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Posted on 08.06.2014 9:09 a.m.

Public Invited to Dedication, Open House for New Research Station on Santa Rosa Island

Source: Nancy Gill for CSU Channel Islands

CSU Channel Islands and Channel Islands National Park invite the campus and community to a dedication and open house for the Santa Rosa Island Research Station: A California State University Channel Islands Undergraduate Research Campus (SRIRS).

The event, held at noon Wednesday, Aug. 13, provides a rare opportunity to learn firsthand about the new field station, which is located in a national park prized for its ecological and archeological history. The field station is a partnership between CI and CINP promoting research, restoration and education.

Guests will be able to tour the island’s research facilities, bunkhouse and manager’s residence, and hear from CI and CINP leaders, faculty and students about current and future research and education endeavors. Lunch is provided.

Members of the public who wish to attend should make their own arrangements for boat transportation with Island Packers by clicking here or calling 805.642.1393. Space is limited. The boat departs from the Ventura Harbor at 8 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m. There is no charge for attendance at the event itself, but those wishing to attend are asked to confirm their participation by email to [email protected].

Since CI and CINP established their partnership in 2012, the field research station has undergone some noteworthy transformations. The renovated, eight-bedroom, 22-bed bunkhouse is already hosting researchers and educational groups for projects ranging from artifact inventories and marine debris monitoring to plant restoration, bald eagle studies, and writing retreats. A new field laboratory is available for specimen sorting and analysis.

In addition to its location within a national park and national marine sanctuary, Santa Rosa Island is an outdoor classroom and laboratory for students from K-12 through graduate school and a valuable location for professional researchers worldwide. It boasts diverse marine and terrestrial life, endemic species found nowhere else in the world, and a 13,000-year record of human occupation.

“The research station allows CI and CINP to accomplish mutual goals of education and resource management and to capitalize on each other’s expertise and resources,” SRIRS Manager Cause Hanna said. “Faculty and students work with National Park Service professionals and other expert scientists; conduct meaningful research and activities to support the park; and get a hands-on educational experience that’s service-oriented, personally rewarding and professionally enriching.”

In one project, CI faculty and students are conducting a long-term monitoring program with the NPS to document recovery of the island’s ecosystem. In another, they’re studying the resilience of the Torrey pine, one of North America’s rarest pine species. A third project involves rocky intertidal monitoring to record the wasting disease epidemic among sea star populations. Other projects include marine debris monitoring and cataloging artifacts.

In the year ahead, CI faculty and students plan to conduct collaborative research and restoration projects with the National Park Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as classes in anthropology, art, biology, business, communication, English, and environmental science and resource management. SRIRS will also lead outreach programs for K-12 and college students, and host wilderness first responders, Sierra Club volunteers, and other groups engaged in activities related to this unique island setting.

“We’re excited to share the exceptional opportunities that Santa Rosa Island Research Station offers for students, researchers and the public,” CI President Richard Rush said. “Through this partnership with the National Park Service, we can explore our history and natural environment and involve students, faculty and community in preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations.”

“Santa Rosa Island Research Station connects the community to one of America’s national treasures,” said Russell Galipeau, superintendent of Channel Islands National Park. “We believe this partnership with CI will advance our scientific, historical, and environmental knowledge of the park and hopefully inspire future scholars, scientists, and leaders.”

For more information, click here or contact Dr. Hanna at 805.437.3785 or [email protected].

— Nancy Gill is the communication director for CSU Channel Islands.

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