify the social and environmental processes that give rise to the spatial patterns observed in wildebeest herds across the landscape. By establishing this link, we hope to advance our understanding of the ecology of collective decision making in animals and provide conservation partners in Tanzania with a new methodological framework for remotely monitoring the behavior of large, mobile species across this flagship ecosystem.



John Melack, Sally MacIntyre 5/3/17-5/2/20 $926,357


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX17AK49G


Methane fluxes from tropical aquatic systems: Integration of measurements, hydrological and biogeochemical models and remote sensing


Tropical aquatic systems, including floodplains and other wetlands, lakes and rivers, are major sources of methane to the atmosphere. The considerable uncertainty about the estimated fluxes of methane stems from the large seasonal and inter-annual variations in ecological conditions and inundation typical of floodplains and other wetlands. In this proposed project, we will combine results from our field measurements, hydrological simulations and advances in remote sensing to develop mechanistic models that couple floodplain inundation dynamics to the production and emission of methane. Our work will quantify and reduce uncertainty associated with estimates of methane fluxes and expand understanding of their temporal and spatial variability. Our results will provide necessary inputs to regional atmospheric models of methane fluxes derived from airborne campaigns and satellite retrievals, and provide key improvements in the tropics for models applied globally. Among tropical river systems, the Amazon basin is the largest and has the most extensive floodplains. Hence, our analyses will focus on aquatic systems in the Amazon basin, and be extended to tropical systems elsewhere based on modeling and remote sensing. Remote sensing of inundation and vegetative dynamics will be combined with recent results from in situ measurements of methane fluxes, related physical processes and hydrological models to provide regional estimates of methane fluxes. We will utilize existing datasets complemented by focused field studies to develop and validate a model of methane evasion tailored to tropical aquatic systems with strong seasonal and inter-annual variations in inundation, water depths and vegetative cover.



John Melack 9/1/12-8/31/19 $182,476


National Science Foundation DEB-1242594


LTREB Renewal-Collaborative Research: Responses of High Elevation, Aquatic Ecosystems to Interannual Climate Variability


Three decades of investigation of high-elevation Emerald Lake and neighboring lakes and watersheds in the Sierra Nevada (California) have transformed our understanding of how interannual changes in snowmelt and rates of atmospheric deposition have modified the timing and magnitude of hydrological and chemical fluxes, and thereby modulate the ecology of high elevation ecosystems. Experiments, both in the field and laboratory, have added mechanistic understanding of biogeochemical processes of Sierran lakes and watersheds. Comparative studies of biological and hydrochemical aspects of lakes, conducted from 1982 to the present, provide a regional context for examination of Sierra-wide conditions and responses to global change. Recent paleo-investigations at Emerald Lake and companion lakes have provided a multi-century context for the 31-year dataset from Emerald Lake. In our LTREB renewal, we propose to complete our decadal research plan to test the hypothesis that altered climate, changing snow regime and changes in atmospheric composition are driving biogeochemical and ecological changes in high elevation ecosystems. We propose to continue long-term study of the Emerald Lake watershed, Tokopah Valley and nearby catchments in order to test conceptual hypotheses regarding drivers of environmental change in high-elevation aquatic ecosystems. The primary foci of the proposed study are: i) continued assessment of the response of lake phytoplankton to changing atmospheric deposition and ii) continued study of the coupling between climate variability and N and P biogeochemistry. These questions will be answered through the continuation of on-going watershed measurements; additional study of lake metabolism; enhanced measurements of atmospheric deposition; and paleolimnological study of lake sediments. Climate conditions have a strong influence on potential N&P source areas, on the incidence of fires, on transport and deposition, and lake ecology. Hence, as a consequence of the considerable interannual variability in California’s Mediterranean climate, it is essential to conduct these studies for at least ten years.




John Melack, Sally MacIntyre 7/1/18-6/30/21 $564,136


National Science Foundation, 1753856


Aquatic metabolism and carbon dioxide flux: Linking physical and biological processes in Amazon floodplains


Recent syntheses of carbon processing and evasion of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in inland aquatic ecosystems have revealed the disproportionately large contribution, relative to their area, that these ecosystems make to carbon cycling. Tropical systems are under-represented in these analyses, and floodplains are often the largest aquatic ecosystem in these regions. Among tropical river systems, the Amazon basin is the largest and has extensive floodplains. To advance understanding of carbon cycling within the Amazon, we will combine data on CO2 and O2 concentrations from representative habitats, air-water fluxes, and aquatic plant inputs of carbon with interpretation extended via new measurements of hydrodynamics and remote sensing.




John Melack 9/1/13-8/31/18 $411,216


Pennsylvania State University 4916-USB-DOE-0620


Scale-aware, Improved Hydrological and Biogeochemical Simulations of the Amazon Under a Changing Climate


About 20% of the Amazon basin is seasonally inundated, and these wetlands are sites of intense biological activity that can have a strong influence on the regional carbon dynamics. Understanding the effects of these dynamics on air water exchanges of CO2 and CH4 is of critical importance if we are to estimate the net contribution of Amazon wetlands to greenhouse gas emissions. To quantify this influence, it will be necessary to improve estimates of the fluxes and balance of carbon, incorporating the principal sources of spatial and temporal variability and developing numerical models to simulate and integrate their effects. To do so, we propose to combine hydrological and biogeochemical modeling with analysis of existing data.


The overarching question of our proposed research is: How do the overall CO2 and CH4 cycles and carbon pools in the Amazon, including catchment and aquatic systems, respond to the changing climate, especially significant changes in the water cycle? To address this question, the UCSB aspect of the proposed research will enhance the modeling capabilities of Community Land Model by adding an aquatic ecosystem module that includes multi-scale carbon and methane biogeochemistry.




John Melack 11/1/18-3/31/20 $15,130


Tahoe Regional Planning Agency 19C00008


Decision Support Framework (DSF) for the Upper Truckee River Watershed – Phase I


Peer reviewers of the 2011 and 2015 threshold evaluations encouraged a more ecosystem-based approach to threshold evaluation and resource management. This is particularly important when considering projects that are expected to produce environmental benefits across multiple resource categories and spatiotemporal scales. 


Hence, a project was conceived by the Tahoe Scientific Advisory Council that will contribute information and tools relevant to objectively evaluating landscape-scale projects purporting to provide multiple benefits in a changing environment. This project will initiate the assembly of the structural elements necessary to develop a decision support framework for the largest watershed in the Tahoe Basin. 


The project will: 1) provide a decision support framework for objectively evaluating the benefits of multi-resource projects, and 2) provide tools for the identification of meaningful metrics for monitoring. 


The Council convened a workshop of scientists and agency representatives to review and document the scope of environmental and management components relevant to the Upper Truckee River (UTR) watershed (Figure 1). This information will be used to describe important drivers, linkages and outcomes (D-L-O) of environmental processes and management actions within a set of linked or nested conceptual models. The conceptual models will include written narratives, references and performance characteristics along with graphical representation of the system components that together communicate the D-L-O characteristics to a broad stakeholder audience.


Draft conceptual models will be presented to the Upper Truckee River Watershed Advisory Group (UTRWAG) for review and input. This feedback will be incorporated and used to refine selected sub-models of identified importance, and to identify a draft set of indicator metrics. The conceptual models and indicator metrics will be integrated into a decision support framework following the approach of DiGennero and others (San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 2012, v10). The utility and efficacy of the resulting DSF will be tested using a sample set of potential UTR watershed projects selected by UTRWAG from the existing Environmental Improvement Program project list. The approach and tools will be provided to UTRWAG for further evaluation and feedback. These tools, results and the lessons learned will be documented along with the final conceptual models and sub-models.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 1/1/16-4/30/20 $997,095


Cal Department of Fish and Wildlife P1696006


North Campus Open Space Coastal Wetland Restoration Project


The full North Campus Open Space (NCOS) Restoration Project will restore 90 acres of diverse coastal habitat that will provide important ecological and hydrological benefits to Santa Barbara County through excavation of 350,000 cy of fill from the former extent of Devereux Slough on property owned by the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and restoration of diverse habitats and estuarine processes which will provide multiple benefits (Figures 1 & 2 Location maps, Figure 3 a& b Restoration Plans). These include reduction in flood risk to habitats and property currently within 100 year flood zone and vulnerable to projections for 3 feet of sea level rise, provision of long-term support for diverse threatened and endangered species, improvements in water quality, greenhouse gas sequestration and the provision of educational and public access benefits for students and members of Isla Vista, a disadvantaged community in Santa Barbara County.


Funds will support the implementation of the majority of the wetland-related restoration components of the full project. CDFW Proposition 1 grant funds will specifically fund the: a) removal of approximately 40,000 cy of the 300,000 cy that will be removed with other, secured funding, b) implementation of fine grading and restoration actions to support the conservation of 18 acres salt marsh habitat in the face of sea level rise, and 3) construction and restoration of habitat features in support of federally endangered tidewater goby, migratory shorebirds and special status birds and plants. The project’s impact will be expanded through monitoring and reporting to EcoAtlas and interpretive signage that will complement public access components of the larger project.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 1/19/17-11/1/20 $2,449,000


Cal Department of Transportation 05-6300F15


UC Santa Barbara, North Campus Open Space Multi-Modal Trail Project


The project site is on a 64-acre property donated to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) by the Trust for Public Land on 04/30/2013 to restore the site and incorporate public access through trail installations. UCSB supports the establishment of multi-modal public trails on the site, but has no dedicated resources for this development. Through an ongoing community-based planning process, it became clear that the community has a strong desire for trails and public access across the land for wildlife and open space appreciation and passive recreation, including walking, cycling, jogging, and as a safe route to school. With funding from the Active Transportation Program, the trail would provide both educational opportunities and access to bus stops, public schools and UCSB, and to trails located on Ellwood Mesa and other portions of the adjacent 652-acre preserve (part of the Ellwood Devereux Open Space). 



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton  7/1/17-6/30/25 $391,250


California Department of Parks and Recreation C0232033


North Campus Open Space: Trailhead Interpretive Area and Amenities Project


The University of California Santa Barbara campus dedicates 340 of its 1,000 acres to open space conservation and facilitates public access, especially for educational purposes. The 136 acre North Campus Open Space Restoration Project is underway and is unearthing 40 acres of wetlands buried in the 1960’s and restoring historic land forms and a diversity of native plant communities and wildlife habitat using only locally sourced native plant material. The project includes 2.5 miles of trails and four wetland crossings funded by CalTrans Alternative Transportation Program under contract now. The crucial need, now, is for an interpretive trailhead area with benches, shade, plantings and interpretive signage, as well as trailside amenities such as benches and signage to enhance the educational value of the site for the diverse users of the area. An exhibit case that can support changing exhibits and a native ethno-botanical garden supported by downloadable audio pod-casts with Native American stories, chants and songs will supplement traditional signage to keep the facility current and living. The project site forms a gateway to a larger coastal open space by connecting people via bus routes, bike and walking paths, student residences, and community members from median income and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Funded primarily by grants with a long term management commitment by the university, this project will provide valuable educational and experiential learning opportunities regarding California’s natural resources and the value of wetlands to the State’s future leaders and voters. UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration is uniquely suited to implement the project and multiply its value into the future.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton, Jennifer King 6/30/15-3/1/20 $999,989


California Department of Fish and Wildlife P1496006


North Campus Open Space Wetlands Restoration


The North Campus Open Space (NCOS) Wetlands Restoration Project Phase 1 will restore 34 acres of diverse coastal wetlands and 20 acres of upland habitat in coastal Santa Barbara County. The project is projected to sequester 549 metric tons (t) of carbon over the first 100 years of establishment and to contribute to the science of quantifying the greenhouse gas (GHG) sequestration potential of intermittently tidal coastal estuary systems through a research and monitoring program. Anticipated fish and wildlife co-benefits include supporting recovery plan recommendations for federal and state threatened and endangered species by providing expanded and improved habitat for the Tidewater Goby (TWG), Western Snowy Plover, California Least Tern, California Red-legged Frog, Ventura Marsh Milk Vetch and Belding’s Savannah Sparrow. In addition, expanded habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl and resident wetland and upland bird species will be created. Ecosystem benefits include reducing localized flooding problems and disturbance associated with flood control management activities, improving downstream water quality through expansion of wetlands and bioswale systems within the urban to wetland interface, and supporting expanded carbon sequestration, denitrification and other microbial processes. Educational benefits from this project are significant because of its location on the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus with its rotating student body of 20,000 students, active academic research, and hands-on restoration implementation and training program run by the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER). In addition, the project site borders a relatively dense urban area (City of Goleta and the community of Isla Vista) and 652 acres of recently protected coastal open space. A trail system will be developed through the restoration project site which will connect the community to the recreational amenities of this protected open space and the beach. 



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 5/1/17-1/1/21 $350,000


California Natural Resources Agency E13613-0


North Campus Open Space Coastal Habitat Enhancement Program


The North Campus Open Space (NCOS) Coastal Habitat Enhancement Project, located in Santa Barbara County adjacent to the City of Goleta and within University of California’s campus, is the third phase of a larger project to restore 136 acres of degraded coastal habitats through excavation of 350,000 cubic yards of fill from a former golf course created in 1965 when soil from adjacent uplands were bulldozed into an estuary. The full NCOS project will provide hydrologic and tidal connectivity to Devereux Slough and its tidewater gobies by restoring the former upper arms of this estuary and the adjacent historic coastal terrace landform. More than 40 acres of wetland and 60 acres of upland and transitional habitat will be actively restored on the graded landforms and another 36 acres of habitat will be protected and enhanced through active invasive species control and enhancement planting. EEM funds are for the fourth phase of the larger North Campus Open Space project representing 20 acres of degraded habitat to be enhanced with weed control and selective planting adjacent to the re-created coastal terrace restoration area.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 5/1/15-12/31/18 $1,000,000


California Natural Resources Agency U59316-0


North Campus Open Space Restoration


The North Campus Open Space Restoration Project will restore nearly 50 acres of coastal wetland and approximately 50 acres of upland habitat that will provide an important community green space to this densely populated area. The trails and boardwalks to be created will invite people to intimately experience a unique, seasonally variable wetland ecosystem and provide connectivity between residential areas, schools, commercial areas, and adjacent coastal open space. This project will restore the hydrologic function lost in 1965 when nearly 500,000 cubic yards of soil were moved from adjacent uplands into a once functioning estuarine system. Opportunities to work on this scale in developed southern California cities are very limited, and this project provides an unprecedented local opportunity in a region that has lost more than 80% of its coastal wetlands and has experienced a significant loss of public access to open space areas. By restoring a natural system, this project will improve water quality, increase flood capacity, support wildlife and enhance regional adaptation to projected sea level rise by providing room for the migration of habitats. 



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 9/1/16-11/30/19 $1,000,000


California Ocean Protection Council P01-1-07


North Campus Open Space Coastal Wetland Restoration


The North Campus Open Space Restoration Project is a project to restore 90 acres of degraded cut and fill areas, including the former Ocean Meadows Golf Course, to a matrix of estuarine, palustrine, transitional and upland habitats characteristic of the Devereux Slough ecosystem through excavation of fill from the former upper arms of Devereux slough. The property to be restored is located on UCSB campus, adjacent to the main campus and immediately north of UCSB’s Coal Oil Point Reserve. The project site encompasses the interface of four tributaries to the Devereux Slough, and is south of the City of Goleta.


The larger project will return the channelized Devereux Creek to an estuary and restore the 64 acre invasive plant-dominated former private golf course to wetland and upland habitat. It will provide stormwater capture and flood control benefits, expanded rare species and migratory bird habitat, and create 1.2 miles of trail connecting adjacent residential neighborhoods and the protected lands to the California Coastal Trail. This grant will fund a portion of the second phase of the project, specifically restore 8 acres of wetland and transitional habitat along the western side of the restored estuary.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 7/27/16-6/30/20 $3,820,000


California Wildlife Conservation Board WC-1589DC


Upper Devereux Slough Restoration


The Wildlife Conservation Board grant for the Upper Devereux Slough Restoration will support restoration of portions of the historic northern extent of the Devereux Slough primarily on the former Ocean Meadows golf course property and adjacent borrow site (South Parcel) that will expand slough, wetland, transitional and upland habitats (Project) on approximately 136 acres of land commonly known as the North Campus Open Space, located in Santa Barbara County, California. Project supports grading, restoration and project management components of the project.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 12/21/15-6/30/20 $923,718


Land Trust for Santa Barbara County SB160090


North Campus Open Space Devereux Creek Flood Plain Restoration Project


In coastal Santa Barbara County a 60+-acre floodplain at the junction of Devereux and Phelps Creeks was filled with soil from the adjacent uplands in 1965 to create a golf course that left the creek in a narrow, channelized form, added 3-10 feet of fill and significantly reduced habitat for fish and wildlife, including the endangered tidewater goby. These impacts remain and contribute to localized flooding problems for Goleta City residents living adjacent to these creeks. The proposed project (Phase 1) will reverse these impacts by removing approximately 250,000 cubic yards (cy) of fill from the floodplain of these creeks (DWR funds support removal of 150,000 of the 250,000cy in the project). The project will provide flood control benefits to the residents living north and east of the project site, restore and protect riparian and diverse wetland and upland habitats by connecting the creek to the downstream estuary, thereby providing wildlife habitat for migratory and resident bird species, and estuarine fish, including the Tidewater Goby, Western Snowy Plover, and Belding's Savannah Sparrow which have been identified by federal and state governments as threatened or endangered. The project will also promote community involvement through public access trails and restoration activities, as well as educational programs and signage, that will benefit a rotating population of UC Santa Barbara students and community members for years to come. 


Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 12/21/15-6/30/20 $100,000


Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation  (Match SB160090)


North Campus Open Space Devereux Creek Flood Plain Restoration Project


In coastal Santa Barbara County a 60+-acre floodplain at the junction of Devereux and Phelps Creeks was filled with soil from the adjacent uplands in 1965 to create a golf course that left the creek in a narrow, channelized form, added 3-10 feet of fill and significantly reduced habitat for fish and wildlife, including the endangered tidewater goby. These impacts remain and contribute to localized flooding problems for Goleta City residents living adjacent to these creeks. The proposed project (Phase 1) will reverse these impacts by removing approximately 250,000 cubic yards (cy) of fill from the floodplain of these creeks (DWR funds support removal of 150,000 of the 250,000cy in the project). The project will provide flood control benefits to the residents living north and east of the project site, restore and protect riparian and diverse wetland and upland habitats by connecting the creek to the downstream estuary, thereby providing wildlife habitat for migratory and resident bird species, and estuarine fish, including the Tidewater Goby, Western Snowy Plover, and Belding's Savannah Sparrow which have been identified by federal and state governments as threatened or endangered. The project will also promote community involvement through public access trails and restoration activities, as well as educational programs and signage, that will benefit a rotating population of UC Santa Barbara students and community members for years to come. 




Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 1/1/17-12/31/21 $29,900


Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project 16-051


Whittier Channel Restoration


Restore 1.25 acres of wetland and riparian habitat with community volunteers in partnership with Kids in Nature II, Your Children’s Trees, Department of Water Resources, and the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.  We anticipate hosting: 6 school field trips (35 students/event), 6 weekend planting events, (10 to 30 participants), 3 volunteer tree planting events (20 per event), 30 morning greenhouse volunteer events (1 – 6 volunteers/event), 3 Birding/Educational Tours (20-30 participants), for a total of approximately 600 people participating. 



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 5/27/14-12/31/18 $869,300


State Coastal Conservancy 13-115


North Campus Open Space Restoration (previously named Upper Deveroux Slough) Project Planning Phase, UCSB


This work is associated with initial planning phase for the restoration of upper Devereux Slough in the area formerly used as Ocean Meadows Golf Course (63.8 acres) and adjacent open space area known as South Parcel (68 acres). The project involves interim management, planning including preliminary design, technical studies, environmental compliance documents, permitting and commencement of seed collection and propagation. Together the project area is part of the newly named North Campus Open Space (NCOS). The UC Regents, through UCSB and its partner The Trust for Public Land (TPL) will direct the planning phase for the Project. 


The planning work will support the restoration goals of the project: 

1) restore estuarine function to the upper arms of Devereux Slough by creating a diversity of wetland habitats (sub-tidal, mudflats, salt marsh, transitional freshwater marsh); 2) re-create a diverse set of upland habitats and vernal wetlands by returning a significant portion of the fill soil from the excavation of the slough arms to South Parcel; and 3) design a public access component of trails and, potentially, boardwalks which will connect to local and regional trail networks in adjacent open spaces. Benefits of the project include reduced localized flooding and enhanced habitat quality for threatened and endangered species currently or potentially using the area. These species include tidewater goby, western snowy plover, California least tern, California red-legged frog, Ventura marsh milk vetch and multiple species of special concern such as White-tailed Kite.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 5/27/15-3/31/18 $650,000


State Coastal Conservancy 13-115


North Campus Open Space Restoration (previously named Upper Devereux Slough) Project Planning Phase, UCSB


This award is associated with the planning phase for the restoration of North Campus Open Space in the area formerly used as Ocean Meadows Golf Course (63.8 acres), and the adjacent open space areas known as South Parcel (68 acres) and Whittier Parcel (3.7 acres). The project involves interim management, seed collection, and environmental planning. Environmental planning includes technical studies to support the preliminary design, environmental compliance documents (including existing conditions report, CEQA and NEPA documents), and technical work supporting permitting requirements.



Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 1/1/17-12/31/21 $980,000


State Coastal Conservancy 16-044


North Campus Open Space Vernal Pool Complex Restoration Project


This project supports restoration of 12 acres of rare wetland and upland habitat on the University of California, Santa Barbara's (UCSB's) South Parcel, including a 6-acre vernal pool complex, back dune swale, vernal marsh and salt marsh wetland habitats. The project site is adjacent to Devereux Slough within UCSB's North Campus Open Space (NCOS), part of the protected, 652-acre Ellwood Devereux coastal open space area. Historically, the upper Devereux Slough contained significant wetland values with both palustrine and estuarine habitat types and supported more than half of the coastal wetlands within the slough system. In 1965, wetlands in the upper slough were filled to create the Ocean Meadows golf course. Up to 500,000 cubic yards of soil were moved from adjacent lands causing severe degradation of the borrow sites and raising the elevation of the lower estuary between four and 10 feet. Filling reduced the flood capacity of the wetland, and significantly reduced habitat for estuarine and palustrine dependent wildlife, including fish, birds, insects and mammals of concern (Campopiano et. al, 2000). In 2011 and 2013, the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) received two NCWCP grants for a total of $2 million; $500,000 for the acquisition of the Ocean Meadows/Upper Devereux Slough that occurred in 2013, and $1.5 million towards restoration of that wetland to its historic status. The restoration portions of those grants have been combined to fund a portion of Phase 1a of the larger restoration vision for this estuary. This project is for Phase 1b (12 acres), which forms an integrated and integral part of the larger project.




Joel Michaelsen, Lisa Stratton 1/1/17-12/31/21 $1,203,126


State Coastal Conservancy 16-051


North Campus Open Space Wetland Transition


The goal of the project is to restore 12 acres of salt marsh and transitional habitat along the wetland side of the 1 mile long primary trail through the estuary. This area will be used for construction work through the project and a grant focused on specifically restoring this edge is vital to the final functionality and aesthetics of the restoration project. This zone will be part of the SLR transition zone and the challenging wetland to upland fringe that is the most challenging to restore.



Noah Molotch 1/1/19-6/30/19 $42,208


University of California 4600010378 AM-31


Proposal for Expert Assistance with Snow Products, California 


The PI Noah Molotch has developed an algorithm to estimate daily melt-season snow water equivalent (SWE) over the Sierra Nevada mountains (85,000 km2), for the months March through August by two methods: reconstruction by combining remotely sensed snow cover images with a spatially distributed snowmelt model, and a blend of the reconstruction with snow sensor observations (blended product). The reconstructed data has a low bias, which is improvedby using the blended product, or can be quickly corrected with the local snow sensor data for the same time period. The State of California’s Department of Water Resources (CA DWR) would like to fully integrate spatial SWE into their water forecasts. Products produced by ERI for this study will be used by water forecasters in the state of California to integrate modeled spatial SWE into their forecasting operations. CA DWR forecasters and university researchers will also investigate using the modeled products as a bridge to extend the reach of the smaller-footprint dataset produced by the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA.



Kristin Morell 4/15/18-3/31/21 $285,581


National Science Foundation 1756943


Collaborative Research: Permanent forearc strain partitioning in Northern Cascadia


We propose to evaluate the role of slab geometry and oblique convergence on the production and partitioning of permanent forearc deformation in a region of northern Cascadia where there are along-strike gradients in subduction obliquity, slab curvature, and geodetically-recorded strain. Specifically, this project will test the hypothesis that newly identified active crustal faults on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, accommodate right-lateral transpression and contribute to active oroclinal bending in response to the slab-parallel component of relative plate motion. To test this hypothesis, we will determine fault kinematics and the Holocene slip history of three prominent outer forearc structures using a combination of bedrock mapping and structural analysis, surficial mapping of offset Quaternary deposits, and exploratory paleoseismic trenches. This work will also provide the first constraints on the seismic hazard posed by crustal faults in populated areas of southern British Columbia and will train undergraduate and graduate students in the identification and characterization of active shallow faults.



Kristin Morell, Edward Keller, Thomas Dunne 3/1/18-2/28/19 $20,470


National Science Foundation 1830169


The nature and physics of the Montecito debris flows of January 9, 2018, increasing community resiliency to debris flow hazards


On January 9, 2018, three large debris flows in the village of Montecito, Santa Barbara County, California killed 21 people, destroyed or damaged over 390 homes and commercial buildings, and closed all local traffic for several weeks. The flows were caused by intense precipitation in the days following the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history. In this project we will: 1) document and analyze time-sensitive field evidence for the nature and physics of the Montecito debris flows; and 2) increase community resiliency by converting this knowledge into more accessible forms of public understanding and messaging about the risk of future debris flow damage. This program will be implemented as soon as possible, because key field evidence is rapidly degrading and research suggests the debris flow hazards posed by the Thomas fire may continue for two or more years.




Max Moritz 7/1/18-6/30/19 $132,754


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 0806.18.059850


Restoration & Resilience of Endemic BCDF: Phase II


Restoration and management of BCDF, a key species of concern for LPNF, must incorporate its unique characteristics and environmental constraints on regeneration. This is particularly important in the context of climate change, which is likely to cause more frequent wildfires and more severe droughts. The massive Thomas Fire of 2017 only highlights the importance of severe events and the potential need for more active restoration in USFS Wilderness of southern California.


This project will utilize our detailed spatial characterization of BCDF stand sizes, locations, and post-fire survival status within the Zaca Fire perimeter, in conjunction with landscape-scale analyses of prioritization characteristics for restoration need and feasibility (e.g., mortality, climate sensitivity, accessibility). More local-scale analyses of factors associated with seedling survival (e.g., micro-topography, shading, nurse plant relationships) will then guide out-planting activities at chosen sites, which are likely to be outside wilderness areas. Seedlings from local BCDF populations will be used for out-planting into degraded stands. A comprehensive synthesis of what has been learned during this phase of the project will be provided to managers to guide the long-term resilience of BCDF.



Max Moritz 3/1/18-2/28/20 $134,119


University of California 20180192-04


Fire, Forest Dieback, and Climate Change in California


PI-Moritz and postdoc(s) will develop statistical analyses of historical and future fire patterns (e.g., frequency, severity, rates of spread) and their relationships to numerous biophysical causal factors (e.g., water stress in vegetation burned, weather conditions during fires, long-term climate variables controlling productivity and/or fire season length); human influences will also be examined (e.g., road densities, land development patterns). Management scenarios to mitigate both fire hazard and drought stress will be explored, with the goal of quantifying the degree to which they might have been able to alter recent impacts of drought across California; these will also be projected into future conditions. The “reversibility” of climate change scenarios will be examined by quantifying the habitat suitability requirements (i.e., environmental niche space) of mixed conifer forests, which should reveal how much of this important forest type may persist in the coming century and how much will no longer be able to survive in its current range. 



Max Moritz 2/6/18-12/31/19 $179,472


University of California SA17-3881-01


Fire Probability Modeling for Avoided Emissions Projects


This project will produce updated projections of future wildfire activity across California. These will be provided to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection-Fire and Resource Assessment Program (CAL FIREFRAP) for use in greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, resource allocation planning, and other activities. Our goal is to incorporate updates to base input data, regional statistical calibrations, and other refinements to produce maps of future fire probability under accepted climate change scenarios for California. This will be done in collaboration with Dr. Michael Mann at George Washington University, who has been instrumental in previous model development (i.e., Mann et al. 2016). 



Norm Nelson, David Siegel 1/26/01-Fixed Price $729,130


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NAS5-00200


The Bermuda Bio-Optics Project (BBOP) YRS 9-11


This project continues the time series of calibrated, high quality, in situ measurements of spectroradiometric quantities, chlorophyll a, and inherent optical properties (including CDOM, phytoplankton, and particulate detritus absorption spectra) collected at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study site in the northwestern Sargasso Sea This time series now extends back 10 years for in situ radiometric and chlorophyll data, and 8 ½ years for the absorption data. Our experience with SeaWiFS products has suggested a linkage between sporadic, interannually variable trans-Atlantic dust transport and the accuracy of ocean color chlorophyll retrievals. We would like to continue this analysis using MODIS ocean and atmospheric products, and extend the analysis to CDOM, including both MODIS products and the UCSB Ocean Color model (Garver-Siegel-Maritorena). We will take advantage of our in situ time series, enhanced with sun photometer data from the AERONET station in Bermuda and collected by Microtops in the field, to quantify the relationships between spectral atmospheric transparency and the retrieved products. Our scientific collaborators working on atmospheric dust transport will help us to assess the nature of the transported dust as well as its large scale distribution. Colocating the time-series with the existing BATS program will allow us simultaneous access to ocean physical and biological data that will help us place the measurements in oceanographic context. Understanding the atmospheric factors impacting the accuracy of ocean color algorithms will help us to confidently retrieve the impact (if any) of dust input to the subtropical North Atlantic gyre on the phytoplankton biomass and productivity, as well as improve the quality of the retrieved products. All in situ collected data will be made available to interested researchers as it has in the past, via our web site (listed above) and the SeaBASS system or its successors.



Norm Nelson, David Siegel 3/27/18-3/26/21 $579,527


National Aeronautics and Space Administration 80NSSC18K0736


Bermuda Bio-Optics Project: Data for MODIS Algorithm Maintenance


Continuing the over 22-year time series of in situ optical data needed to maintain MODIS remote sensing reflectance, chlorophyll, and absorption IOP algorithms, using observations from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study site in the northwestern Sargasso Sea. We plan to collect high quality data for MODIS ocean products including remote sensing reflectance spectra, chlorophyll a concentration and inherent optical properties, and to compare them to the corresponding MODIS data sets. Component absorption spectra will be determined on samples shipped 3x yearly to UCSB for analysis.



Norm Nelson, David Siegel 7/1/14-7/1/18 $1,056,179


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX14AM83G


Bermuda Bio-Optics Project: Continuation of Time-series and Retrospective Data Analysis


The subtropical Sargasso Sea southeast of Bermuda has been and continues to be a model system for oceanographers studying earth system processes in the open ocean, in particular elemental cycles involving organic carbon and nutrients. The long-term studies being carried out at the U.S. JGOFS Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site (Steinberg et al. 2001) are providing a decade-scale view of the current state of the ocean climate and its changes, while the hydrographic measurements at Hydrostation S provide a record of ocean climate change over the last half century. The long baseline of these time series reveals patterns and processes that are not visible within shorter studies. In particular, the BATS record of the inorganic carbon system (Bates et al, 2012; Figure 1) shows a strong trend in increasing CO2 and decreasing pH and aragonite saturation state. This trend may be a strong driver of the biological community that we can detect and analyze using bio-optical techniques. Our research within this time series context has focused on developing and applying methods for extending the reach of in situ time-series of oceanographic studies by using optical and remote sensing data to provide novel information and spatial context. Our past and ongoing research efforts have been oriented toward analyzing the linkages between ocean optical properties (as measured in situ and from spaceborne sensors) and biogeochemical processes such as CDOM cycling and primary productivity as modulated by seasonal cycles and mesoscale processes. 


Previous and ongoing studies have also made use of BBOP in situ data in combination with imagery and other sensor data from EOS and related platforms in both algorithm development, validation, and in answering science questions. BBOP has also contributed significantly to data records required for deriving new products from ocean color data, and toward the validation of current spaceborne radiometric sensors and algorithms. Our goals for this project are to continue the time series of high quality observations at the BATS site, carry out studies of the long-term data set, transition to the new platform, and reprocess and quality control the historic data set using new community derived standards. 



Nick Nidzieko 7/1/16-Fixed Price $188,794


Northrop Grumman Corporation 8200199216


Annual Naval Technology Demonstration 


The Annual Naval Technology Exercise, hosted by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI, is an opportunity for industry and academia to demonstrate emerging technology and areas of research to the naval community. UCSB is collaborating with Northrop Grumman to demonstrate cross-domain autonomy using autonomous/unmanned underwater, surface, and aerial vehicles using the UCSB REMUS 600. 




Ryan Niemeyer; Christina (Naomi) Tague 6/1/18-5/31/20 $164,977


US Department of Agriculture, 2018-67012-28046


Forest thinning in dry forests: improving the resilience of forest health and streamflow in the Pacific Northwest


People in the interior Pacific Northwest depend on dry forests for timber, healthy ecosystems, and reliable streamflow. However, these forests are denser than historical forests, leaving them unhealthy and at risk for drought and wildfire. Forest thinning can increase forest health but the mountainous terrain of the Pacific Northwest makes it difficult to know where thinning will maximize forest resilience. Forest owners and managers have identified the need for management-relevant scientific information at the appropriate scale. The goal of the following integrated postdoctoral fellowship is to identify forest thinning strategies that maximize dry forest resilience through research and extension with forest owners. The integrated project has two over-arching objectives within research and extension: a) assess the ability of forest thinning strategies to reduce drought vulnerability and increase streamflow resilience; b) increase understanding of forest thinning impacts and implementation of thinning strategies among forest owners and managers. I will simulate forest hydrological and ecological processes in three watersheds in Washington and Idaho. I will establish three longitudinal workshop groups with forest owners in each of the watersheds. These groups will be consulted throughout the project to increase model applicability to forest owners. 



J. Carter Ohlmann 11/30/18-10/14/19 $57,873


Arete Associates AZ-401259


Ocean of Things Float Development


UCSB will work with Arete scientists to jointly develop a test plan for both float and associated sensor performance using the following approach: Develop a thorough understanding of sensor specifications and performance; develop a series of in situ tests that that can be used to ensure sensors meet their stated performance specifications over a wide range of environmental conditions; consider the role of small scale variations in sensor observations and necessary smoothing for meaningful sensor data; develop a thorough understanding of vertical shear in ocean currents within the upper meter of the ocean; develop a series of in situ tests that allow evaluation of water following capabilities and positioning (i.e. accuracy and lag in GPS positioning) of float prototypes both naked and instrumented. UCSB will also perform a series of float deployments in the coastal ocean and evaluate both float performance and sensor data following the Float Test Plan developed in Task 1. Float and sensor performance will be evaluated through a series of test deployments off the Southern California coast. For the first set of test deployments, floats will be deployed in the morning and retrieved before sunset (daily deployments). This will occur on roughly five separate days, over a range of environmental conditions, in month three of the project. The second type of test deployment will involve deployment of roughly 5 floats for a period of 24 to 48 hours. This test deployment will be used to demonstrate the float performance metrics indicated in Section 1.4.1 of the BAA. Microstar drifters will be deployed alongside floats to ensure tracking and recoverability of each float during its test phase. Large spatial gradients in oceanographic conditions (i.e. winds and waves) typically exist in Southern California waters (due to pronounced headlands, islands, and a curved coastline) and will be taken advantage of to ensure testing in a range of conditions.



Ryoko Oono, Michelle O'Malley, Katja Seltmann      9/1/18-8/31/20 $199,779


National Science Foundation 1841715


EAGER: Does host specificity drive species diversification of fungal endophytes?


Foliar fungal endophytes are one of the most speciose and phylogenetically diverse guilds of microbial symbionts, living cryptically and ubiquitously in the photosynthetic tissues of every major plant lineage in the world. A better understanding of their host associations and ecological functions has important and far-reaching implications for medicine, industry, agriculture, multiple ecosystem functions (e.g., decomposition), and conservation of species diversity. A growing body of exploratory studies suggests that some of these fungi are host-specific and have adapted to a unique life history in which they reproduce during a critical period of host senescence. This project will test how host-specific adaptations, such as their ability to degrade and reproduce in host litter, may drive their species diversification. This project develops a model endophyte system by generating phylogenetic, genomic, and transcriptomic data from a global representation of the Lophodermium-Pinus symbiosis to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of fungal endophytes. The goal is to understand significant endophyte adaptations across diverse host lineages and assess the evolutionary history of the adaptive trait within a phylogenetic and genomic framework of the endophyte. Aim 1 is focused on community and phylogenetic diversity of the associations at a global scale and includes the development of a potentially transformative cyber-platform for the synthesis of systematic data. In Aim 2, the project integrates taxonomic, genomic and transcriptomic dimensions by identifying key genetic changes across multiple Lophodermium lineages correlating with changes in host-specificity. A transcriptomic analysis of endophyte tissues embedded within the host, complemented with novel in situ tools, will help push the boundaries of molecular and microscopic tools for the study of fungal endophytes.



Ryoko Oono, Michelle O'Malley, Katja Seltmann      9/1/18-8/31/20 $9,000


National Science Foundation 1841715


EAGER: Does host specificity drive species diversification of fungal endophytes?


REU supplement that would help fund two female undergraduate students, Miss Yesenia Cardenas and Miss Helen Chang, to participate in research over the summer and fall quarters of 2019. Miss Cardenas is a Hispanic, first-generation college student, who has been working in our lab since January 2019. Miss Chang is a Chinese-American first-generation student who has been working in our lab since August 2018. This REU will supplement the current NSF EAGER grant 1841715 “Does host specificity drive species diversification of fungal endophytes?”, which explores species diversity of fungi living inside of plant tissues by combining high-throughput sequencing, culturing, and host plant metadata. The EAGER project has, so far, isolated hundreds of fungal strains, indicating various levels of host specificity, from diverse conifer species from China and Europe. The REU project lead by Miss Cardenas will further explore the enzymatic diversity of the fungi collected during the EAGER project using a microplate spectrophotometer. Her work will test the hypothesis that host-specific fungi harbor enzymes to decompose plant material, such as lignin. Additionally, while the original EAGER project proposed to focus on a particular pine-specific genus, the Lophodermium, the REU project lead by Miss Chang will focus on the many other fungal genera that were unexpectedly and commonly found across our plant samples. Both students will be invited to continue participating in research during the fall academic quarter of 2019 and encouraged to present their findings at local and regional conferences as well as participate in the preparation of manuscripts summarizing results from the EAGER project.


Susannah Porter 4/1/19-3/31/21 $277,038


National Science Foundation 1855092


Collaborative Research: Using organic carbon isotopes of single microfossils to illuminate Proterozoic eukaryotic ecosystems


While we have discovered much about the Proterozoic Earth system in the last few decades, major questions remain, especially about the interplay between biology and the rise of atmospheric oxygen. One window into the biological record of the Proterozoic is via organic carbon isotopes, which track the isotope systematics of fixed carbon. However, these measurements are almost always done on bulk samples that represent the entire biological community time-averaged into a sedimentary sample. Even compound-specific carbon isotope analyses, which can isolate single sources of organic matter, still integrate long periods of time within a single, typical rock sample. This lack of resolution limits our ability to use these measurements to reconstruct short-term carbon cycle dynamics and to probe the structure of ancient ecosystems. Organic carbon isotope analyses of single microfossils are one approach that can provide a window into short-term environmental variability and can reveal ecological data about enigmatic organic fossil groups. Recent advances in the carbon isotopic analysis of nanomolar quantities of solid samples via elemental analysis-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (nanoEA-IRMS) now allow us to reliably measure the carbon isotopic composition of a single organic microfossil and directly compare that value to the bulk d13Corg. In this proposal, we seek to use this new technique to explore how organic carbon isotopes can illuminate persistent unknowns in the Proterozoic Earth-life system. We will approach these unknowns by analyzing bulk, kerogen and fossil d13Corg samples from four richly fossiliferous units that span the history of Proterozoic eukaryotes: the ca. 1.6 Ga Roper Group of northern Australia; the ca. 1.1 Ga Bylot Supergroup of Baffin Island, Canada; the <782–729 Ma Chuar Group of Arizona; and the ca. 580 Ma Ungoolya Group of Officer Basin, Australia.




Susannah Porter 9/1/14-8/31/19 $421,588


National Science Foundation EAR-1411594


Collaborative Research: Toward a global timeline of biological and ocean geochemical change during the early Cambrian


Global correlation of the lower Cambrian has been difficult to achieve. Biostratigraphic correlation has been hampered by the provinciality of many early animal groups, including trilobites, and the inevitable diachroneity of fossil first appearance datums (FADs). Likewise, deriving correlations based only on qualitative ‘wiggle matching’ of chemostratigrapic records such as carbon (δ13C) or strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotopes usually is ambiguous, and can be distorted by disconformities and carbonate diagenesis. Furthermore, without U-Pb zircon ages from interbedded tuffs and volcaniclastic rocks, even stratigraphy that is well correlated in relative time will not constrain the rate and duration of important biological and geochemical changes. The PIs will construct a comprehensive database of animal fossil occurrences, litho- and chemostratigraphy, and U-Pb zircon geochronology of interbedded volcaniclastics. Multiproxy records of variable diversity and completeness from around the globe will be correlated using the CONOP seriation software. The resulting composite stratigraphy will place each local record in relative and absolute time, based not on one variable, like FADs or δ13C, but rather on all available stratigraphic observations simultaneously. In addition, we will improve on the CONOP algorithms by adapting statistical techniques that compute uncertainties in stratigraphic correlation by taking into account variables such as curve-matching ambiguity and facies control on fossil preservation. The result will be a first-of-its-kind timeline of early Cambrian animal evolution and ocean geochemical change with quantitative uncertainties. We will use this timeline to constrain a new Earth-system model that tracks C, O, S, Mg, Ca, ALK, P, Sr, U and Mo in sea water and sediment pore-fluid.



Simone Pulver 1/1/16-8/31/20 $349,308


National Science Foundation 1534976


Egregious Polluters: A socially-structured explanation of disproportionality in the production of pollution


Rankings of firm environmental performance consistently reveal that the production of pollution is uneven. There are some facilities whose pollution burden on the environment is egregious compared to peer facilities. Freudenburg (2005) termed this pattern disproportionality in the production of pollution. Disproportionality as a measure to characterize inequality in the production of pollution is gaining ground in organizational research on society and the environment. Studies of disproportionality have been conducted for the primary metals industry (Freudenburg 2005), the dairy industry (Collins 2012), the electric utility industry (Grant et al. 2013), and comparatively across a range of industries (Collins forthcoming), and they all confirm the disproportionality pattern. However, such studies take a cross-sectional approach, analyzing disproportionality at one point in time. This research proposes a longitudinal, comparative, mixed-methods approach, investigating the social structures and contexts that affect if, how, and under what circumstances disproportionality changes over time. The research focuses on three questions: 1) How does disproportionality in the production of pollution change over time? 2) What drives those changes? and 3) What factors account for the persistence of egregious polluters? These questions are answered by analyzing facility-level toxic chemical emissions data reported to the US EPA's Toxics Release Inventory from 1988 to 2012 for three industry classifications- pulp and paper milling (NAICS 3221), printed circuit board manufacturing (NAICS 334412), and PVC pipe manufacturing (NAICS 326122).



Matthew Rioux 8/1/16-7/31/20 $210,557


National Science Foundation 1636678


Collaborative Research: The four-dimensional distribution of magmatism during the growth of lower oceanic crust: High precision U-Pb dating of IODP Hole U1473A, Atlantis Bank, SWIR


Recent application of high precision U-Pb zircon geochronology to samples of lower ocean crust has begun to provide unprecedented insight into the spatial and temporal distribution of magmatism during accretion, providing key constraints for the development of robust petrogenetic models. In this proposal, Cheadle, John, and Rioux propose to use integrated Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) zircon trace element analysis and high precision isotope dilution-thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) U-Pb dating to study the formation and cooling rates of the lower oceanic crust cored by the new deep IODP drill hole (Hole U1473A; 789.2 meters below sea floor). Cheadle, a shipboard scientist, collected over 90 samples from the core providing high spatial resolution. Previous work by the PIs on samples from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Holes 1105A and 735B, yielded analytical uncertainties for single zircon U-Pb dates as low as +/-0.011 Ma, and weighted mean uncertainties of +/-0.004 to +/-0.009 Ma for the most precisely dated samples. These data permitted the recognition of individual intrusive events, placing constraints on the constructional dimensions and history of lower oceanic crust.



Matthew Rioux 4/15/17-3/31/20 $231,072


National Science Foundation 1650407


Formation of the metamorphic sole of the Semail ophiolite: High-precision U-Pb dating of the preserved remnants of a subducted slab 


The Semail (Oman-United Arab Emirates) and other Tethyan ophiolites are underlain by a thin sole of amphibolite- to granulite-facies metamorphic rocks. As preserved remnants of the underthrust plate, sole exposures can be used to better understand the formation and obduction of ophiolites. In two previous projects, PI Matt Rioux and his collaborators have used high-precision isotope dilution-thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) U-Pb zircon dating to study the timing of ophiolite formation and the development of subduction below the ophiolite. New data from two large exposures of the metamorphic sole yielded surprising results, indicating that that the earliest sole metamorphism was synchronous with or pre-dated formation of the ophiolite crust and that metamorphism was diachronous along the length of the ophiolite, spanning ≥1.3 Ma, contrary to current models. To better understand the implications of these results to the origin of ophiolites, Rioux proposes to carry out high-precision dating at exposures of the metamorphic sole throughout the Semail ophiolite.



Karl Rittger 6/1/18-12/31/19 $331,195


California Department of Fish and Wildlife 


High Resolution Snow Cover Maps for Quantifying Winter Habitat for Wildlife


Optical remote sensing can accurately provide much needed information on snow cover and snowpack; specifically, we can derive snow cover and snow albedo from these instruments. Since March of 2000, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) has provided daily images of the entire Earth’s surface. Historically, MOD10 snow cover and albedo, based on simple algorithms such as the Normalized Snow Difference Index (NDSI), have been used. However, NDSI uses only parts of the electromagnetic spectrum available from Earth observing satellites while recent developments in modeling snow properties utilize innovative algorithms that take advantage of the full spectrum. Unlike NDSI, these modern algorithms, in this case MODIS Snow Covered Area and Grain Size (MODSCAG), maintain their performance over a broader range of land surfaces, especially mountainous terrain, during accumulation, and in spring and summer when snow is most heterogeneous (Rittger et al. 2013). The proposed work includes adapting and introducing statistical methodology for fusing Landsat and MODIS satellite data. In particular, the blended product will be daily optimal statistical estimates of snow cover at the 30m Landsat resolution, but that are consistent with the coarse 500m MODIS estimates.  This will be accomplished by utilizing generalized additive models, robust feature engineering techniques from machine learning, and spatial stochastic modeling that accounts for uncertainty in the fused products.



Leonel Romero, J. Carter Ohlmann 9/18/15-2/29/20 $1,692,209


Centro De Investigacion Cientifica De Ensenada CICESE SB160037


Inner-Shelf Near-Surface Horizontal Dispersion


This proposal is part of the SENER-CONACYT/Hydrocarbons project to quantify horizontal dispersion over the inner shelf. This will be achieved with a series of field experiments in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Brownsville, TX. The project performance is 4.5 years, which is divided in three periods: Period 1 (9/11/2015 – 2/28/2017), Period 2 (3/1/2017 – 2/28/2019) and Period 3 (3/1/2019 – 2/28/2020). In the 1st Period UCSB will deliver a preliminary report of dispersion analysis and flow characteristics. In Period 2 UCSB will deliver a report with analysis of coastal dispersion with respect to background flow structures, as well as wind and wave forcing conditions. In Period 3 UCSB will deliver the final report with scale dependent diffusivity analysis with respect to distance from the shore, bathymetry, and forcing, including the characterization of background flow structures. The final deliverable will enable comparison with deepwater dispersion studies and modeling efforts to be carried out by other members of the SENERCONACYT/Hydrocarbons project. 



Leonel Romero 7/1/16-6/30/19 $259,538


Office of Naval Research N00014-16-1-2936


Numerical Modeling of Wave-Current interactions in the Presence of Submesoscale Ocean Features


This project studies wave-current interactions in the presence of oceanic submesoscale features such as fronts, filaments, and eddies. The work will investigate feedbacks on submesoscale processes due to wave-current interactions. The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) will be coupled to a wave model to study realistic wave-current interactions over the mid and inner continental shelf. The wave model will be validated in conditions with significant wave-current interactions, including both current-induced refraction and direct forcing by surface currents, against existing field observations. Coupled simulations will be carried out to investigate wave-current interactions and feedbacks over regions of elevated submesoscale activity. The coupled model will be validated against field observations collected during the DRI. The simulations will enable investigation of the importance of vortex forces on submesoscale processes. The resulting coupled model will provide a numerical framework for future capability expansion to incorporate additional effects of waves on currents such as modulation of the surface stress, and mixing due to breaking and non-breaking waves.



Dylan Rood, Toshiro Tanimoto 5/1/17-9/30/18 $22,000


University of Southern California 94315363-C


SCEC5 Participation, Project: Testing fault geometry and interaction models using high-precision slip rates on the San Cayetano and Ventura-Pitas Point Faults


The primary goal of this work is to use cosmogenic isotope dating techniques to precisely date important and poorly-dated Quaternary strain markers, which are variably deformed across two major structures in the Western Transverse Ranges (WTR): the San Cayatano and Ventura Pitas Point faults. These important structures are potentially linked by a fault section (the Southern San Cayetano fault), for which slip rates do not currently exist. Developing the first radiometric chronology of deformed deposits will directly contribute to and reduce uncertainties in earthquake hazards assessments associated with the SCEC5 research priorities, WGCEP goals, and the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Program. First, we will develop precise ages for multiple river terraces and alluvial fans, which are differentially deformed across and along strike of the San Cayetano and Pitas Point fault systems. We will, in turn, use these ages to develop high-resolution deformation rates on these hazardous, but poorly understood, faults where current greater than two-fold uncertainty on rates exists. Finally, we will use the spatial distribution of slip rates along strike and between adjacent faults to test controversial subsurface fault geometry (ramp versus non-ramp models) and fault interaction models.



Roberta Rudnick 9/1/16-8/31/19 $140,000


Arizona State University/Tempe EAR-1338810 (NSF Flow-through)


FESD Type 1: The Dynamics of Earth System Oxygenation


Because Mo abundances in black shales remains the most important proxy for the rise of atmospheric oxygen, it is imperative that the behavior of Mo during crust formation and evolution (e.g., during magmatic differentiation and weathering) be determined. Attempts to use Mo abundances in black shales as an oxybarometer for the atmosphere have rested on the assumption that Mo is mainly contained within sulfides (particularly pyrite) in the upper continental crust, and that increased pyrite dissolution rates at higher pO2 results in greater release of Mo. The work to be carried out seeks to test this assumption.



Roberta Rudnick, John Cottle 2/15/17-1/31/21 $394,453


National Science Foundation 1650260


U-Pb thermochronology of lower crustal xenoliths -- estimating Moho temperature in order to constrain crustal heat production


This project will focus on developing methods that will allow crustal heat production to be ascertained from in-situ U-Pb thermochronology of lower crustal xenoliths combined with surface heat flow data. We will focus our initial efforts on a large and well-characterized suite of granulite-facies xenoliths from northern Tanzania, followed by similar studies of well-characterized lower crustal xenoliths from the Siberian Craton (Udachnaya kimberlite) and the Superior Craton (Attawapiskat kimberlites). The methods developed here can be applied to other suitable xenolith suites in order to develop global constraints on the proportion of heat producing elements that reside in the continental crust.



Roberta Rudnick 2/1/18-1/31/21 $138,655


National Science Foundation 1757313


Chalcophile Element Geochemistry


The funding will support the research of a PhD candidate, who will use the abundances and, in some cases, isotopic compositions (e.g., Mo) of variably chalcophile elements in three projects related to chalcophile element geochemistry of the crust-mantle system. The first project investigates the causes of the systematic depletion in Mo (relative to Ce and Pr – which have similar bulk partition coefficients) that the student discovered in many granitic suites through study of the Mo inventory in common crustal rocks. This depletion may be caused by i) loss of Mo to a magmatic vapor phase (MVP) during late-stage differentiation, ii) loss of Mo during crystal fractionation in the crust due to its partitioning into Ti-bearing phases, and/or iii) loss of Mo to a Ti-bearing phase (e.g., rutile) in subducted oceanic crust. To evaluate these possibilities, we will i) determine the Mo abundances and partitioning in xenolithic eclogites from the Man Shield, Sierra Leone that have been interpreted to be residues of Archean oceanic crust trapped within the cratonic mantle, and ii) analyze a calc-alkaline differentiation suite to determine whether Mo is lost to Fe-Ti oxides. The second project seeks to understand the systematic change in Mo isotopic composition of the upper continental crust that the student discovered through analyses of glacial diamictite composites. We hypothesize that the trend to lower δ98Mo seen in diamictites deposited from the Archean to the Paleozoic results from retention of isotopically light Mo within Fe and Mn hydroxides developed in the regolith following the GOE. To test this hypothesis, we plan to analyze Mo isotopes in two well-characterized weathering profiles developed on basalt and a diabase, for which mineralogy, major and trace elements, and Li and Mg isotopes have previously been determined. If our hypothesis stands, we expect the basalt profile to exhibit a lighter Mo isotope signature, as it contains abundant Fe-Mn oxides and hydroxides relative to the diabase profile. These data, in combination with the Mo isotope data for the glacial diamictites, may allow us to track the onset of oxidative weathering of the continents. The final project evaluates the degree to which variably chalcophile elements, like Mo, partition into sulfides in the mantle through a study of well characterized massif peridotites. In addition to determining chalcophile element partitioning behavior, we seek to provide additional constraints on the abundances of these elements (many of which are moderately to highly volatile, e.g., As, Cd, Ga, In, Sn, Tl) in the primitive mantle. For this work we will analyze a wide array of chalcophile elements in both whole rocks and minerals of well-characterized peridotites from the Pyrenees. By determining the behavior of these elements during mantle melting, we will provide additional constraints on their abundances in the primitive mantle and, from this, their partitioning into the core.



Alyson Santoro 7/20/18-7/19/21 $351,478


National Aeronautics and Space Administration 80NSSC18K1431


Surface versus subsurface controls on microbial attenuation of sinking particulate flux in the mesopelagic ocean


The goal of this research is to develop a mechanistic link between microbial attenuation of sinking particle flux and surface ocean properties, with the following objectives: 1. Measure, in situ, the magnitude of microbial respiration as a sink for carbon throughout the upper mesopelagic during the two EXPORTS field campaigns. 2. Refine the existing conceptual model of the relationship between surface ecosystems, subsurface biogeochemical characteristics, microbial respiration, and transfer efficiency of carbon through the mesopelagic. 3 Develop a predictive subsurface particle remineralization model that can be incorporated into EXPORTS data products.

To accomplish these objectives, we will deploy replicated sets of particle capture devices equipped with oxygen optode-based respiration chambers throughout the mesopelagic during the EXPORTS field campaigns. These systems, known as RESPIRE traps, allow for the in situ capture of sinking particles and subsequent tracking of oxygen consumption. We will compare respiration rates to subsurface ecosystem and biogeochemical characteristics including particle sinking rates, geochemical characterization of particles, and microbial community structure. We will further compare our results to remotely-sensed properties such as net primary production, phytoplankton community composition, and particle size spectra to determine the mechanistic basis for the relationship between surface ocean properties and subsurface activity. This research will determine the importance of microbial processes relative to other potential sinks, such as zooplankton particle consumption.




Joshua Schimel 7/1/14-6/30/20 $704,320


National Science Foundation PLR-1417758


Does E. vaginatum take up organic N?


Twenty years ago, Chapin et al. (1993) showed that Eriophorum vaginatum, the plant species that dominates arctic tussock tundra, not only can use organic N-sources, but actually grows better with amino acids as a sole N-source than with inorganic N salts. This catalyzed a cascade of research that transformed our vision of the plant-soil N-cycle; small N-containing organic compounds have replaced NH4+ as the centerpoint of the N cycle. A challenge of this shifting view however, is that no one has actually quantified, for any plant species growing in the wild, let alone for E. vaginatum-- how much of its total N demand is met by organic N-sources! The challenge to answering this question has been methodological; standard 15N isotope tracer methods show that many plants can take up amino acids, but without accounting for dilution of the 15N tracer into the native N pools as they rapidly turn over, they can not assess how much of the native compounds are taken up by plants. This project would overcome this problem and answer the question "Do plants really use organic N?" The project would use a combination of methods integrated through simulation modeling. The key novel method is microdialysis, in which a probe the size of a root is inserted into the soil, a carrier solution flows through it, and small molecules diffuse into it. If water is used as the carrier, it creates a diffusion gradient, while if a dextran solution is used, it draws water into the probe and so creates mass flow. Thus, this can indicate which substrates in soil are moving to the root surface. Microdialysis will be coupled with intact root uptake kinetic studies, isotope partitioning, and analyzing diffusion and transport of amino acids, NH4+ and NO3- through soil to parameterize a root uptake model that will be used to synthesize and integrate the results. This will allow evaluate the actual N sources used by E. vaginatum. The first phase of the work will be done under controlled conditions in the greenhouse; then having refined the methods and assessed model parameters, we will move into the field to assess seasonal patterns of N uptake and how it is affected by environmental manipulations.



Joshua Schimel 8/1/18-Fixed Price $59,400


Community Environmental Council SB190053


Healthy Soils Demonstration Project


Greenhouse gas fluxes will be measured using a standard flux-chamber protocol, in which chambers are placed on the ground surface and periodically sampled using gas tight syringes. Both CO2 and N2O will be analyzed. In this method, chambers (essentially just plastic boxes with a port to insert a syringe through) are placed on the soil surface, and periodically over several hours, a sample is taken using a gas-tight syringe. These are returned to the lab and analyzed for CO2 and N2O; CO2 using an infrared gas analyzer, N2O by gas chromatography. Emission rates are calculated from the rate of increase in concentration over time. These analyses will be done regularly—weekly to biweekly depending on weather patterns (it is important to sample following rewetting events as well as on a routine basis to capture the baseline levels of emissions. Data will be analyzed between treatments using standard statistics: ANOVA for single time measurements, repeated measures ANOVA for gas fluxes that are measured repeatedly on single plots.




Katja Seltmann 10/1/16-9/30/19 $112,749


The Institute of Museum and Library Services IMLS MA-30-16-0387-16


Upgrade of the historical Wenner insect collection: Utilizing collection data in Restoration Ecology


The Wenner insect collection represents an uncommon historical record of insects in endangered coastal California habitats. Dr. Adrian Wenner developed the collection as part of a UCSB general entomology course that he taught from 1961 until he retired in 1993. The majority of the specimens were collected on UCSB campus and the UCSB Natural Reserve System habitats; consequently, he created an important natural history archive that is valuable to ongoing regional ecological restoration research initiatives. In this project we propose to: 1) curate, barcode, image, database, and georeference the existing 9,000 insect specimens in the collection, 2) disseminate the information broadly to national and international specimen data resources, 3) develop an insect curation skills course as part of the already established and successful Curation of Natural History Collections course offered by the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, 4) create a manual on contemporary practices for curating and digitizing insect collections for small museums, and 5) provide workshops on insect identification and insect biodiversity. 


The project will be devoted to the moving of the insects into new cabinets and taxonomic identification for reorganization of the collection; barcoding, imaging, and label transcription to database the specimens; and finding decimal geographical coordinates that match the specimen locality labels. Concurrent to these activities, we will develop and teach the Curation of Natural History Collections course on insect curation skills and recruit student interns to work in the collection. The course will be offered in winter quarter 2017 and fall quarter 2017. In winter quarter 2017 and 2018 we will provide workshops on insect identification and biodiversity for CCBER restoration staff, UC Santa Barbara Natural Reserve System staff, and other interested university staff, faculty and students. 



David Siegel, Nicholas Nidzieko, Daniel Reed, Norm Nelson, Robert Miller, Thomas Bell 

7/1/17-4/30/21 $2,003,894


Department of Energy DE-AR0000922


Scalable Aquaculture Monitoring System - SAMS


Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), one of the most productive organisms on Earth, depends on nutrients supplied from the surrounding water column to maintain its photosynthetic apparatus and maximize growth rates. Recent advances in macroalgal biofuel production techniques have spurred action to develop offshore kelp farms to utilize natural pools of available nutrients and produce kelp biomass as a novel US energy production stream. To maximize kelp biomass yields, managers must be able to monitor the progression of the kelp farm, starting at outplant and continuing through the growth cycle to harvest, with information on biomass, productivity and physiological status, as well as the environmental conditions that control its near-term production. The rapid growth rate of this species, along with the everpresent potential of biomass losses due to frond senescence, herbivory, and fouling amplify the requirement of real time, autonomous monitoring data to assist in optimizing the operation of a giant kelp aquaculture farm. The Scalable Aquaculture Monitoring System (SAMS) addresses these needs by continuously assessing underwater and floating kelp biomass, physiological condition, and production along with the environmental factors known to affect kelp growth, all while delivering relevant information to the farm manager in real time. SAMS is composed of aerial and underwater autonomous vehicles and sensors, tested and validated to provide the most efficient suite of instruments delivering the required metrics at the plant scale, while maintaining the scalability to monitor multiple giant kelp farms simultaneously.



David Siegel, Norm Nelson, Uta Passow 8/15/17-9/17/21 $4,263,668


National Aeronautics and Space Administration 


Synthesizing Optically- and Carbon Export-Relevant Particle Size Distributions for the EXPORTS Field Campaign


Particle size has fundamental control on the distribution and dynamics of particulate carbon in the upper ocean. Stokes’ law states that particles with larger effective diameters (D) will sink faster than smaller ones determining whether particles are effectively suspended within the water column (D<~100 μm) or are sinking (D>~500μm). Net Primary Production (NPP) enters pelagic ecosystems as suspended particles and these particles (along with CDOM) control the ocean’s optical properties. Further, sinking particles undergo many biotic and abiotic transformations in their size, composition and sinking velocity as they transit from the surface ocean, regulating carbon export and remineralization profiles. This points to the importance of understanding the particle size distribution (PSD) in predicting the fate of NPP, the central goal of EXPORTS. We propose to answer four science questions to develop a predictive understanding of the PSD for both suspended and sinking particles. 1. How do the abundance, composition and productivity of particle source materials regulate the PSD for smaller, optically relevant particle sizes? 2. How do source particle characteristics as well as biotic / abiotic interactions on sinking particles regulate the PSD for larger, carbon export relevant particle sizes? 3. Can the combined size distribution for suspended and sinking particles be modeled using optical data and in particular from satellite ocean color observations? 4. How do energy and carbon derived from phytoplankton NPP cascade through the particle size spectrum? 


David Siegel 3/27/18-3/26/21 $574,858


National Aeronautics and Space Administration 80NSSC18K0735


Plumes and Blooms MODIS Algorithm Maintenance


We will continue the fieldwork and data analysis tasks needed to maintain the Aqua MODIS ocean remote sensing reflectance, phytoplankton pigment and inherent optical property (IOP) algorithms using observations from the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC). Satellite algorithm maintenance requires the comparison of remote sensing data products with both coincident field observations as well as satellite data products from similar sensors. The SBC and its surrounding waters is an excellent location for this task due to the inherent large spatial and temporal variations in ocean and atmospheric optical properties. 

We propose to quality assure the MODIS Aqua ocean color algorithms using observations in a complex coastal system. Of particular relevance are algorithms for remote sensing reflectance spectra, chlorophyll a concentration and inherent optical properties. MODIS ocean color data products are operationally produced by the NASA GSFC ocean color data processing group and are used regularly by the ocean sciences community. Maintenance of satellite algorithm requires quality assessment of MODIS Aqua satellite data products with both field observations as well as relevant satellite data products from other platforms (VIIRS, OLCI, etc.). We will analyze MODIS Aqua Level-2 satellite data products for the SBC and its surrounding waters through matchups to field observations and their intercomparison with (Henderikx Freitas et al. 2016). The integration of field and satellite observations provides quality assure the MODIS Aqua ocean color algorithm maintenance in a complex coastal ocean. 



David Siegel 7/7/14-7/6/18 $840,001


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX14AL94G


Plumes and Blooms: A Multi-Decadal Coastal Bio-Optical Time-series and Retrospective Data Analysis


The focus of the Plumes and Blooms (PnB) program is to understand, predict and utilize changes in ocean color in the complex coastal waters of the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), California. The core element of the PnB program is the monthly, day-long sampling of 7 stations across the Santa Barbara Channel. At each station, a full suite of bio-optical and oceanographic measurements is sampled and nearly 80 stations are completed each year. Coupled with the highly dynamic nature of the SBC, the PnB data are incredibly useful for answering coastal ocean color science questions and for validating satellite data products. PnB field observations started in 1996 and they have continued continuously to the present. 



David Siegel, Norm Nelson, Stéphane Maritorena 3/1/15-2/28/20 $1,280,934


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX15AE72G


North Atlantic Aerosol and Marine Ecosystem Study (NAAMES)


The UCSB In Situ Ocean Optics & Ocean Color Modeling Team will support the NAAMES field project by: 1) making in situ ocean optics profiles of downwelling and upwelling spectral irradiance and upwelled radiance spectra at each daylight station during the four scheduled field deployments; 2) collecting and analyzing discrete water samples for inherent optical property determinations (cf., ag(λ), aph(λ), adet(λ)), 3) archiving reduced and quality-checked data within four months after each deployment; 4) develop, validated and implement next generation biooptical models for retrieving ocean properties using NAAMES radiance spectra determinations; 5) participating in project planning and science discussions and meetings; 6) conducting individual/collaborative data analyses to address project objectives; and 7) presenting results at national/international meetings and in peer-reviewed journals in accordance with project schedules. 



David Siegel, James Allen 9/1/15-8/31/18 $105,000


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX15AN87H


Retrieval of Phytoplankton Size Distribution from Satellite Imagery


Knowledge about the size, composition, and distribution of particles in the global ocean has led to breakthroughs in understanding surface ecosystem dynamics as well as the ocean’s role in the Earth’s carbon cycle. Remote sensing has recently become a powerful tool for characterizing the global particle size distribution (PSD) and phytoplankton size composition on relevant spatiotemporal scales through the use of two distinct optical modeling approaches. Spectral backscattering models perform well in oligotrophic marine regions due to the lack of terrestrially derived particles, while spectral absorption models work well in productive regions due to their ability to key into the flattening of spectral absorption features in larger particles due to the package effect. However, these models often fail because they do not address the bio-optical complexity of the ocean. The proposed work will improve on current studies by developing a novel algorithm that merges PSD information from both particle backscattering and absorption spectra. These new models, as well as existing techniques, applied to remotely sensed imagery from SeaWiFS, MODIS-Aqua, and Suomi VIIRS will be validated with available PSD field data. This allows for a detailed analysis of model sensitivities to changes in input variables while providing the ability to reconcile phytoplankton vs. particle size distributions. The power law size distribution assumption will also be reassessed in favor of a two-component model made up of fine and coarse modes following approaches used by the atmospheric aerosol community. 



David Siegel, Dylan Catlett 9/1/16-8/31/20 $120,000


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX16AO44H


Linking Ocean Optical Properties with Marine Microbial Diversity Assessed by Next-Generation Sequencing


Understanding global patterns and distributions in marine microbial diversity is imperative in developing knowledge of global primary production, biogeochemical cycling, and ecosystem structuring. Given the excessive time and cost required to study these distributions on significant temporal and spatial scales, developing the use of ocean color remote sensing as a means to monitor these distributions is of great interest to oceanographers. Thus, many efforts have been made to develop relationships between optical properties, such as remote sensing reflectance and spectral absorption and backscattering coefficients, and phytoplankton community structure, which is generally characterized in these efforts by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Recent advances in the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) as a taxonomic method have provided a new way to characterize microbial community structure and diversity in situ, but its utility in studies linking optical signatures with diversity has yet to be examined. The goal of the proposed research is to further elucidate the two-way linkage in in situ optical signatures and phytoplankton community structure and to develop a relationship between these optical signatures and the non-photosynthetic microbial community by employing a combination of HPLC and NGS. 



David Siegel 8/25/16-8/24/20 $762,291


National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX16AR49G


Data Mining Global Ocean Ecosystem & Carbon Cycling Observations for EXPORTS Planning & Synthesis


The biological carbon pump is thought to export ~10 Pg C each year from the surface ocean to ocean’s interior largely in the form of settling organic particles. The monitoring and prediction of global carbon export and time scales for its sequestration remain important unknowns of the ocean’s carbon cycle. To attack this problem, NASA is implementing the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) field campaign. The goal of EXPORTS is to gain a predictive understanding of the export and fates of global ocean net primary production (NPP). The EXPORTS Science Plan focuses on quantifying the pathways in which NPP is exported from the upper ocean and is sequestered at depth. The EXPORTS field campaign as planned will likely observe maybe eight distinct ecosystem / carbon cycling states; yet its plan is to answer its science questions by performing longitudinal analyses of observations made across a range of states. Unfortunately, the statistical confidence in these results may be quite poor as only a small number of realizations may be afforded from the field program alone. The good news is that there are many sites where high-quality ecosystem / carbon cycling observations are available from online repositories and literature accounts from previous and ongoing research programs. Because of the available of these data, the “data mining” of available observations is an integral part of the EXPORTS Science Plan and likely critical to its success.


This pilot study will assess how to address the EXPORTS Science Questions by “data mining” previous observations. Specifically, our objectives are to: 1) Collect and collate available global ocean ecosystem and carbon cycling field observations useful for addressing the EXPORTS Science Questions; 2) Construct EXPORTS data products and “wiring diagrams” from available data and distribute and publish them for their wide use, and; 3) Evaluate the use of the mined data products for assessing the EXPORTS Science Questions and developing advanced satellite algorithms and numerical models.



Alexander Simms 9/1/17-8/31/21 $260,571


National Science Foundation 1644197


Collaborative Research: New Constraints on Post-Glacial Rebound and Holocene Environmental History along the Northern Antarctic Peninsula from Raised Beaches


The purpose of this research is to use optically stimulated luminescence to date a series of newly discovered raised beaches along the eastern Antarctic Peninsula and an already known, but only preliminarily dated, series of raised beaches in the South Shetland Islands. Data to be collected include the age and elevation of raised beaches, ground-penetrating radar profiles through the raised beaches, and the roundness of cobbles and the lithology of ice-rafted debris found on those raised beaches. With this data we will test three hypotheses: (1) uplift rates have increased in modern times relative to the late Holocene across the Antarctic Peninsula, (2) the sea-level history at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula is distinctly different than that of the South Shetland Islands, and (3) cobble roundness and the source of ice-rafted debris on raised beaches varied systematically through time reflecting the climate history of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.



Alexander Simms                             1/1/13-Fixed Price                                            $100,000


American Chemical Society, 52790-ND8


Hyperpycnal Subaqueous Fans of the Northern Santa Barbara Channel, Central California, USA


The importance of hyperpycnal flows in cross-shelf transport of sand has only recently been widely recognized.  Attempts at creating a facies model for hyperpycnal flow deposits are based on either ancient examples where their presence can only be inferred from sedimentary characteristics or modern studies that sample the flows themselves but not necessarily their deposits.  The study of Quaternary systems bridges the gap between modern processes, which provide predictive metrics of sedimentary characteristics, and ancient deposits representing petroleum reservoirs.   The few existing Quaternary examples of deposits produced by hyperpycnal flows focus on the broad scale of deposition and rarely describe individual geomorphic features resulting from hyperpycnal flows.   A recent marine bathymetric survey of the northern Santa Barbara Channel continental shelf by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) revealed the presence of shallow-water submarine fans immediately offshore of several small mountainous streams.  Based on observations of modern discharges from these and similar systems in the northern Santa Barbara Channel, we hypothesis that these geomorphic features represent the deposits of hyperpycnal flows and dense bedload-dominated underflows emanating from steep mountain catchments.  The purpose of this proposal is to characterize these features using high-resolution seismic profiles, sediment grab samples, underwater camera operations, and shallow cores.  The characterization of these deposits will allow an evaluation of their potential for reservoir quality sands and provide one of the few modern examples of a subaqueous fan delta from a semi-arid setting. 



Michael Singer, Kelly Caylor 8/1/17-7/31/20 $396,566


National Science Foundation 1700555


Collaborative Research: Impacts of Dynamic, Climate-Driven Water Availability on Tree Water Use and Health in Mediterranean Riparian Forests


We propose an integration of methods to quantify and clarify how seasonal and annual variability in water sources influence tree water use, growth, and health, and how these processes are recorded within tree ring isotopic signatures. Our project combines: 1) field-based measurements of climate, soil hydrology, and tree water use, water sampling and laboratory analysis of oxygen isotopes from all potential tree water sources; (2) contemporary and retrospective analysis of oxygen and carbon isotopes in annual tree-rings to investigate recent climate-driven fluctuations in tree water use and water use efficiency; (3) seasonal (intra-annual) analysis of oxygen isotopes via high-resolution 'micro-slicing' of annual tree rings to assess seasonal fluctuations in tree water source use during the project period; and 4) improvement and application of a climate-driven numerical ecohydrology model that includes dynamic water fluxes into the floodplain, isotopic fractionation/mixing, and tree water uptake and cellulose preservation. Using this model and collected data, we will compare the ecohydrologic responses to climatic fluctuations and trends in water availability at forest sites along a strong climatic gradient in SE France.



Michael Singer, Dar Roberts 4/1/17-12/31/20 $302,235


State University of New York (SUNY) 550-1142143-79134 (NSF Flow-through)


Linking basin-scale, stand-level, and individual tree water stress indicators for groundwater-dependent riparian forests in multiple-use river basins


This research project will develop a suite of water-stress indicators at several scales to assess the health of riparian ecosystems in response to sustained groundwater decline. This project will address a topic of scientific and societal importance, namely how to evaluate and help prevent negative impacts of drought and human-induced water shortages on vulnerable, high-value riparian ecosystems. It will integrate advanced methods in two rapidly emerging fields, hyperspectral remote sensing and isotope dendroecology, to develop a more holistic understanding of water stress at multiple scales of resolution. The project will compare water stress indicators that vary in their timing, strength, and rates of change, and it will facilitate the evaluation of warning signs and time lags among physiological water stress, reduced growth, and dieback in individual trees as well as synoptic forest decline evident throughout a river corridor. This project has the potential to influence groundwater management practices throughout California and in water-limited, multiple-use basins elsewhere. In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and other project collaborators, the investigators will integrate project findings with statewide guidelines for protecting groundwater-dependent riparian ecosystems mandated under California's recently implemented Groundwater Sustainability Management Act. The investigators will interact with groundwater conservation and management efforts in river basins through workshops for managers and stakeholders. They will mentor early-career environmental scientists, including women in STEM fields, and they will conduct outreach activities for elementary and secondary school students to increase regional environmental awareness in the study region.

Riparian forests and woodlands are hotspots of biodiversity, and they support key functions and habitats within river corridors, but they are particularly sensitive to large changes in water supply. This project will take place in the Santa Clara River in southern California, where sustained groundwater pumping for irrigation during a severe drought has had negative impacts and allows for study of riparian woodland response to changing environmental conditions over both short and longer terms. The investigators will assess the signals and thresholds of water stress over the last decade using high-resolution aerial imagery and tree-rings to develop predictors of long-term impairment and collapse. They will capitalize on extensive groundwater well records to link water-table dynamics with changes in plant water status detected at two different scales through the use of basin-wide, high-resolution aerial imagery taken seasonally during the drought and annual growth and carbon isotope data from tree rings covering the same period.




Michael Singer, Kelly Caylor, Dar Roberts  9/19/18-9/19/22 $569,285


Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research Development W912HQ18C0068


Understanding and Assessing Riparian Habitat Vulnerability to Drought-Prone Climate Regimes on Department of Defense Bases in the Southwestern USA


Our project will provide a toolkit and quantitative support for land/water conservation management plans to ensure the sustainability and resilience of riparian forest ecosystems in arid and semi-arid landscapes. This work will focus on drought-prone ecosystems, where prolonged dry periods affect riparian habitat quantity and quality, thereby limiting their role as thermal and moisture refugia for many threatened and endangered (T&E) species such as passerine songbirds and amphibians. Drought stress affects the extent, functioning, and sustainability of riparian habitats for T&E species, which are of great management concern on DoD bases. However, there are currently limited tools available for developing sustainable, long-term riparian habitat management plans that are responsive to changes in the mean state and variability of climate. Our project will detect and assess the responses of sensitive riparian forests to drought stress over recent decades, and will generalize these responses through modeling of a warming/drying climate punctuated by variable rainfall. 




Michael Singer 2/26/18-1/31/20 $37,300


The Nature Conservancy 07282017-4691


Assessing Riparian Forest Water Sources in the Santa Clara River Basin


Dynamic partitioning of water in the floodplain directly controls water availability to riparian trees rooted at different depths. We propose to collect detailed datasets at several field installations in the Santa Clara River Basin, which will enable us to ascertain: a) the evolving access to subsurface water by riparian trees; b) the relative magnitude of their use of groundwater, particularly during stressful periods; and c) their corresponding growth responses. Notably, it will allow us to assess the groundwater dependency of riparian forests in this basin, which has experienced marked declines in water tables and subsurface soil moisture due to the recent drought. 


The data from this study will provide new understanding of water availability to riparian forests and their use of this water. These results will be relevant to surface water management efforts including developing aquifer recharge strategies and timing that benefit riparian forest ecosystems. Specifically, we will: 1) fingerprint distinct differences between potential endmember source waters to trees; 2) assess what water Salix and Poplulus spp. are using in the Santa Clara basin on annual and seasonal timescales, including likely depths of water access to roots and water source switching; and 3) quantify the growth response of these trees to fluctuations in water availability. Collectively, these data will indicate the patterns of groundwater use by keystone riparian trees. Due to the ubiquity of the focal species and similar ecohydrological responses of closely-related taxa, the results are projected to be applicable to riparian systems throughout California and other dryland regions. 



Christopher Sorlien 10/1/15-9/30/18 $87,059


National Science Foundation 1537719


Collaborative Research: The North Anatolian Fault system in the Marmara Sea, Turkey - Insights from the Plio-Quaternary evolution of a multi-stranded transform


A continental transform is expected to originate as a distributed network of small faults with complex geometries that, with continued slip, gradually coalesce and simplify into a through-going fault. The North Anatolian Fault (NAF), a young continental transform, has been proposed as a prime example of this process. In the Marmara Sea, however, the NAF splits into several branches and forms a transtensional basin. Most of the strain is associated with the Northern Branch, which spawned three 1200-m deep basins. It has been proposed that the strain is focusing on the Northern Branch and that the Central and Southern branches are being abandoned. However, recent multichannel, sparker, and chirp seismic reflection and multibeam bathymetry data demonstrate continued activity of the Central Branch. These new data collected in 2013 and 2014 image the stratigraphy and numerous individual fault strands on the southern shelf of the Marmara Sea. We will use these data, in combination with a large suite of available previous data, to map the stratigraphy and faulting related to the Central Branch of the NAF. We propose to extend our published stratigraphic age model covering the past 0.5 Ma to greater depth and age. Earliest Pliocene fill of Messinian (~5 Ma) erosional valleys dated on land will be projected short distances to our near-shore reflection data to provide a base to the age model. Based on this stratigraphic framework, we will evaluate fault kinematics of many strands over the southern Marmara Sea during the last several million years. We will test the age model using sequence stratigraphic modeling. Basin modeling will be used to separate the effects of sediment loading, compaction and tectonic subsidence and test the extension estimates.



Frank Spera 2/15/16-7/31/19 $251,997


National Science Foundation 1551056


Collaborative Research: Thermodynamics of magma mixing


We propose to utilize the Magma Chamber Simulator (MCS), a thermodynamic model that describes open system evolution of magma bodies subject to heat and matter exchange in a composite system to study the thermodynamics of multicomponent-multiphase magma mixing. MCS defines thermal, mass, and compositional (major/trace element and isotope) characteristics of melt ± minerals ± fluid phase in a magmatic system undergoing recharge (magma mixing), assimilation, and crystallization. The goals of our proposed work are to (1) Finalize MCS for general release to the petrologic community by early 2017 based upon feedback obtained from beta users in the last year. Streamlined input and output, automated trace element and isotope calculations, web-based tutorials, workshops, and YouTube videos will allow a spectrum of scholars to use MCS in their own studies. (2) Building on successful development of the exploratory (i.e., toy) binary eutectic model, develop three new toy models that sequentially incorporate known thermodynamic features of natural systems (peritectic, solid solution, ternary). These will provide insight into the thermodynamics of magma mixing. (3) Apply MCS to volcanic (Karymsky, Llaima) and plutonic (Kiglapait and Bushveld intrusions) suites that show indisputable evidence of magma mixing. (4) Extend MCS capabilities to include reaction of cumulates with magma melt, eruption, and the rhyolite MELTS H2O-CO2 solubility model. These new versions of MCS will be released. (5) Develop a magma mixing taxonomy by using toy and MCS results and observations from natural systems to identify and group dominant characteristics of mixed magma products and evaluate if these are associated with diagnostic initial conditions.




Jamison Steidl, Ralph Archuleta 2/1/15-Fixed Price $30,000


University of Southern California 10358789-A


SCEC4 Participation, Project P: SCEC Borehole Instrumentation Program


The Portable Broadband Instrument Center (PBIC) will continue to support individual PI project driven deployments of the older style RefTek and the newer next generation real-time data acquisition systems. The new systems use commercial grade cellular VPN routers or other available Internet based telemetry that allows for continuous transmission of data back to the USGS/Caltech component of CISN. Ongoing projects using PBIC equipment include: real-time deployment of the PBIC stations along the Elsinore fault zone; array deployment of 10 RefTek stations at Pinon Flat to monitor potential tremor activity in the region; and use of the broadband CMG-40T sensors at stations in the Anza regional network. 


In addition to support of field deployments, the PBIC project will continue to maintain the existing pool of older instruments including the long-term loan equipment from the IRIS PASSCAL instrument center and newly acquired RefTek 72A series instruments from the DOE. Heavy involvement of undergraduates is an important part of the PBIC operations as these student laboratory assistants perform the majority of the routine maintenance work under the supervision of the PI and/or engineering staff at the Earth Research Institute. These students also participate in deployments getting hands-on training in the use of the PBIC seismic monitoring equipment and software processing tools. Outreach demonstrations and presentations to local K-12 schools is also a regular activity for the PBIC and will continue.




Jamison Steidl 7/1/16-6/30/19 $200,000


University of Southern California 10456511


Central California Special Project: Temporary Seismic Deployment


This component of the Central California Special Project is to collect broadband (40 seconds to 100 Hz) seismic data from both ambient and earthquake sources in a temporary network of 50 stations. The goal is to provide additional data to improve our understanding of seismic hazard. In particular, improving our understanding of the crustal structure and path effects that affect the seismic hazard in the central California region.



Jamison Steidl, Toshiro Tanimoto 5/1/17-9/30/18 $30,000


University of Southern California 17246


SCEC5 Participation, Project A: SCEC Borehole Instrumentation Program


The borehole instrumentation program at UCSB continues to be a collaborative effort between SCEC and other agencies to maintain the existing network of borehole stations in California, to facilitate the integration of this data into CISN and the Southern California Earthquake data center (SCEDC), and to improve the dissemination of borehole data. The borehole program is highly leveraged, taking advantage of the resources of other programs and agencies that are active in monitoring southern California earthquake activity. This data is made available online to the public and research community, both through the SCEDC and the UCSB borehole data portal. Organizations the SCEC borehole instrumentation program collaborates with include Caltech/USGS, ANSS/NSMP, and the California Geological Survey. Other collaborators include the UC San Diego HPWREN program, the NSF EarthScope PBO program at UNAVCO, and also a NSF funded project to image the San Jacinto Fault zone, which has been leveraged along with USGS funding to include the installation of additional shallow borehole sensors along the San Jacinto fault, which are now part of the Anza Network. In 2015, the SCEC borehole program began a new collaboration with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in support of the UCSB Geotechnical Array Monitoring Project, previously funded by the NSF NEES program. The NRC provides continued support for the web-based data dissemination portal, and real-time continuous monitoring operations and data processing software, an important leveraged component of the SCEC borehole program.



Jamison Steidl                                             2/1/12-1/31/20                                         $25,000

University of Southern California, 20121443

SCEC4 Participation, Project E: Dynamic Ruptures with Off-Fault Dissipation Processes: Constraints on Energy Partition, Size-Dependent Levels of Prestress and Ground Motion Predictions


We propose to critically investigate the different modes of energy partition in earthquakes and the relevant implications on ground motions, rupture speed and levels of prestress by doing self-consistent dynamic rupture simulations. The primary focus is to estimate the relative contribution of on and off-fault dissipation mechanism to the total energy budget. We will start by investigating the conditions under which a steady slip pulse can propagate on a velocity- weakening friction interface embedded in an elasto-plastic bulk. Steady propagation will allow us to examine the relationship between the width of the plastically deforming zone surrounding the fault and the constant width of the slip pulse. Because steady propagation does not emit radiated energy, accurate bounds can be placed, in this case, on the energy dissipated in the inelastic and frictional processes. Steady propagation will also allow us to investigate, in a more systematic way, the effect of perturbations in the material properties, material response, and prestress on the rupture dynamics including variability in rupture speed, maximum slip rate and ultimately rupture arrest.


We will also address several seismologically-relevant questions. For example, we will be examining the effect of off-fault plasticity on seismic observables like rupture speed, acceleration to limiting speed in sub-shear ruptures, transition to super shear and slip rate functions (in terms of the maximum and the average values of slip rates). Moreover, we will also be able to assess the impact of off-fault dissipation on the high frequency content of ground motion. This is relevant for developing physically-based models for ground motion prediction.


The project will accomplish the following tasks:

a. Quantify the magnitude of on- and off-fault dissipation and their relative contribution to the earthquake energy budget for different friction laws (rate and state law/slip weakening law).

b. Constrain the absolute levels of prestress consistent with the different modes of ruptures (cracks vs pulses) with and without the presence of off-fault dissipation mechanisms.

c.  Investigate the effect of off-fault dissipation on high frequency ground motion.



Jamison Steidl, Toshiro Tanimoto  2/1/19-1/31/20 $9,000


University of Southern California 118063069-I


SCEC5 participation, Project I: Verification and Validation of 3D Nonlinear Physics-based Ground Motion Simulations: Phase I


The UCSB specific task for the 2019 proposal is to compile the datasets of both temporary deployments (2004, 2007-2008, 2014) and the permanent station data across the Garner Valley basin into a single dataset. These will be used to examine depth to basement using HVSR techniques and drive the following years new deployment by identifying gaps in the dataset where additional data is needed to define the basin 2-D and 3-D structure.



Jamison Steidl, Toshiro Tanimoto  2/1/19-1/31/20 $35,000


University of Southern California 118063069-J


SCEC5 participation, Project J: Borehole Instrumentation Program


The borehole instrumentation program at UCSB is a continuing collaborative data gathering effort between SCEC and other agencies. We help to maintain the existing network of borehole stations in California, to facilitate the integration of this data into the regional seismic networks and the Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC), and to improve the dissemination of this data to the research community world-wide. We also seek targets of opportunity for collaborations that will augment the number of borehole stations providing publicly available data in Southern California. In the past, this program has been heavily leveraged through major funding from a single agency, with the NSF Engineering Directorate for more than a decade (2002-2014), and more recently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from 2015-2017. The past two years, the program has been “in-between” funding from a large major sponsor, and currently the leverage is spread out across multiple

agencies/organizations at a significantly smaller level.


The real-time data from the SCEC borehole sites is made available online to the public and research community, both through the SCEDC and the UCSB borehole-specific data portal. Some of the organizations the SCEC borehole instrumentation program continues to collaborate with include Caltech/USGS, ANSS/NSMP, the California Geological Survey, the UC San Diego HPWREN program, the NSF EarthScope PBO program at UNAVCO, and the UC San Diego Anza network of shallow borehole sensors along the San Jacinto fault. 



Jamison Steidl, Toshiro Tanimoto  2/1/19-1/31/20 $23,000


University of Southern California 118063069-K


SCEC5 participation, Project K: Portable Broadband Instrument Center


The PBIC was established more than 2 decades ago through funding from SCEC to provide a

pool of digital seismic recording equipment for use in post-earthquake response, and in individual PI driven research experiments within southern California. While the uses of the PBIC equipment remains unchanged over the years, the PBIC is now in the process of modernizing its broadband instrument pool with posthole form factor sensors to adopt this more recent style of station deployment.


The ability for SCEC to respond rapidly to a major southern California earthquake with the deployment of both weak- and strong-motion instruments in the near-source region was a catalyst for the creation of the PBIC and remains an important asset of SCEC seismology infrastructure and earthquake research community. This has been highlighted by successful deployments of PBIC equipment following previous earthquakes. The southern California region has been relatively quiet in recent years, with the last RAMP deployment during the 2010 El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake. This event was the first post-earthquake response using the modern real-time capable PBIC equipment, with stations deployed and data delivered directly back to UCSB and then relayed to the regional seismic network (SCSN). Two of the PBIC stations remained deployed through June of 2014, providing data to the network for more than four years after the mainshock, without requiring a site visit.


Other successful RAMP deployments include the 2008 shakeout exercise along the southern San Andreas, the 2004 Parkfield and 2003 San Simeon earthquakes, as well as the four major earthquake sequences in the previous decade (1992 M6.1 Joshua Tree and M7.3 Landers, 1994 M6.7 Northridge, and 1999 M7.1 Hector Mine). The ability to conduct individual PI driven research experiments in between these major earthquake sequences using PBIC equipment is another very important component of the PBIC program. The PBIC continues to

modernize and provide the SCEC community with modern seismic monitoring stations to facilitate individual PI research.



Samantha Stevenson 9/15/18-9/14/21 $105,178


Georgia Institute of Technology RK586-G1


Evaluating mechanisms of Pacific decadal variability in ESMs and their sensitivity to external forcing


PI will work with the project members at other institutions on the setup and implementation of simulations with E3SM and the analysis of output from E3SM and other CMIP6-class models. In the first year, the PI will recruit a postdoctoral researcher and facilitate the interaction of that researcher with the other PIs and DOE scientists through collaborative visits and attendance at DOE PI meetings. In the second year, the PI and postdoctoral researcher will participate in performance and analysis of simulations in collaboration with the Georgia Tech and NOAA PIs, as well as DOE investigators.




Samantha Stevenson 7/1/18-6/30/20 $341,402


National Science Foundation


Collaborative Research: A Model/Proxy Synthesis of Walker Circulation Trends During the Last Millennium


The Pacific Walker circulation alters weather and climate extremes around the world, but its sensitivity to external climate forcings remains unknown. In particular, observational estimates of 20th century trends in the Walker circulation provide conflicting results, with some suggesting a strengthening and others a weakening or no trend, complicating the attribution of these trends to any specific forcing. Paleoclimate records can improve the detection and attribution of trends by providing longer-term context, but their use has been hindered by the lack of multi-proxy synthesis products and climate model simulations covering the last millennium. We propose to create new quantitative reconstructions of multiple Walker circulation metrics using the recently constructed PAGES Iso2k database, and to evaluate the mechanisms for variability and trends in these metrics using the Community Earth System Model Last Millennium Ensemble (LME) and new simulations with its isotope-enabled complement (iLME). The proposed research applies these new tools to answer one central question: What are the mechanisms underlying Walker circulation variability and trends from the Last Millennium through the 20th century, and what are the relative roles of external forcings and internal variability?




Andrea Stith, Kelly Caylor  4/1/19-7/31/19 $20,000


University of California LFR-19-645741


2019 UC Lab Fees Workshop on Wildfire-related Research


This award will support the 2019 UC Lab Fees Workshop on Wildfire-related Research. The workshop will take place in Santa Barbara, on the campus of UCSB, April 12-13, 2019. The primary aim of the workshop is to identify exciting and compelling research problems in the area of wildfire-related research and to initiate inter-institutional research teams that will submit compelling proposals to the 2020 UC Lab Fees grant program.



Lisa Stratton 8/1/17-12/31/19 $75,000


Goleta West Sanitary District SB180076


North Campus Open Space (NCOS) Public Access Implementation Project


The goal of the NCOS Restoration Project is to restore the upper arms of Devereux Slough that were filled in 1965 to create Ocean Meadows Golf Course using fill soil from the adjacent uplands, including South Parcel to the south west of the golf course. The restoration project includes restoring more than 135 acres of diverse habitats, including a tidal connection to Devereux Slough, intermittently flooded mudflats, plover breeding habitat, salt marsh and a variety of upland and freshwater habitats, including vernal pools, freshwater marsh, native grassland, coastal sage scrub and back dune swale woodland habitat. The project also includes excavation and placement of approximately 350,000 cubic yards of fill on the former borrow site on South Parcel, which is within the NCOS project area. The project includes a trail system with bridges and boardwalks that supports safe routes to school and a diversity of users with a variety of trail sizes and functions. The trail design was developed through a community-based planning process in 2013-14 that included 4 public meetings and an opportunity to vote on alternatives in person and on-line.



Sangwon Suh 7/15/14-6/30/19 $466,517


City University of New York (CUNY) 40E48-A


WSC-Category 3: A National Energy-Water System Assessment Framework (NEWS): Stage I Development


This effort focuses on the development of a multi-sector dynamic model for energy deployment, which will be integrated to energy-climate-water model to be developed by CUNY. The model should reflect technology development, and changes in energy demand over time considering both direct and indirect relationships between sectors of an economy. 



Sangwon Suh 1/1/19-12/31/20 $10,071


University of California 2019-3702


Maximizing the Environmental Utility of Battery Storage


Building on the previous workshop at UCD, this workshop aims to further the discussion on life cycle modeling focusing on consequential approaches. LCA has been used largely as a tool to quantify the environmental impacts of existing technologies based on historical data. The retrospective perspective of conventional LCA exhibits a clear limitation when applied to emerging technologies such as large-scale battery storage. For such technologies, understanding their life cycle impacts requires modeling potential changes that the technology in question will introduce to the economy and the environment. In particular, the following questions and potential modeling approaches to address them will be discussed during the workshop: (1) The problem of curtailment in high-renewable electricity grid, (2) The role of battery storage in mitigating curtailment and peak-shaving, (3) Understanding the concept of marginal technologies, (4) Modeling approaches to grid-response to large-scale battery storage, and (5) Economies of scale and learning effects. For each of the topics, relevant background and current literature will be presented, followed by each group's brief intervention on the knowledge and data that the group can provide to advance the topic. As consequential modeling requires insights from multiple domains of science, it is important for the participants to share their expertise during the workshop. To better facilitate the process, the organizer will circulate a pre-workshop packet describing the type of data and knowledge needed to operationalize consequential modeling. 



Samuel Sweet 6/10/09-6/9/19 $29,914


Department of the Air Force FA4610-09-P-0102


California Tiger Salamander Survey


This project will provide an updated inventory of California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense). California tiger salamanders are known to occur off of VAFB along Hwy 246 and near Casmalia. Surveys for CTS on VAFB in 2001 and 2003 were inconclusive because of the dry weather during the survey years. During dry years, CTS may not emerge and breed in pools. In 2008, the habitat capability of pools for CTS were assessed by a member of the Recovery Team, Professor Samuel Sweet of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Sweet assessed the pools based on ecological requirements of the species. For pools to be suitable, they must remain wet for a prolonged period, long enough to develop a prey base for the larval CTS. For pools to be occupied, they need to have surrounding habitat through which salamanders can disperse. The probability of occupancy increases in pools within 2 miles of occupied habitat off base. Suitable dispersal habitat needed microenvironments which were cool or shaded with gradual slopes down to the pools. The surrounding area of the pools needed friable soils or burrows which could shelter adult CTS during the nonbreeding season or years. In 2008, hoop-net and seine net samples of pools were conducted after pools had been inundated for about a month. No CTS were observed by these methods although samples were only taken once at each pool. The pools with suitable dispersal habitat had drift nets and pittraps installed; the drift nets will channel approaching CTS towards the pit traps. These traps were installed during the dry season and kept closed. Coverboards were also placed in areas with suitable dispersal and breeding habitat. Locations of coverboards and pools with driftnets were noted on GIS. Also, in 2008, surveys near VAFB noted whether the introduced barred salamander were present. Barred salamanders were noted in many areas, including the penitentiary pond and near Rucker Road next to La Purisima Mission. The close proximity of the barred salamanders highlights the conservation concerns for CTS. Barred salamanders may also be present on VAFB. 




Christina Tague 11/15/18-3/31/22 $609,970


California Wildlife Conservation Board WC-1750BC


From Snow to Flow: Targeted Forest Management Strategies to Increase Streamflow For Ecosystems and People in the Tahoe-Truckee Basin


Snowmelt in mountain forests is critical for generating streamflow in much of the Sierra Nevada.  The forest distribution and structure (i.e. height and density of the trees and their location and orientation) can have profound effects on the distribution of snow.  In coordination with the 59,000 acre interagency Lake Tahoe West Project (LTWP) led by the U.S. Forest Service, we propose expanded scientific studies and modeling in the Tahoe-Truckee Basin that develop watershed-scale forest thinning strategies to enhance streamflow within a critical area for water and threatened species.  The primary goal of this project is to develop actionable information for managers to retain snow on the landscape in ways that delay the stream hydrograph and improve the quantity and quality of summer low flows when aquatic ecosystems are most stressed.  We will use three project objectives to meet this goal and achieve streamflow enhancement in numerous watersheds: 1) Determine optimum watershed-scale forest thinning strategies for the LTWP to enhance streamflow by retaining snow in key parts of the landscape, 2) Provide baseline streamflow monitoring and develop tools to quantify the effects of forest treatments on streamflow and limiting factors for ecology across diverse watersheds, 3) Develop 25- and 50-year forest management strategies in key watersheds to ensure streamflow enhancement gains under the combined effects of climate change, drought, and forest disturbance. 



Christina (Naomi) Tague, Sarah Anderson, Andrew Plantinga 9/1/15-8/31/20 $1,724,821


National Science Foundation 1520847


Hazards SEES: Land Management Strategies for Confronting Risks and Consequences of Wildfire


A team consisting of natural scientists and social scientists from U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. Extension, and U.W. Seattle proposes to identify land management strategies that will mitigate the risk and the impacts of wildfires. Federal and state agencies apply fuel treatment techniques such as thinning and controlled burns. Fuel treatments often generate unintended consequences for humans and ecosystems because neither the agencies nor the research community fully understands the interactions among fire, vegetation, and ecosystem services. Furthermore, agency decision makers may make decisions about fuel treatments on the basis of economic and political dynamics, rather than on the basis of the best science. To assess the consequences of current fuel treatment decisions and facilitate alternative strategies, the proposing team will integrate an empirical socio-economic analysis of agency decision making with RHESSys, a premier physical model of the linkages between ecological and hydrological processes.



Christina (Naomi) Tague 10/1/13-9/30/19 $348,546


University of California, Merced EAR-1331939


Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory 


The Southern Sierra CZO is a community platform for research on critical-zone processes along a steep elevation gradients that spans the rain-snow transition and ecosystems from the oak savannahs to subalpine forests in Southern Sierra Nevada. The characteristic spatial differences along these gradients offer the opportunity to substitute space for time, making the CZO an excellent natural laboratory for studying how critical-zone processes respond to perturbations. This project continues the previous 5 years of work at the Sierra CZO. The overarching goal is to use a combination of measurements and modeling to advance our mechanistic understanding of the bi-directional links between longtime-scale geophysical processes and ecosystem structure/function and material (water, carbon, nutrient) fluxes. This work addresses both fundamental science questions about how landscape structure and function coevolve and applied questions about how the critical zone influences ecosystems services and material fluxes and their sensitivity to intentional (land management) and unintentional (climate, disturbance land use) drivers of change.



Toshiro Tanimoto 3/1/16-2/28/20 $197,763


National Science Foundation 1547523


Extreme Interaction Between Atmosphere and Solid Earth: Understanding the Forcing Mechanism by Hurricanes and its Application for Monitoring


Hurricanes generate strong ground motions in the solid earth that are one of the strongest cases of mechanical coupling between the atmosphere and the solid earth. This in turn suggests that seismic data may be used for monitoring the hurricane intensity, if its seismic-wave excitation mechanism could be understood. The Earthscope network unexpectedly recorded hurricane data in the last five years and exactly provide such information for understanding the atmosphere-land interaction. Our investigation on Hurricane Isaac (2012) has demonstrated that the Earthscope data do provide new important information on the seismic-wave excitation process. The primary goal of this project is to apply our current approach to other hurricanes from the Earthscope data and test the stochastic, seismic-wave excitation theory that has been developed. This knowledge will then be applied to monitoring the intensity changes of hurricanes while they are still in the oceans. If such a monitoring becomes possible, it may become a useful tool for hurricane-hazard mitigation.



Toshiro Tanimoto, Jamison Steidl  2/1/18-1/31/20 $35,000


University of Southern California 104714023-E


SCEC5 Participation, Project F: SCEC Portable Broadband Instrument Center (PBIC)


The ability for SCEC to respond rapidly to a major southern California earthquake with the deployment of both weak- and strong-motion instruments in the near-source region was a catalyst for the creation of the PBIC and remains an important asset of SCEC seismology infrastructure and earthquake research community. This has been highlighted by successful deployments of PBIC equipment following previous earthquakes. The southern California region has been relatively quiet in recent years, with the last RAMP deployment during the 2010 El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake. This event was the first post-earthquake response using the modern real-time capable PBIC equipment, with stations deployed and data delivered directly back to UCSB and then relayed to the regional seismic network (SCSN). Two of the PBIC stations remained deployed through June of 2014, providing data to the network for more than four years after the mainshock, without requiring a site visit.