The second largest of the California Channel Islands, Santa Rosa Island is a unique and invaluable site with a wealth of important natural resources and historical remains. The Arlington Springs Man, potentially the oldest remains of a human skeleton in the United States, was discovered on this island and is presumably twenty-six times older than American written history. Remains of the Pygmy Mammoth, a Pleistocene species unique to the Channel Islands, have been discovered on Santa Rosa Island as well. Presently, Santa Rosa Island is home to several species that are only found in the Channel Islands, including the critically endangered Island Fox.
This August the Havasi Wilderness Foundation gave a grant to California State University Channel Islands to support the initiation of a research and education project on Santa Rosa Island. CSUCI has begun a partnership with the National Park Service to collaborate on this project, however, additional funds were sought to provide logistical support and cover start-up costs for the project. Havasi Wilderness Foundation is enthusiastic about this project as it aligns with the foundation’s mission. Funds will help establish a research station on the island and implement hands-on educational programs in the fields of ecology, archaeology, and paleontology. Graduate and undergraduate students will gain fieldwork experience in this unique ecosystem and learn from professionals visiting the research station. Additionally, the project will provide information for making sound management decisions in the future regarding the ecology and natural resources of the island.