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South and Central Coast researchers say they created a model that they hope develops the ocean in a sustainable way. 

Several industries utilize the ocean, such as fisheries, offshore wind farms and aquaculture, which is the farming of seafood.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo biology professor Crow White worked with UC Santa Barbara researchers to develop a model so that these different marine industries can most effectively and sustainably use the ocean.

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.

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.

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.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

A South Coast university student is using artificial intelligence to develop an app to help people determine whether they have a deadly skin cancer.

Currently, the only way to find out if you have melanoma is to get a biopsy. But, UC Santa Barbara undergrad Abhishek Bhattacharya is hoping to change that. He has been working with a UC San Francisco physician using computer science to create a neural network model that uses images gathered from the web.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

Humans have produced an enormous amount of plastic, and most of it ends up in landfills. A South Coast researcher took a closer look at the production, use and fate of all plastics ever made.

UC Santa Barbara industrial ecologist Roland Geyer led a study to see just how much plastic has been created since the large-scale production of synthetic materials began in the 1950s. His finding was 8.3 billion tons -- enough to cover the entire country of Argentina.

Photo by Nick Schooler

Scientists on the South Coast who study the biodiversity of California beaches are finding that it’s the management of those beaches – and not necessarily climate change – that’s causing major impacts.

UC Santa Barbara researchers evaluated the biodiversity of 13 beaches across the state and compared their results to those of the 1970s. They found that on some beaches, the biggest decline was in intertidal animals like crustaceans and insects that live in the sand near the high tide line.

Photo by UCSB College of Engineering

Robots have been around for a long time. But, now, scientists are finding some amazing ways that they can help us. Imagine a robot that can do things humans can’t. South Coast researchers are developing robots with x-ray vision.

A robot that’s only about two feet tall can do some big things.

A tremendous amount of food goes to waste. So, a university on the South Coast is leading the way in diverting food waste from landfills. Students are composting on campus.

I step into an electric car here at UC Santa Barbara.

"This is our composting mobile. We use all electric vehicles here because our goal is zero waste," said Kaitlyn Haberlin, an environmental studies and archeology double major.

Photo by Peter Allen/Brian Long

UC Santa Barbara scientists have corrected a flaw in antibiotic testing that could now help patients recover from infections.

The standard antibiotic test has been used worldwide since 1961. But UC Santa Barbara biologist Michael Mahan says it may not be working as well as it should be.

“People are not petri plates. And because the test is on a petri plate, it does not accurately reflect what may happen in the body,” he said.

The fields of science and engineering are dominated by men. So, there’s an effort across the nation to encourage young women to become scientists and engineers. Some girls on the South Coast are learning about those fields in an unusual way. 

Eating healthy foods can do more than improve your health.  Researchers say it can also benefit the health care system and even the planet. A new study by scientists on the South Coast finds that healthy eating will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking a bite out of an apple or chomping on some carrots can actually make inroads in addressing climate change, according to a study led by UC Santa Barbara researchers.

Photo by Emily Read

The number of native oysters off the California Coast has been diminishing to the point that only a sparse population is left. But, a group of students on the South Coast are gathering information to help future oyster recovery efforts.

Graduate students from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management are trekking across the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve on land and in water in search of native California oysters called Olympia oysters.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

Scientists at a South Coast university are using crowd-sourcing to find a solution to the problem of ships colliding and killing whales in the ocean.

These ship strikes are particularly concerning for the West Coast, which is home to the blue whale – the largest animal that has ever lived and an endangered species. Researchers say there were multiple documented incidents of fatal strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel in the late 2000s, with at least five whales killed in 2007.

Birgit Luef, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Some of the planet’s smallest microbes are so small they were unknown until just a few years ago.

Now, a UC Santa Barbara researcher working with other scientists has shown these common yet mysterious organisms have an amazing ability to self-mutate as part of their survival.

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