Welcome!

The Southern California Research Learning Center (SCRLC) is one of 19 Research Learning Centers across the country. These centers strive to increase scientific activity in the national park system, to communicate research that supports stewardship and to make science part of the visitor experience. 

By working with a variety of partners, we aim to support science-based decision making, increase science literacy and promote a conservation ethic within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park and Cabrillo National Monument.

Black-and-white photo of impressive rocky stacks rising up above an expansive coastline.
An Ocean on the Edge

Join Coastal Ecologist Steve Fradkin to learn how West Coast parks are working to understand the changing world between land and sea.

Rocky reef habitat with red and green leafy seaweed before the deep blue ocean on the horizon.
3 Parks 3 Stories

Have you ever wondered how we at the National Park Service keep tabs on the status of everything that lives within the park?

Sun shines just over a mountain ridge. Bunches of bright yellow flowers glow in the foreground.
The Great Bee Quest

Get firsthand perspectives on a community-wide effort to locate and identify the elusive red bee in Cabrillo National Monument.

3 photos: Potted Succulents. Plants in greenhouse mesh. Piney plants restored on a sandy slope.
To Preserve and Protect

Exploring Stewardship and Restoration of Our National Parks

Two paper sea stars intertwined, one shades of purple and the other shades of orange.
Rock. Paper. Science.

Each of the beautiful works here represents a species found at Cabrillo National Monument that park resource teams are working to protect.

Impressively large Shaw's agave plants in black and white.
Shaw's Agave: A Botanical Gem

Discover how an international team of conservation scientists is racing to better understand and protect this iconic cross-border species.

Sunset over two large marine snails on a boulder overlooking tidepools.
Owl Limpet: Keystone of the Intertidal

Meet an aggressively territorial rocky intertidal resident with mouthparts made of the strongest natural material in the animal world.

Extreme close-up of a bee's face just within a tunnel in the sand.
Through the magnifying glass:

Understanding conservation on a microscopic scale. A visual essay published in Parks Stewardship Forum.

Black and white image of a sun star viewed through twisting, lichen-covered branches.
Restoring the great cloud forests...

...of Santa Rosa Island. A visual essay published in Parks Stewardship Forum.

Last updated: November 17, 2023