In November 2012 the National Park Service (NPS) issued a permit to California State University Channel Islands (CI) to operate a field research station on Santa Rosa Island. The station will operate from existing facilities provided by the NPS.

The Santa Rosa Island research station is intended to serve as a platform from which a range of research and educational activities can be carried out. Many of these activities will fall within disciplines that customarily include field study such as archeology, biology (including botany, ecology, entomology, ichthyology, marine biology, microbiology, ornithology, etc.), chemistry and geology.

The park service assigned use of two facilities, along with approximately four acres and outbuildings, for use as part of the research station on Santa Rosa Island. The first of these buildings, the former ranch bunkhouse, is located approximately 200 meters west of the Bechers Bay pier. The bunkhouse is a 2,110 square foot facility that can comfortably accommodate 15 overnight guests. The bunkhouse includes seven sleeping rooms, a utility room with laundry facilities, multiple bathrooms, a small living area, an office/storage room, and a large kitchen area with a diner style counter and an additional meeting/dining space. A small outdoor area immediately surrounding the bunkhouse is reserved for use by research station guests. The second component of the research station is a parcel (approximately four acres) centered around a single story 1,240 square foot house. This parcel is sheltered from the strong prevailing west winds by a windbreak planted during the ranching era. It is located approximately 500 meters south of the bunkhouse. This residence will serve as housing for a resident manager for the research station. To the south of the residence is a former pasture that may be developed to accommodate fixed tent plagorms or other, less formal, camping locations. To the north of the residence are several structures that can be improved to offer both indoor and outdoor workspaces for field research projects.

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