Established in 1995, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) is a research center of the University of California, Santa Barbara and was the first national synthesis center of its kind.
Different from the scientific tradition of solitary lab or fieldwork, NCEAS fosters collaborative synthesis research—assembling interdisciplinary teams to distill existing data, ideas, theories, or methods drawn from many sources, across multiple fields of inquiry, to accelerate the generation of new scientific knowledge at a broad scale.
NCEAS has helped create a large community of scientists from multiple disciplines, eager to collaborate to answer some of the toughest environmental questions facing society. Through collective Working Group projects scientists share data and methods, synthesize vast amounts of information, and discover new insights and understanding to improve lives and the environment.
NCEAS has hosted more than 6000 scientists to date, created innovative new informatic approaches to support data synthesis, and helped build the capacity of the scientific community by providing a range of training opportunities for scientists throughout their careers. The Center has earned a reputation as one of the most productive science institutions in the country and as such, the NCEAS model has since been replicated by many other synthesis centers around the world.