Using an interdisciplinary approach, faculty and graduate students in the natural and social sciences are working together to understand the dynamic processes and tensions of the Monterey Bay region - an understanding that can be extended to worldwide environmental and social change and development.|
Interactions in Coastal Environments
Coastal environments are zones of interaction involving terrestrial and marine habitats, land-sea-air processes, and human activities. The MBRS program gives researchers the opportunity for interdisciplinary perspective, by involving other regional research and educational institutions, social and political organizations, and industry. The program's emphasis, "Bi-directional Interactions in Coastal Environments," combined with the regional approach, promotes focused collaborative work across varied research traditions.
Encouraging a Regional Discussion
MBRS sponsors regular informal seminars to discuss regional environmental issues. Recent topics have included strategies for university-industry interactions and wetland conservation, and the role of refugia in protecting important fisheries. In an ongoing effort to build partnerships with other institutions, MBRS presents public symposia, "Challenges for the Monterey Bay Region." A symposium on fisheries and climate change brought scholars from throughout the United States to discuss studies of fisheries biology and the legal history of fisheries organizations. A planned symposium will address the use of fire in management of the maritime chaparral at Fort Ord, relating issues in conservation biology to questions of land management and military base conversion.
Interdisciplinary Graduate Training and Research
The Graduate Training Program in Multidisciplinary Regional Studies, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), is an integral component of MBRS. The program offers Graduate Research Traineeships (GRTs) for students admitted to UC Santa Cruz doctoral programs in anthropology, biology, earth sciences, environmental studies, history, ocean sciences, sociology, or related fields. The GRT fellowships present an exceptional opportunity to students who are seeking a broader multidisciplinary foundation for their graduate training and research.
Study of the region's complex land-sea-air interactions covers a broad spectrum of social and natural science issues. These include: conservation, ecology, and land use; coastal agroecosystems; and biological resources and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Graduate students work on projects concerning major local and regional issues of environmental change.
As part of the program, each student is required to take a one-quarter interdisciplinary internship the supervision of a researcher in a different field. Students also take a broad array of courses on regional and environmental topics and participate in multidisciplinary and career development seminars.