Welcome to the Isla Vista Ethnobotany Project, also called IV Ebot Project!  Here you can discover edible, medicinal, and useful plants on the UCSB campus and in Isla Vista. We hope this site will help you get out and learn more about the plants in our area, but make sure not to take any unnecessary risks if you are unsure about a plant. When identifying and collecting plants, check listed information to ensure correct location and identification of plant species. Many of these plants are watered with reclaimed water, so remember to always wash your plant collections before use or consumption.  Finally, please respect the plants, private property, and the hard work done by the UCSB grounds crew and restoration groups.

We would like to recognize that UCSB and IV are located on unceded Indigenous Chumash ancestral lands.  On this site we highlight some of the rich ethnobotany and ecological knowledge of the Chumash and encourage respectful engagement with all plants, particularly native plants and those in the Chumash gardens and protected areas. 

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About Our Project

This site provides information and locations of useful, edible, medicinal, and interesting plants on the UCSB campus and in Isla Vista.  We hope this website will encourage engagement with plants in our local area, promote the planting of edible landscaping, inform users about ethical foraging practices, and teach residents about plants and local history.

Snacking on plants that grow under your nose is a great way to become more connected with the environment and learn more about cross-cultural plant uses. Foraging and harvesting your own produce can also contribute to decreased reliance on processed foods, or even the same fruits that come wrapped in cellophane or coated in pesticides at the store. Foraging ethically on campus supports sustainable practices, such as watering with reclaimed water, gathering your own local produce, and helping to reduce the amount of climate pollution in the production and transportation of the foods we eat. 

Enjoy educating your taste buds, but please do not take any unnecessary risks if you are unsure about a plant. Make sure to check the listed information to ensure correct identification of edible plants and do not forage from restoration areas. Many of these plants are watered with reclaimed water, so be sure to wash them before consumption! 

Who We Are

The Project is run out of the Hoelle Culture and Environment Lab at UCSB by Anthropology Professor, Jeffrey Hoelle.  The site was created and is maintained by a dedicated group of students, currently headed by UCSB graduate, Kirsten Cook.  Kirsten, Briana Pham, Cyrus Kayhan, Catherine Scanlon, and MacKenzie Wade are currently responsible for planning and organizing the site. Jordan Thomas, Joshua Richardson, Stephanie Austin, Ula Varley, Aiden Patterson, Laura Tucker, Logan Snyder, Daniel Jackson, Hannah Thomas, Sam Hendricks and several others all had a hand in the site as well.  We are also very thankful to our plant experts here on and around campus: Wayne Chapman and Greg Whalert at CCBER, Cameron Hannah- Bick at the UCSB Greenhouse, Joe and Aaron with SB Recs and Park, and Andy Lanes.

Jordan Picking Strawberry Guavas
Jordan Picking Strawberry Guavas

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2017 Ethnobotany Gathering in the Hoelle
2017 Ethnobotany Gathering in the Hoelle

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Jordan Foraging for Pindo Palm Fruits (y
Jordan Foraging for Pindo Palm Fruits (y

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Jordan Picking Strawberry Guavas
Jordan Picking Strawberry Guavas

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Primary Content Contributors

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Kirsten Icon.jpg

UCSB Graduate/IV Ethnobotany Leader

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Image by Salah Ait Mokhtar

UCSB Graduate Student

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UCSB Graduate