Dr. Clare Steele is an applied marine ecologist with extensive experience in marine and coastal environments around the world, conducting research and natural resource assessments to enable informed management decisions. She has conducted research assessing the benefits of protected areas and community-based resource management to reef fish assemblages and artisanal fisheries in the Philippines, Fiji, Kenya and the Bahamas. In southern California, her research has focused on productivity of fishes on natural kelp and artificial reefs, and assessing anthropogenic impacts to sandy beach ecological communities. Her ongoing research in the Cook Islands and California examines the ecological impacts of marine debris and microplastic debris on coastal ecosystems. Dedicated to providing research opportunities to undergraduate students, she is working with various student groups, including CI classes, CI capstone students, Project ACCESO’s Summer Research Institute and NOAA’s B-WET program, to explore educational and research experiences in the California coastal zone and at CSUCI’s undergraduate research station on Santa Rosa Island.

Sandy Beaches & Microplastics

CSUCI's Project ACCESO Summer Research Institute provides small teams of students an opportunity to conduct research with CI faculty in the STEM disciplines.
Our Summer Research Institute Team, comprising ESRM faculty and CI and Community College Undergraduates explored human, biotic and abiotic factors influencing sandy beach infaunal and bird communities along the Southern California Coast.

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Cook Islands

I have been working in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific for three years with an interdisciplinary team, exploring the interaction of natural and human systems and examining how patterns of resource use influence ecosystem health. In Summer 2015, my colleagues and I brought a team of 14 CSUCI students to learn about the culture and to conduct service learning and baseline research in a variety of habitats on the island of Aitutaki.

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Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Following the oil spill at Refugio Beach, Drs. Clare Steele, Sean Anderson and CSUCI students mounted a rapid response to establish baselines at El Capitan, Gaviota and Coal Oil Point beaches before any possible oil impact.
The ESRM program's ongoing sandy beach monitoring will allow us to examine the impact of perturbations like the oil spill and the effects of beach grooming and nourishment.

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Courses at CSUCI

CSUCI Classes Fall Semester 2016

CSUCI Classes Spring Semester 2016

Courses taught elsewhere:

  • Seminar in Ecology – Reproductive Ecology BIOL 615C (CSUN)
  • Biology and Ecology of Fishes BIO U507 BIO G207 (NEU)
  • Botany BIO 102 (URI)