Facilities - Other

Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER)

The UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) collections of over 350,000 botanical and zoological specimens are vital to discovering, understanding, and documenting biodiversity and to informing public policy on such issues as invasive species, climate change, evolution, and emerging public health threats. The Vertebrate Collections Management Project will provide our primary users on campus and in our local community, as well as researchers around the world, with access to these valuable collections and their associated data, while contributing to the education of students interested in biological field work and museum practices and careers.

AVHRR Receiver Facility

ERI maintains a Terascan receiver and data archive at UCSB. Data is collected daily from overhead satellite passes, contains raw satellite pass data dating from September, 1993, to the present and is an important source of current and historical remote sensor observations of the west coast of the United States.

Optical Calibration Facility

Optical signals--whether obtained at ocean depths, in glacier ice, on the Earth's surface, from the atmosphere, or in space--are a key component of our scientific observations. We have developed a number of unique optical instruments (e.g., in-water UV and visible spectroradiometers) for our various research efforts. Sensitive calibration of these optical sensors is essential to ensure high quality and reliable data and we have developed a state-of-the-art optical calibration facility.

Micro-Environmental Imaging & Analysis Facility (MEIAF)

This state-of-the-art imaging facility for research features an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) with energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDS), scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) detector, and a cryostage, together enabling high-resolution imaging of hydrated specimens, observation of dynamic experiments such as crystal formation and dehydration, freeze-fracturing, and ultra-low temperature imaging. Applications range from microelectronics to forensic science to assessing inorganic nanomaterials interactions with biological tissues. The facility is located in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, staffed by a trained development engineer for training users and operating instrumentation, operated on a recharge basis, and managed by ERI.

CRREL UCSB Eastern Sierra Snow Study Site (CUES)

Location: Mammoth Mountain, CA - eastern Sierra Nevada
 
Site and Instrumentation:
A complex system of sensors and automatic data logging devices monitor snow and energy budget conditions at a cooperative site midway up Mammoth Mountain (37 deg. 37 min. N, 119 deg. 2 min. W) at about 2940 meters (9645 feet) in the eastern Sierra Nevada of California. Researchers and research staff also make a variety of manual measurements at the site, which has operated at the current location in Mammoth Mountain Ski Area since 1987. The site lies well out of the way of ski area operation and recreational ski traffic so that the snow remains undisturbed from accumulation through melting. The site's position, on the east side of the Sierra crest near the headwaters of the San Joaquin River, makes environmental conditions sensitive to different types of storms, which typically result in an enormous amount of precipitation and severe winds. These weather conditions, along with ease of winter access via the ski area, make this an ideal spot for monitoring alpine snow. Measurements include meteorological variables that affect energy transfer over the snow and its mass balance, snow properties as the pack evolves during the snow season and conditions in the soil under the snow cover. The participants in snow research and weather monitoring at the site include the University of California, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management; the U.S. Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL); the University of California's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL); and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA).
 
The cooperative research site provides an excellent base of activities extending over the area of Mammoth Mountain and the Sierra region. Instrumentation at the site includes radiometers for measuring incoming and outgoing radiation; sensors for measuring air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed and direction; tipping-bucket gauges for measuring precipitation; temperature sensors at various depths in the soil and snowpack; soil moisture sensors at various depths; and snowmelt lysimeters, multiple snow depth sensors, LiDAR scans of the site every 15 minutes, 3D sonic anemometer sampling at 10hz, and an 8'x10' snow pillow. Also a camera points at the suite of radiometers and other instruments hourly in order to monitor their condition remotely.  A Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC) takes 9 to 37 micron resolution stereographic photographs of hydrometeors from three angles while simultaneously measureing fallspeed.  The cameras are triggered by a vertically stacked bank of IR motion sensors sensitive to snowflake sizes ranging from .001cm to 3cm and fallspeed is derived from successive triggers along the fallpath. The site also continues to offer a superb resource for visiting researchers and for field classes studying snow science or snow hydrology.
 
CUES database:
Measurements from dataloggers at the site are sent to a server at UCSB. The raw files are ingested into a relational database, which can be accessed from the web. Details on this process are available at: http://www.snow.ucsb.edu/cues/database_ingest_process.html
 

Resource Center for SPOT Imagery

In June of 2005, a program was launched to allow UCSB faculty, researchers, and students unlimited access to high spatial resolution commercial satellite imagery from the SPOT constellation of satellite sensors. These data are commercial products and have previously been inaccessible to academic researchers due to their high cost.  During the period of the program (lasting until May of 2008), UCSB was able to task the SPOT satellites in areas of scientific interest and impact, such as the LTER sites.  In all, we archived over 70,000 scenes, occupying over 16 Terabytes, with a retail value of over $241-million.  Faculty, researchers, and students in Geography, Earth Science, the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Marine Science Institute, Environmental Studies, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), and the former Crustal Studies and ICESS (now ERI), have utilized the satellite images (both archive and newly tasked).  These data remain available to UCSB members.