Research is Key to Learning Center Success
Pacific Coast Learning Center Team, NPS
Don Neubacher, Superintendent, Point Reyes National Seashore
Scientists at Point Reyes National Seashore envisioned a laboratory where science and education are combined to increase knowledge and understanding of the natural world. They outlined a program that would serve as a focus point for the coordination of research and education related to Pacific Coast ecosystems. Through their subsequent efforts, this vision became reality. Six individuals, Dr. Sarah Allen, Dr. Ben Becker, Christie Anastasia, John Dell’Osso, Gordon White, and Richard Jackson, worked with dedication to bring the Center to fruition.
The Pacific Coast Learning Center (PCLC), began its work in 2001, sheltered on a former ranch, and seeded with $400,000 of private and public grant funding.
The Center now provides housing, office spaces, computer access and other critical needs for researchers, and future scientists. Since its dedication, the PCLC model has been applied to create twelve more learning centers dedicated to the research of other ecosystems across the country and funded through the Natural Resource Challenge, a national initiative to build national resource management capability in the National Park Service. After its first year of operation, there are 40% more active research projects on-going in the park, the Tomalas Bay All Taxa Biologic Inventory is now underway, and high school students have spent hundreds hours performing biological monitoring activities.