amgen foundation

Sea turtles are threatened with extinction. One of the biggest threats to their survival is illegal poaching of their eggs in Latin America. But, an innovative technological solution created by a wildlife conservation group on the South Coast is fighting illegal poaching of sea turtle eggs.

Poisons had long been used to protect levees and dams from rodents. But, now, Ventura County has turned to a more environmentally friendly approach. A South Coast Boy Scout troop is helping the county attract birds of prey to do the work that poisons once did.

Minority children across the South and Central Coasts are being encouraged to pursue science careers. A youth summit in Ventura County targeted minority students with the hope that they would get excited about STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Photo by California Lutheran University

A South Coast university will be building a $30 million science center. 

California Lutheran University will be breaking ground on its Thousand Oaks campus later this month on what will become a three-story, 47,000-square-foot facility featuring 30 flexible science labs.

There’s a computer science course on the South Coast that’s teaching kids how to develop computer programs, which is known as coding. These children are attending a weekly class at a local library to become code-savvy.

This is the Coding Club which brings young people to Santa Barbara Central Library’s Tech Lab. These kids are having fun, but they’re also learning skills that can turn them into the next generation of computer programmers.

There’s a little known type of library that’s sprouting up throughout California. It promotes gardening, biodiversity and access to healthy food. On the South Coast, a library allows patrons to check out seeds just like checking out books.

Photo by Dave Keeling

Scientists on the Central Coast are finding just how much birds suffer as a result of noise pollution from human activity.

Clint Francis, an assistant professor in biological sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, joined researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Florida Museum of Natural History to take a closer look at how noise from oil and gas operations impacts birds.

The study found that noise hinders the birds’ reproduction, causing the chicks growth to be stunted.

Photo by NASA

South and Central Coast residents are in for a rare astronomical treat this week.

On Wednesday between 5 am and 6 am, there will be a “Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse.”

Green waste – like tree limbs and grass – can produce an enormous amount of methane if left in a landfill. The methane emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But, there’s a company based in the South Coast that’s working to reduce the effects of climate change by taking green waste and putting it back in the ground.

(Image courtesy Raw Science Film Festival)

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie.

UC Santa Barbara researchers are talking about using laser propelled microchips as tiny spacecraft, to explore the closest stars. The research is one of the projects being highlighted at a unique South Coast film festival this weekend.

Photo by Kerri Frangioso

A researcher on the Central Coast is leading an international group of scientists to help prevent the global problem of dying forests.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Richard Cobb says forests worldwide are dying at an accelerated pace mostly due to drought and heat from climate change. So, he collaborated with 20 researchers around the world to develop a framework to help minimize future forest mortality rates.

Photo by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

A central coast university is teaming up with a major tech company to try to find technological solutions to problems that organizations face.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Amazon Web Services have created the Cal Poly Digital Transformation Hub where they’re helping government, education and nonprofit sectors.

More than 100 high school students pulled an all-nighter this weekend to do computer coding.

The Ventura County Office of Education hosted its first Hackathon By the Sea at its conference center in Camarillo where students did coding projects that included creating websites, apps and games.

A zoo is bringing the world’s top animal researchers to the South Coast to educate the community in a very unusual way. Science is melded with comedy to create a unique program for the public.

This is IMPROVology at the Santa Barbara Zoo where more than 100 people have gathered to learn science through improv comedy.

(Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History/National Park Service Photo)

Researchers say they’ve found the fossils of an extinct species of marine mammal in the Channel Islands which may be more than 20 million years old.

Photo by Khan Academy

A South Coast biotech company’s foundation is donating several million dollars in an effort to help students around the world learn biology.

The Amgen Foundation in Thousand Oaks is providing a three-year, $3 million grant to Khan to develop comprehensive new biology lessons.

Photo by NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STSci)

Scientists have studied thousands of exploding stars – which are called supernovas – for hundreds of years. They’ve developed an understanding of how they work. But, now, astronomers on the South Coast have observed what they believe is a supernova doing strange things never seen before.  Their observations are challenging existing theories about supernovas.

Robots built by middle and high school students compete on the South Coast.

This VEX Robotics competition that involved about 200 students from across Southern California took place Saturday at the Ventura County Office of Education Conference and Educational Services Center in Camarillo.

Whooping cough is a dangerous disease that can be fatal, especially for infants. The concern is that the number of cases has dramatically increased over the last few decades. A scientist on the South Coast is doing groundbreaking research on whooping cough in hopes that it leads to stopping the spread of this harmful disease.

Some new technology at UC Santa Barbara inspired by nature may soon mean fewer trips to the dentist.

UC Santa Barbara researchers say the way ocean mussels bond to rocks, and other coastal surfaces to survive has shown them ways of creating longer lasting dental restoration work like crowns and implants.

Photo by Las Cumbres Observatory

An astronomical phenomenon that has been a theory for years has finally been proven. Astronomers on the South Coast were part of an international group of researchers that observed this incredible cosmic event.

Ventura County students interested in computer science took part in a workshop over the weekend to learn how to code to create their own apps.

The event called “Hack-A-Thon” was hosted by Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s office and was held on Saturday at Pacifica High School in Oxnard.

Photo by Las Cumbres Observatory

Scientists on the South Coast have received a large grant to build a new telescope.

The Las Cumbres Observatory also known as LCO – based in Goleta – has been given $1 million from the Heising-Simons Foundation to build a one-meter robotic telescope that will be located at the McDonald Observatory in Texas.

Photo by William Hoyer

Beginning in the early 1900s, scientists surveyed all the plants they could find on one of the Channel Islands, San Nicolas Island. More than 100 years later, researchers discovered many plants that had never been seen on the island before. 

Photo by Apeel Sciences

The South Coast is home to hundreds of technology businesses -- from startups to long-established companies. They’re clustered along Highway 101 in what’s called the “101 Tech Corridor.”

Apeel Sciences is an agricultural tech company in Goleta. Its scientists use a coating they create to spray on fruits and vegetables to extend the shelf-life of produce.

(UCSB Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences)

It can be something larger than life right in front of us but we don’t see it at first.

A new UC Santa Barbara study concludes we sometimes miss seeing things in plain sight because their size doesn’t conform with what we expect to see. The research is part of an effort to help us understand how we as humans conduct visual searches.

Photo by Emammal

The risk of tick-borne disease could increase in the future. South Coast researchers are finding that wildlife loss and climate change can cause the number of ticks to rise dramatically.

UC Santa Barbara biologists conducted a study in Kenya and found that the experiment plot where they excluded the largest animals also experienced the largest increase in the number of ticks. Hillary Young, an associate professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, says that was exacerbated in warmer and drier climates.

Two South Coast scientists have been awarded a large grant for research on proteins.

California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks analytical chemistry professor Katherine Hoffman and organic chemistry assistant professor Jason Kingsbury have received a $195,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to work with undergraduate students to research proteins that enable pathogenic bacteria to thrive.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

New research by a South Coast economist is finding that it’s unlikely that global temperatures goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement will be achieved.

The goal in the agreement is to limit temperature rise by the year 2100 to two degrees Celsius, which amounts to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

UC Santa Barbara economics professor Dick Startz and his colleagues created a high-tech statistical model that looked at every country.

Tobias is on the job on Santa Cruz Island.

He was once a shelter dog in Montana. But, he’s now an environmental superstar. Tobias is a one of a kind “ant-dog”. He’s the only dog in the world trained to track down a specific invasive species of ant in the wild.