Sudden Oak Death Blitz

Help control this destructive forest pathogen! Now in its 16th year, this statewide citizen/community science project is vital to managing Sudden Oak Death, which is widespread in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Join us to contribute to science while getting your own bay laurel or tanoak trees tested at no cost. 


Alan Chesterman, Sudden Oak Death Specialist, UC Master Gardener Program 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 Zoom meeting in Santa Rosa 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. 

A few weeks prior to the blitz you will receive an email with a link to two videos that you must view prior to attending the blitz. These will help you understand the characteristics of the pathogen and how to recognize the symptoms.


We will meet at 9:30 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 reserve, so if you have one and are willing to drive, please let me know. 

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. No previous experience or knowledge is required. 

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.

There is a restroom available at the Galbreath Preserve, but no drinking water.

COVID-19 Safety

All staff are vaccinated. Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated. You are highly encouraged to get vaccinate and properly wear a mask when indoors (e.g., while driving in carpools). We will spend all of our time outdoors where social distancing is possible. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

Please bring a suitable mask to wear while carpooling. Wear a hat, sturdy shoes for hiking, long pants & 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
Monday, May, 15, 2023, 9:30am to 1:00pm