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Copeland Creek diagram

Copeland Creek flood analysis

Faculty: Owen Anfinson, Michelle Goman
Partners: Sonoma County Water Agency, Center for Environmental Inquiry, Department of Transportation, Sonoma Resource Conservation District, City of Rohnert Park, City of Penngrove, City of Petaluma

Copeland Creek can jump its banks, depositing sediments where the creek empties onto the Santa Rosa plain. Flood modeling and field studies help agencies and community groups design solutions.

Western pond turtle

Impact of invasive species on the western pond turtle

Faculty: Wendy St. John, Melina Kozanitas, Nathan Rank, Martha Shott

To determine whether or not invasive turtles are a threat to our native species, we compared abundance of red-eared sliders and western pond turtles at three different locations: Turtle Pond on the SSU campus, Mountain Lake in San Francisco, and Roberts Lake in Rohnert Park.

Student at lab bench identifying stomach contents

Diet comparison of invasive bull frogs

Faculty: Derek Girman

We studied whether bullfrogs eating large amounts of crayfish showed a reduction in the number of native species they consumed.

student standing in a pond with a net and bucket

Newt species identification

Faculty: Derek Girman
Partners: Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation

Morales et al 2018: Identification of newt species is a challenge for field biologists.

shallow lake covered in aquatic vegetation

Variation in arthropod diversity in aquatic habitats

Faculty: Derek Girman
Partners: Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

We used pitfall traps to study arthropod diversity on three pond edge habitats at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge. The greatest arthropod diversity was found in Tule habitat.

Student making a thin section from a sample of rock

Weathering and landslide susceptibility in the Copeland Creek watershed

Faculty: Laura Waters
Partners: Sonoma County Water Agency, Center for Environmental Inquiry

The upper watershed of Copeland Creek is known for its landslides, slumps and debris flows. We evaluated sites on SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve to determine how slope stability is correlated with rock type, and degree of weathering and vegetation. 

Student collecting soil sample

Characterization and causes of soil compaction

2016 - 2018
Faculty: Nathan Rank, Martha Shott, Jeremy Qualls, Wendy St. John, Melina Kozanitas
Partners: Crane Creek Regional Park

Soil compaction increases runoff and erosion. Students characterized and studied the cause of soil compaction at multiple sites. 

Waste treatment filters in a bucket

Winery wastewater treatment

2015 to present
Faculty: Michael Cohen
Partners: D’Argenzio Winery, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Lagunitas Brewery, Fogbelt Brewery, Osmosis Spa

Development of a pilot-scale microbial fuel cell system for treating wastewater from wine production 

Student collecting data along a hiking trail

Mitigating trail erosion at the Osborn Preserve

2014 to 2017
Faculty: Suzanne DeCoursey
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

Use of hiking trails can increase erosion, soil compaction, and transmission of Sudden Oak Death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, from surface runoff. We conducted a survey to identify sections of trail at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve (upper Copeland Creek watershed) with excessive erosion.

Soil samples being heated in a furnace

Carbon budget for Corte Madera marsh

Faculty: Michelle Goman

Tidal salt marshes are important carbon sequestration environments. We analyzed sediment gathered from three core samples at varying distances from a tidal channel to determine carbon accumulation for the past century.