Special Projects

Sustainable Fisheries Group uses Rights-Based Management, Fisheries Certification, and Marine Protected Areas

Founded in 2006 with a $5 million contribution from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Sustainable Fisheries Group (SFG) is a collaboration between the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Marine Science Institute at the UC Santa Barbara. The mission of the SFG is to provide leadership to develop new science and transform it into solutions for sustainable oceans. Our work seeks to utilize market Logo: Sustainable Fisheries Groupsolutions to increase the ecological and economic performance of fisheries and the sustainability of coastal communities. We bring diverse scientific expertise and intellectual capital to key partnerships with leading conservation organizations, local NGOs, and diverse stakeholder groups to find and implement solutions to critical ocean problems. A core goal of the SFG is to make measurable progress towards reforming individual fisheries by using catch-share management systems, conservation measures, and demand-side incentives. SFG has been involved in, or is currently working on, a variety of on-the-ground projects around the world.


Waitt Foundation Funds Sustainable Ocean Solutions Project

The Sustainable Ocean Solutions project combines three important tools for ocean sustainability – rights-based management reform, marine protected areas, and certification incentives – into novel solutions for the world’s fisheries challenges. Employed individually, these three conservation instruments can successfully tackle only a small percentage of the world's Logo: WAITT foundationailing fisheries. A central challenge is to engineer fisheries management systems to facilitate synergies among these approaches, thus capitalizing on their complementary strengths while overcoming any individual weaknesses. Although the necessary elements may differ across fisheries and ecosystems, the basic insight is that by combining changes that affect the supply of fish (such as catch shares) with conservation measures (such as MPAs) and tools that change consumer demand (such as fisheries certification), fisheries, communities, and ecosystems can simultaneously prosper.

This project uses a two-pronged approach, focusing on 1) research and development, determining how and in what contexts to combine the sustainability tools of marine protected areas, property-rights based management, and fisheries certification, and 2) demonstration projects that are strategically selected as proofs of concept and, if successful, will be scalable across the globe. We will use cutting-edge bioeconomic models and new assessment techniques to transform how fisheries are evaluated for sustainability certification, developing new quantitative approaches to give appropriate sustainability credit for proven management measures like MPAs and catch shares. Conversely, we will demonstrate how rights-based fisheries management and demand-side incentives can promote the implementation and expansion of MPA networks. We will also explore how different types of rights-based management can be matched to the ecological and institutional characteristics of different fisheries. The demonstration projects will then link our research and development expertise with innovative partners who have demonstrated skills at implementing reform in national and international settings.

This project will result in more resilient fishing communities, more sustainable fisheries, better functioning ecosystems, increased quantities and qualities of local fresh seafood, and a better alignment of demand for sustainable seafood and supply of a sustainable product. These benefits will be achieved by correctly aligning the interests of fisheries and conservation. By leveraging growing consumer demand for sustainable seafood, and linking this demand to proven supply-side changes, we will catalyze much more rapid reform of the world's fisheries. Our goal is not incremental progress. Rather we seek a transformative solution for ocean sustainability that can help reverse the global tide of decline.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Waitt Foundation, which is also a major donor to the Sustainable Fisheries Group. (See previous Special Projects item, above.)


Bucky Ball Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative (SNI)

Nanotechnology is the science of the supersmall. Working at the nanoscale — a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter long, or about a million times smaller than the head of a pin—nanoscientists are manipulating atoms and molecules to create new materials that can dramatically improve a myriad of everyday and specialty products. With the potential it presents for engineering materials at the atomic level, nanotechnology could become as socially transforming as running water, electricity, and the Internet. Engineered nanoparticles are found in such things as clothing, athletic equipment, electronic and medical devices, photovoltaics, baby products, sunscreens, cosmetics. Well over a thousand nano-enabled products are already on the market, and the number is rising rapidly. In this decade alone, nanotechnology is expected to become a $1 trillion business. Yet, for all the promise of nanotechnology, little is known about the environmental and health implications of engineered nanoparticles.

In tandem with the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN), the Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative (SNI) at UC Santa Barbara will support a growing society-wide effort to address the vital need for the safe and responsible development of nano-enabled products. Through SNI, business and industry can engage in research on this next great scientific frontier.


Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative (SNI) Strategic Alliances

Companies who support SNI student fellowships or summer internships are considered Strategic Allies. SNI Strategic Allies are members of the corporate and scientific communities who seek to introduce nano-enabled materials and products in an environmentally responsible manner. Our SNI Strategic Allies benefit from seminars and webcasts, training programs, and regular communication with their students and with our scientists who are working at the leading-edge of sustainable nanotechnology research. For more information, please contact Director of Development Andrew Krupa at 805-893-3712 or by e-mail.


SNI Fellowships
(Annual Fellowship is $50,000)

The Bren School is proud to be part of UCSB, one of a handful of universities worldwide offering PhD training in nanotechnologies and other emerging technologies that are at the forefront of Environmental Science & Management. SNI fellowships enable the Bren School to recruit the best and brightest applicants to our PhD program and to those of collaborating departments across UCSB. Recruitment packages may include fellowships (tuition and fees), research support, and summer internships, all of which are critical in enabling the Bren School to compete with other top-ranked programs for the most promising students. A full or partial fellowship is highly prestigious for the fellowship recipient and raises the visibility of the donor/company. We are honored to associate the name of the donor/company with the fellowship annually. For more information about supporting PhD students working within the SNI, please contact Director off Development Andrew Krupa at 805-893-3712 or by e-mail.


SNI Summer Internships
(Annual Summer Internship is $10,000)

SNI Summer Internships offer PhD students hands-on training to better understand nanomaterials and their environmental implications. Working with state-of-the-art equipment in a UCSB laboratory setting, students will be introduced to the unique properties of nanomaterials while assessing their toxicity, mobility, persistence, and bioavailability. Students can also learn to synthesize novel nanomaterials that can be employed in solving environmental problems. Students who complete an SNI Summer Internship will be better positioned to contribute to ensuring that nanomaterials are produced in a responsible and environmentally safe manner, a concern that will remain vital for both science and society as the nanotechnology industry explodes during the twenty-first century. For more information about supporting an SNI PhD summer internship, please contact please contact Director off Development Andrew Krupa at 805-893-3712 or by e-mail.


SNI-Targeted Research


In collaboration with SNI Director Arturo Keller, a company may wish to scope a particular SNI research project on the environmental applications or implications of a specific nanomaterial. For example, novel uses of nanomaterials for water filtration and treatment are currently under development. A company that produces a specific nanomaterial may want to better understand the risks associated with products that contain it, or receive help in designing an environmentally benign product that incorporates the benefits of nano-enabled materials. For more information about scoping a project, please contact Professor Arturo Keller at 805-893-1822 or by e-mail.