Past Events

Saturday, September 30, 2023

honeybee on rock

Wilding Honeybees

9:30am to 2:00pm
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, September 9, 2023

Osborn Naturalists Observe oak tree shapes

Naturalist Ed Series: Osborn Preserve Historical Ecology

1:00pm to 3:00pm
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 SSU Historical Ecology Research on the Osborn Preserve.

Naturalists observing oak trees

Naturalist Ed Series: Oak Woodland Ecology

10:00am to 12:30pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

California’s oak woodlands are a unique ecosystem which provide habitat to a diverse group of plants and animals. Oak woodlands provide shelter and food for wildlife and support pollinators. Join us to learn about oak woodland ecology at the Osborn Preserve! We will explore a variety of oak species while observing other flora as well through sight, touch and smell.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Community naturalists at Osborn Preserve

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 the 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.”

older man sitting on rock in creek

Naturalist Ed Series: Trail Activities & Planning Visits

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

Learn Osborn Preserve’s hiking trails, games to play with children on the trail and how to gain additional access to the preserve on your own! Are you curious about the flexible program requirements to become an Osborn Naturalist to gain amazing opportunities that SSU’s Osborn Preserve has to offer? This event is mandatory for those who would like to become an Osborn Naturalist and optional for those interested in learning more about becoming an Osborn Naturalist.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Native grasses in California

Naturalist Ed Series: Grasslands Galore

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

California grassland is a unique ecosystem which provides habitat to a highly diverse group of plants and animals. How can we manage our grasslands to maximize native species diversity? We will explore the Osborn Preserve grasslands and learn about management techniques which support native plants as well as native wildlife species including rare amphibians, mammals and reptiles.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

young man with notebook in field of flowers near utility tower

Naturalist Ed Series: Pollinators Under Power Lines

1:00pm to 3:30pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Pollinators like bees, flies, butterflies and beetles, are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take! Come hear how SSU and Pollinator Partnership teamed up to research impacts on plants and their insect-pollinators due to vegetation management under power lines, and get a chance to contribute data yourself by performing a field survey. We’ll also discuss their roles in ecosystem health, and the fascinating larger world of insects and arthropods.

Hawk on a snag.

Naturalist Ed Series: Birds of Osborn Preserve

9:00am to 12:00pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Birds play vital roles in pollinating, controlling pests, fertilizing plants and more. Join us to learn about fall bird diversity at the Osborn Preserve! We will explore a variety of vegetation communities to search for, find and observe birds and evidence of birds. We will also learn about what resident and migratory birds are doing on Sonoma Mountain this fall.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Meadow with shed

Trails for Conservation

9:00am to 3:00pm
Galbreath Wildlands Preserve

Join us for a hands-on community trail work day at Galbreath Wildlands Preserve. Well-built trails protect habitat and species, and prevent erosion while keeping sedimentation from falling into waterways. Properly planned and maintained, trails can be interesting to hike, lead us to beautiful and inspiring spaces, and be sustainable year after year. You might come away with new ideas and skills for use on your property or another place. For Galbreath, this trail project day will help provide access for future guided outings so more people can learn from and experience our wonderful preserve. You get to experience the beauty of nature on the preserve while also contributing with volunteer service and practice trail maintenance skills.

Monday, May 22, 2023

small waterfall with ferns

Pond & Creek Restoration Field Day for Landowners, Part Two

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

Water is our life’s blood. We all know this, and realize we must take whatever steps we can to conserve and use it wisely. For landowners, the protection and storage of water can be vital. In this two-part series you will learn about effective approaches to preserving and enhancing the creeks and ponds vital for local ecosystems. This will include the role of maintaining stream flow, woody debris, restoring riparian vegetation and invasive species control (with a focus on bullfrogs and invasive plants). 

The first field day will be at the Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC), the University of California's principal field research facility for agriculture and natural resources in the North Coast region. The following week we will meet at Sonoma State University’s 3,670-acre Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in the upper Navarro watershed in Yorkville. The properties are very different from each other and the approaches to restoration have been different. It is encouraged, but not necessary, to attend both sessions in order to to learn actionable skills.