Galbreath Sudden Oak Death Blitz

Help control this destructive forest pathogen! Now in its 17th year, this statewide community science project is vital to managing Sudden Oak Death, which is widespread in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Join SSU students and staff in contributing to science while getting your own bay laurel and tanoak trees tested at no cost.


Kerry Wininger, Sudden Oak Death Outreach Coordinator, UC Cooperative Extension of Sonoma County


On the preserve, we will drive to different spots for a one-mile walk to collect leaves and record basic data in teams of two or three people. We will be walking on a rocked road that has varied terrain to accommodate different levels of fitness. All equipment will be provided and there is no previous experience required.  

If you’d like to get your own California Bay Laurel or Tanoak trees tested (free of charge), collect leaves and the corresponding data no more than three days prior to the SOD blitz and bring them with you to the event. Contact for detailed instructions.

Collected samples will be sent to the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Lab for analysis, and participants can see results online in fall at Participants are invited to a meeting in Santa Rosa (Zoom option available) in fall held by UC Berkeley experts to discuss results and learn about management options for Sudden Oak Death.

This event is free of charge, family-friendly, and no previous experience or knowledge about Sudden Oak Death is required. CEI SOD Blitzes are in partnership with the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County and UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County, with funding from the USDA Forest Service. 


We will meet at 10:30 in front of the Yorkville Market (26701 Highway 128) which is closed at this time. There we will form carpools to drive up to the Preserve. We will need AWD or 4-wheel drive vehicles on the Preserve, so if you have one and are willing to drive, please email Margot Rawlins at

*IMPORTANT*: Before sampling, you must watch the 15 minute training video, and review the Powerpoint at this website: These will help you understand the characteristics of the pathogen and how to recognize the symptoms. Please also download the SODMap Mobile app (see "What to Bring" below)

Participants must sign a waiver upon arrival.  All minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian or a group leader who can legally take on that role (e.g., Girl Scout group). Pets and smoking are not permitted. This is a rain or shine event. No previous experience or knowledge is required to participate. 

We will be walking over uneven and potentially steep ground in forested areas, but the walk will not be strenuous–perhaps half a mile total with minimal elevation gain. Walking sticks may be helpful.

COVID-19 Safety

Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

Before leaving home, please download the SODMAP Mobile app if you have an iPhone (Android uses, we'll pair you with someone who has the app). Wear a hat, sturdy shoes for hiking, long pants, long sleeves and sun and insect protection; poison oak and ticks are present. Bring water and a snack

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each person should register separately. This event is free of charge.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Galbreath Wildlands Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Phone
Contact Name
Margot Rawlins
Date & Time Registration Link
Saturday, May, 4, 2024, 10:30am to 3:30pm