Past Events

Thursday, September 29, 2022

firefighter setting a prescribed burn

Live from the Field: Fire Across the Continent

11:00am to 12:00pm

Bring researchers into your classroom and give students a window into the process of scientific inquiry. Join us for an informal chat with researchers studying the effects of increasing wildfire frequency and intensity on natural systems in Arizona, California and Florida. Find out who they are, how they got interested in this field, and the research questions they are asking. Instructor Guide and Event Resources available. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

California Giant Salamander larva in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed

Naturalist Ed Series: Watersheds & the California Giant Salamander

1:00pm to 3:00pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

The California Giant Salamander represents an indicator species in riparian corridors in the Laguna de Santa Rosa (Russian River) Watershed. Salamanders are sensitive to environmental changes; they reflect the health of the environment. Join us to learn about the California Giant Salamander life cycle including the egg, larva, juvenile and adult stages of these amazing amphibians! We will explore their natural breeding and upland habitats as we travel through Osborn Preserve and find out why they have become the top predator in the perennial streams on Sonoma Mountain and beyond.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Western Toad on “nature-clean hands”

Naturalist Ed Series: Inquiry Explorations in Nature

2:30pm to 5:30pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Curiosity in nature supports a deeper understanding of the natural world. Join us to discover, celebrate and develop the free spirit of nature inquiry on Sonoma Mountain. We will explore Osborn Preserve’s hidden secrets through the process of inquiry. Where are amphibians hiding, what various colors of fungus can be found, what senses can we use to observe plants? Learn how outdoor inquiry can transform your daily life, as well as how it can give children hands-on experience of what they study in school.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

magnifying class showing "vesicles", small holes left behind after lava cools, on a rock

Naturalist Ed Series: Geology of Sonoma Mountain

3:30pm to 5:30pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Geology is the study of the Earth: its composition, history and physical processes. Sonoma State University’s Geology Instructor Nicole Myers will share about the geology of Sonoma County, including Sonoma Mountain. How have tectonic, seismic, and volcanic events formed the rocks, valleys, and mountains around us? We will explore Osborn Preserve to learn about geologic processes and climatic trends that comprise the natural forces of Sonoma County, including wildfires, floods and earthquakes.

naturalists conversing in a field in front of trees

Naturalist Ed Series: Become an Osborn Naturalist!

10:00am to 3:00pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Learn how to share nature’s secrets with others while exploring the stunning ecosystems of Sonoma Mountain with university faculty and other experts. This outdoor Naturalist Educator Series will give you new insights into natural history of local species and new ideas for sharing your knowledge with children. Join a community working to eradicate Nature Deficit Disorder in the North Bay! Become an Osborn Naturalist and acquire the skills to get “Environmentally Ready.”

Sunday, August 21, 2022

hands holding a western pond turtle

Naturalist Ed Series: Scales & Shells (Reptiles)

1:30pm to 4:30pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Reptiles are “cold-blooded” vertebrates, including but not limited to turtles, snakes and lizards. Join Sonoma State University’s Vertebrate Biology Instructor, Wendy St. John, to explore the habitats of various reptile species as we travel through Osborn Preserve. You will also learn about SSU research involving the Western Pond Turtle, a special-status species that occurs at the preserve.

man stands with arms outstretched on a pile of rocks in front of trees

Naturalist Ed Series: Osborn Historical Ecology

10:00am to 1:00pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Visitors sometimes refer to SSU’s Fairfield Osborn Preserve as “pristine”, untouched by human hands. In fact, the preserve’s vegetation communities are deeply informed by pre-colonial land management practices, to the point that many of them could be considered “human made” until Europeans arrived with very different land management approaches. We will explore the landscape through a cultural lens, and also learn about brand-new SSU Historical Ecology Research on the Osborn Preserve.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

honeybees swarming in tree hollow

(Re)wilding Honeybees

9:30am to 1:00pm
Galbreath Wildlands Preserve

New research on the impact of climate change on global ecosystems continues to send our thinking in new directions. One of those sacred principles being challenged is the notion that nativeness is the gold standard in conservation biology. That isn’t necessarily so. Naturalized wild honeybees in remote landscapes are part of novel ecosystems. A Sonoma County nonprofit, Apis Arborea, has begun a seven-year research project on the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve to investigate the life cycles of wild honeybees and their role in a diverse pollinator community. Come visit several bee trees on the preserve with us, and learn about a successful bee-tree-locating technique called beelining. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

students hold signs reading "we won't let our futures burn" & "un mundo mejor es posible"

Fire Up: Embers of Awakening

10:30am to 1:00pm

Rialto Cinemas, Sebastopol

What does resilience to wildfire look like? The inspiring new documentary “Embers of Awakening: From Firestorms to Climate Health” creates a backdrop for a community discussion on how to approach this question. The film reveals personal stories of damage and recovery in Sonoma County and what we can change to create a path towards a safer world. Themes include the uncertainty of fire, increasing community bonds, misinformation, the multiple objectives for vegetation management, accepting fire as a part of our lives, and how to bring about societal change.

Stay with us after the film for a brief moderated panel discussion with regional thought leaders discussing local issues related to fire, resilience, and community action. A new sustainability pledge, which identifies the most impactful and positive personal actions we can take to create a thriving future, will be made available to audience members after the film and panel discussion, and you'll have a chance to win one of three prizes that will help you take the actions in the pledge. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

men with outdoor hand tools

Múltiples rostros de la conservación

6:00pm to 7:00pm

El cambio climático tiene un impacto profundo y duradero en el medio ambiente y la vida de las personas en todo el mundo. Cada vez más, los países reconocen que la cultura, la conservación y la resiliencia se han convertido en soluciones que trascienden las fronteras, inspirando propuestas innovadoras, preventivas y adaptativas, que en muchos casos provienen de los pueblos indígenas. Sin ellos -los guardianes y cuidadores originales de la tierra- y las acciones locales, la degradación de nuestro planeta será inevitable. ¿Cómo puedes convertirte en un campeón mundial de la naturaleza? Estas y otras preguntas se plantearán y discutirán en esta conversación con líderes comunitarios y expertos de América del Sur y del Norte. Mira el evento grabado aquí: Múltiples rostros de la conservación, 12 de mayo de 2022