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Master of Environmental Data Science

Development of an Interactive Visualization and Training Toolkit for Climate Impacts on the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Group Members: Olivia (Liv) Holt, Diana Navarro, Patricia Park

Faculty Advisors: Samantha Stevenson

Client: UCSB Bren School



Technical Documentation

Final Presentation


The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) comprises 1,470 square miles surrounding the Northern Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara, protecting various species and habitats. However, these sensitive habitats are highly susceptible to climate-driven ‘shock’ events which are associated with extreme values of temperature, pH, or ocean nutrient levels. A particularly devastating example was seen in 2014-16, when extreme temperatures and changes in nutrient conditions off the California coast led to large-scale die-offs of marine organisms. Global climate models are the best tool available to predict how these shocks may respond to climate change. To better understand the drivers and statistics of climate-driven ecosystem shocks, a ‘large ensemble’ of simulations run with multiple climate models will be used. The objective of this project is to develop an educational toolkit and Python-based web application to visualize ecologically significant climate variables near the CINMS. The web application will be used by researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to analyze climate model output, and by CINMS staff to develop new indicators of shocks to marine ecosystems. The educational toolkit will be part of the ongoing development of the UCSB Bren School’s Climate DataLab training environment.


Bren School: Samantha Stevenson-Michener, Associate Professor; Carmen Galaz García, Assistant Teaching Professor; Kat Le, Technical Applications Manager; Alicia (Allie) Caughman, PhD Student

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