The California Channel Islands Project: Wildlife Recovery and Reintroduction

 Meeting Location              Ventura, California
 Program Dates         Summer 2017: July 2 - July 16, 2017
 Accommodations    Primarily camping
 Language    English instruction
 Courses    ESCI 497 T
 Credits    5 quarter credits or 3.35 semester credits
 Prerequisites    One college level course of ecology or similar                
   18 years of age 

                                              

   California Channel Islands Program Costs, Summer 2017
   $  150      Application Fee
   $1900      Program Fee
   $  750      Estimated In-Country Group Fee
   $  600      Estimated Airfare/Visa
   $  100      Estimated Food Money/Personal Spending
   $3500      Total Estimated Cost

  Summer 2017: Program fees due by May 1, 2017 

         WS-Channel-Islands-hike-to-field-site

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This summer our team will explore the unique ecological communities found on California’s famed Channel Islands, home to a vast assemblage of species and a fascinating human history. We will investigate the recovery and reintroduction of native wildlife on Santa Cruz Island, the largest and most diverse of the California Channel Islands. As we will discover on-site, two centuries of ranching have resulted in the introduction of many invasive species that have negatively impacted the native flora and fauna of the islands. Twenty years ago, the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy embarked on an ambitious and largely successful program to restore the native wildlife of Santa Cruz Island. Since then bald eagles have once again established a healthy breeding population and the once endangered Island fox population has demonstrated the fastest recovery of a mammal in the history of the Endangered Species Act. This course provides a unique opportunity to examine and participate in the ongoing research and restoration of the island.

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THE PROJECT

Throughout the course we will study the island’s unique and diverse ecological communities, examine insular ecology concepts such as island biogeography and endemism, and evaluate the history and success of current restoration programs. Team members will gain firsthand field experience by taking part in ongoing research projects such as Island fox and Island spotted skunk population monitoring, bald eagle reintroduction, and Argentine ant eradication.

Researchers will discuss their current goals and methodologies, and students will have the opportunity to directly apply what they learn by assisting researchers in the field. Together, we will discuss the ecological impacts of these management decisions and discover how these decisions have positively impacted the native species on Santa Cruz Island. Come join us this summer as we explore the unique and inspiring wildlands of the California Channel Islands.


PROJECT LEADERSAdam-Dillon-tagging-native-Santa-Cruz-Island-skunk

ADAM DILLON 
M.S in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, 2005;
Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Colorado State University

Adam is a wildlife ecologist and conservation scientist whose research interests lie in carnivore conservation, island ecology, population dynamics, and invasive species. His Master's research focused on the population trends and density of ocelots in the rainforests of Belize, and his Ph.D. research focuses on the population ecology of Island foxes and Island spotted skunks on the California Channel Islands. Adam has been teaching for Wildlands Studies since 2003 and has taught in Belize, New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest, and on Santa Cruz Island. He currently leads our New Zealand and California Channel Islands Projects.

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