Research Units

Geography has a number of departmental and affiliated research organizations. We describe them briefly here, and each organization has its own website where you can learn about their mission, research, and people more in depth.

Current Funded Research

ADL logo Alexandria Digital Library Project (ADL)

  • ADL began in 1995, digitizing maps and other geographically referenced materials and developing ways for accessing them. The project is housed in UCSB’s main library. Stage 2 of the Alexandria adventure began in 1999 with the Alexandria Digital Earth Prototype (ADEPT), funded by the National Science Foundation until 2004. ADEPT aims to use the digital earth metaphor for organizing, using, and presenting information at all levels of spatial and temporal resolution.

CHC logo Climate Hazards Center

  • The Climate Hazard Center uses the UCSB Geography department’s strengths in statistical climatology, hydrology, GIS, remote sensing, and geostatistics to reduce the threat of flooding and famine in the developing world. The CHC works closely with governmental institutions (especially the United States Geological Survey (USGS) International Program) to improve the scientific research, capacity building, and application components of the USAID-funded FEWS NET. In addition to a research team at UCSB, the CHC employs scientists stationed in Africa, Central America and Washington, D.C., enabling us to quickly communicate new scientific developments and news of potential climate-related hazards.

Clivac logo Climate Variations and Change (CLIVAC)

  • CLIVAC is headed by Professors Leila Carvalho and Charles Jones (Department of Geography and Earth Research Institute) at UCSB. CLIVAC is dedicated to further understand the Earth’s present and future climates on different temporal and spatial scales. With this goal in mind, CLIVAC focuses on observational and modeling analyses in atmospheric and climate sciences.

ERI logo Earth Research Institute (ERI)

  • Supporting research and education in the sciences of our solid, fluid, and living Earth. Natural Hazards, Human Impacts, Earth System Science, and Earth Evolution. While sustaining the research strength that has already existed at ICESS and ICS, ERI will foster new multidisiciplinary collaborations studying how Earth processes affect mankind and how mankind perturbs the Earth.

IDEAS logo Innovative Datasets of Environmental Analysis by Students (IDEAS)

  • The website for IDEAS (Innovative Datasets for Environmental Analysis by Students), hosted by the Geography Department within the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), provides access to real-time and archived data and webcam images from automated meteorological stations which the Department deployed around Santa Barbara County, along with many supporting materials to complement the data from our stations. Several undergraduate classes at UCSB have used this website, and we invite you to use it in your classes or research as well.

ISBER logo Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (ISBER)

  • The Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research (ISBER) is UCSB’s Organized Research Unit for sponsored research in social sciences and, to a lesser extent, other divisions of the university. With over 120 principal investigators and 10 Research Centers, ISBER provides help with conceptualizing, finding funding for, and administering projects.

NCEAS logo National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

  • The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), located in downtown Santa Barbara, is a research center of the University of California, Santa Barbara. NCEAS supports cross-disciplinary research that uses existing data to address major fundamental issues in ecology and allied fields, and their application to management and policy. NCEAS is a unique institution with an explicit mission to foster synthesis and analysis, turn information into understanding and, through effective collaboration, alter how science is conducted.

ReCVEB logo

  • Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior (ReCVEB)The Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior (ReCVEB) is a recently established (1998) multi-disciplinary research organization at the University of California, Santa Barbara, devoted to understanding the complex interplay of computer-generated virtual environments and human behavior, broadly defined.

spatial@ucsb logo spatial@ucsb

  • spatial@ucsb is an innovative university-wide resource and research center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Its mission is to facilitate the integration of spatial thinking into processes for learning and discovery in the natural, social, and behavioral sciences, to promote excellence in engineering and applied sciences, and to enhance creativity in the arts and humanities.

Past Funded Research

CSISS logo Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (CSISS)

  • Founded in 2000, CSISS is funded by the National Science Foundation under its program of support for infrastructure in the social and behavioral sciences. Its programs focus on the methods, tools, techniques, software, data access, and other services needed to promote and facilitate a novel and integrating approach to social science. Geography Department faculty involved with CSISS: Michael Goodchild (Principal Investigator), Helen Couclelis, Stuart Sweeney.

NCGIA logo National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA)

  • Founded in 1988, NCGIA is an independent research consortium dedicated to basic research and education in geographic information science. The three member institutions are the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University at Buffalo; and the University of Maine. The consortium was formed as a response to a competition for funding from the National Science Foundation, and continues to receive much of its funding from that source. Geography Department faculty involved with NCGIA: Michael Goodchild (Chair of Executive Committee), Keith Clarke (Director, NCGIA Santa Barbara), Richard Church, Helen Couclelis, Reginald Golledge, Joel Michaelsen, Dan Montello, Terry Smith, Waldo Tobler.

TePEE logo

  • Terrestrial Plant and Ecosystem Ecology (TePEE)Terrestrial Plant and Ecosystem Ecology at UCSB focuses on a range of research from evolutionary ecology in plant populations to remote sensing of entire ecosystems. The Santa Barbara area and UC Natural Reserve System provide exceptional field sites in habitats ranging from grassland, sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodland. Desert and alpine systems occur within half a day’s drive.