Biological Sciences, Santa Barbara City College pipeline center for sustainability

Biology 130: Methods in Field Biology

Useful Information for Santa Cruz Island 



loading boat
(Gear is organized to load the boat. Nothing can be over 45 pounds and all hard cases must be weighed prior to loading)

on boat
(Taking Island Packers boat across channel.)

on island
(Prisoner's cove is dry with no water available. It can be hot)

early morning
(Everyone is up early and ready for the day before 7am.)

Safety at SCI Reserve

Santa Cruz Island Emergency Contacts

Facilities and Equipment at the Field Station

Cooking facilities are provided, including stove, oven, refrigerator-freezer, pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. Because of bad weather, people sometimes get detained on the island. We recommend bringing an extra day's supply of food. The island is part of the University's Natural Reserve System, organisms collected on or near the island must not be used as food. All cooking is done at the facility; individual cooking on camp stoves is strictly prohibited, due to possible fire hazard.

Hot and cold running water, showers, toilets, and limited laundry facilities are furnished. Electricity is limited. Do not bring electric appliances, especially hair dryers, to the island. If electricity is needed for research equipment, consult with the resident director prior to your visit.

A library/conference room, computers (PC and Mac), and a wet laboratory are available for your use. Air photos and topographic maps are available at the reserve for office use only. Persons desiring maps for field use should purchase them before leaving the mainland (U.S. Geological Survey, 7.5' Santa Cruz Island A, B, C, D).

Verizon cellular telephone service is available on some areas of the island. Other telephone service is available for emergencies (see Reserve Director).

Rules for Use of the SCI Preserve:

The SCI Preserve is very remote and undeveloped, with few if any safety or communications facilities available to visitors. The SCI Preserve is an ecological reserve, used for research, academic studies, and resource management. There are a wide array of plants and animals at the SCI Preserve, some of which are not found elsewhere and may be unique in the world, so the introduction of other animals, diseases, insects, plants, etc., could be extremely detrimental to the flora and fauna at the SCI Preserve. The following rules have therefore been promulgated by TNC for the SCI Preserve:

Prohibited Items: The following are not allowed to be brought onto the SCI Preserve:

  1. animals or pets of any kind (including, but not limited to, cats and dogs, and companion or research animals) ;
  2. plants, seeds, cut flowers, or bulbs ;
  3. previously used planters or pots ( whether of clay, ceramic, plastic, or other material ) ;
  4. potting soil (“soil - less” potting mix, such as Sun - Gro Sunshine Mix #4, is permitted if in original packaging with no tears or holes) ;
  5. unprocessed wood, wood with bark, wood crates or planters ;
  6. cardboard boxes (clean plastic containers are permitted, as are new items in original cardboard packing boxes from manufacturer , if inspected by TNC and found to be clean of insect “hitchhikers” ) ;
  7. firearms or other weapons ;
  8. fireworks ; or
  9. mountain bikes or other vehicles of any kind (motorized or non - motorized).

Restricted Activities :

  1. No smoking or building of fires of any type is allowed at the SCI Preserve for any reason, due to fire danger.
  2. No cooking is allowed at the SCI Preserve outside of designated TNC facilities, although the consumption of previously prepared food and drinks is allowed at the SCI Preserve, provided that all trash resulting from such activity is completely removed from the SCI Preserve (and then disposed of properly elsewhere).
  3. No camping is allowed anywhere at the SCI Preserve, no sleeping bags or other camping equipment is allowed to be brought to or used at the SCI Preserve, and no erection of any tents or other structures is allowed at the SCI Preserve, whether they are temporary or otherwise.
  4. No collecting, trapping, killing, harming or molestation of any animals at the SCI Preserve, or any fish or other animals in any waters at or adjoining the SCI Preserve, is allowed.
  5. No cutting down, injury, collection , or other disturbance of any trees or other plants or vegetation is allowed at the SCI Preserve, whether or not the plants are living or dead.
  6. No souvenirs or specimens of anything found at the SCI Preserve may be collected, disturbed or taken from the SCI Preserve, nor is any digging in any Indian mounds or other architectural remains located at the SCI Preserve allowed.
  7. No entry into buildings or other structures at the SCI Preserve or other interference with the activities of any tenants, researchers, or others carrying out permitted activities at the SCI Preserve is allowed.
  8. No still, video, digital, or other form of photography or imaging of or in any TNC facilities is permitted at any time, whether for private or commercial use. Photography of plants, animals, and natural conditions outside of TNC facilities for personal use is permitted, but no publishing or other use of the results of such photography, or of any other data of any kind collected at or from the SCI Preserve, is allowed for commercial purposes, and all images made at or from the SCI Preserve which are used or transmitted in a manner such that they can be downloaded or obtained by others must be used or transmitted with appropriate restrictions which prohibit the commercial use of the images.
  9. No item(s) brought to the SCI Preserve are allowed to be left at or adjoining the SCI Preserve, including (but not limited to) garbage or food. Please inspect your personal gear (e.g. packs, shoes) and clean off dirt, seeds and insects before arriving on the Island

Prevent Spread of Invasive Species:

The California Islands contain some of the most iconic landscapes in the state and are home to an array of species found nowhere else on the planet.  Biosecurity is vital to protect these habitats and resources from the detrimental effects of invasive species.  You can help protect the native species of Santa Cruz Island by following these guidelines;

All clothing, tools, equipment and supplies should be inspected and cleaned of plant propagules and soil prior to departure from the mainland or when moving between islands.  Special attention should be paid to velcro, footwear, pant cuffs, clothing seams, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, backpacks, duffels, tents, tool joints, chainsaws, towels, wetsuits, surfboard socks/bags/leash, and duct tape rolls.

Island users should recognize that recent exposure to invasive species on the mainland should trigger additional and more thorough inspection of gear and clothing.

Map of Santa Cruz Island

Hiking Trails of Santa Cruz Island


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Revised 26 January, 2015
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