Ecology center awarded $21-million by National Science Foundation

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed and increased funding for The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), which is based at UC Santa Barbara. Over the next five years, the unique national think tank for ecologists will receive a total of $18.4-million, an increase of $1.6-million over the previous award.

In addition, the NSF will provide $2.6-million to advance the center's research on the management of complex ecological information.

NCEAS is widely recognized as the premier international center for collaborative research in ecological synthesis. This is the second time that the NSF has renewed and increased funding for the pioneering center, which has been in operation for 11 years.

"NCEAS has made it possible for thousands of ecological researchers to study the big picture in a way that was impossible just a decade ago," said Michael Witherell, UCSB vice chancellor for research. "The NSF renewal recognizes the fact that NCEAS has transformed the study of ecology, and the field cannot succeed without it."

The National Science Foundation established the National Center for Ecological Analyses and Synthesis in 1995. Recognizing the potential value of utilizing existing data on ecology and the environment, and the need for new approaches to assembling, accessing, and synthesizing information, the ecological community rallied around the idea of creating a synthesis center.

"The center promotes extensive collaboration among scientists and students from many disciplines and their efforts have generated a greater understanding of natural systems and the means to conserve and manage them," said Jim Reichman, director of NCEAS and a professor of ecology, evolution, and marine biology at UCSB.

In research that spans the spectrum from genes to the biosphere, the innovative center provides a fertile arena for interdisciplinary collaboration, focusing on

Contact: Eileen Conrad
University of California - Santa Barbara

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