Marine sciences at UCSC

Working at the intersection of ocean science and policy

Mark Carr and Pete Raimondi, professors of ecology and evolutionary biology, bring their expertise in coastal biology and marine ecology to bear on important ocean policy issues in California. The near-shore marine environment is one of the most biologically productive areas on Earth and is also where most people interact with the ocean. Raimondi and Carr have been studying and monitoring coastal ecosystems along the west coast of North America as principal investigators in a major research partnership. They are also helping to implement California's Marine Life Protection Act, which is establishing an unprecedented network of marine reserves along the entire California coast, and they have been called on to conduct damage assessments after oil spills in San Francisco Bay. For more information, see:

Monitoring program surveys California's marine ecosystems

Studies show marine reserves can be an effective tool for managing fisheries

A world-class institute

Raimondi and Carr are among the internationally recognized faculty and researchers affiliated with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC. With state-of-the-art facilities and an unsurpassed location, the IMS is at the forefront of marine science research and education. The following stories describe a few other recent examples of the activities and achievements of marine scientists at UCSC.

Research at Elkhorn Slough guides conservation and restoration efforts

As an adjunct professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCSC and research coordinator for the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Kerstin Wasson brings rigorous science to bear on habitat restoration efforts throughout Elkhorn Slough. Restoring native oysters is one aspect of a broad-based effort to do science-based ecosystem management at the slough. More

Scientists aim to predict toxic algal blooms in California's coastal waters

After years of studying and monitoring harmful algal blooms in California's coastal waters, Raphael Kudela is trying to predict when toxin-producing algae will strike again. A professor of ocean sciences at UCSC, Kudela leads a team of researchers that has received a $792,000 grant from the Ocean Protection Council and California Sea Grant to develop forecasts of the periodic blooms of toxic algae that have long plagued the California coast. More

Geologist Gary Griggs publishes guide to California's beaches and coast

A new book by UC Santa Cruz geologist Gary Griggs offers a fascinating guide to the beaches and coast of California. Published by UC Press as part of its series of California Natural History Guides, Introduction to California's Beaches and Coast explores the state's spectacular coastline from the perspective of a scientist who has spent 45 years studying it. More

Rare Hawaiian monk seal brought to Long Marine Lab for study and treatment

A young Hawaiian monk seal that was removed from the wild last year for treatment and rehabilitation is providing UCSC researchers with a rare opportunity to study the physiology of this critically endangered species. Ultimately, the information from these studies can be used to help monk seals in the wild, according to Terrie Williams, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. More

Genome analysis of marine microbe reveals a metabolic minimalist

An unusual marine microorganism appears to have ditched several major metabolic pathways, leaving it with a remarkably reduced set of genes. This metabolic minimalist is a specialist uniquely suited to performing one very important function: taking nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and "fixing" it into a form that makes this essential nutrient available to other organisms. Nitrogen fixation fertilizes the oceans, controlling overall biological productivity and affecting how much carbon dioxide the oceans absorb from the atmosphere. More

Researchers to explore hidden world of life beneath seafloor

Little is known about the subsurface communities of microbial life that inhabit Earth's "deep biosphere" beneath the ocean floor. A new science and technology center funded by the National Science Foundation will coordinate the efforts of scientists to explore this hidden realm of life on Earth. More

Lead poisoning threatens a vulnerable albatross population

Populations of Laysan albatross face severe declines due to widespread lead poisoning of chicks unless comprehensive cleanup measures gain momentum, according to a recent study. More