Past Events

Thursday, October 27, 2022

baby western pond turtle under water

Universities & Zoos Partnering for Biodiversity

2:00pm to 3:00pm

What comes to mind when you hear the word "zoo?" A lion licking her paw on top of a rock in an enclosure? A cage full of brightly colored birds? But how about a behind-the-scenes nursery where baby turtles are being raised for release into the wild once old enough to fend for themselves? Turtle Headstart was just such a project developed by an SSU professor and staff at the San Francisco Zoo and the Oakland Zoo, working together to combine the resources of two very different types of institutions. This project is just one of many collaborations successfully combining the attributes of the academic with the practical. Our two presenters will focus on the value of such cooperation in the work to preserve nature’s biodiversity. Watch recorded event here: Universities & Zoos Partnering for Biodiversity, October 27, 2022

Saturday, October 22, 2022

a naturalist presenting to a group on a trail

Natural History Hikes

10:00am to 2:00pm
Fairfield Osborn Preserve

University students and community docents will be your guide. Our guides are trained in natural history of the mountain and interpretation of preserve programs. They will lead you on one of many trails into this 450-acre preserve on the shoulder of Sonoma Mountain. Hike options include visits to the headwaters of Copeland Creek and spectacular vistas of the Santa Rosa Valley and Valley of the Moon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

image of the Carina Nebula in space

Outer Space: The Environmental Frontier

1:00pm to 2:00pm

Humans have already breached the upper atmosphere with technological breakthroughs in rocketry, and have had a continuous presence in low-earth orbit on the International Space Station since October 31st, 2000. It is time to acknowledge that outer space is part of our natural environment, and to think about our uses and habitation in it in discussions on climate change and the Anthropocene. For those concerned about climate change, it is time to reckon with outer space as another human environment. Watch recorded event: Outer Space - The Environmental Frontier, October 19, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022

four photos of endangered songbirds

Bringing Nature Home for Birds

7:00pm to 9:00pm
SSU Main Campus

The population of many species of California songbirds is declining dramatically. Join us for a multimedia presentation by Kay Charter, founder and Executive Director of Saving Birds Thru Habitat, who will discuss what academic researchers believe to be the causes of this disturbing phenomenon. More importantly, she will outline in detail six simple, concrete actions we, as individuals and community members, can take to reverse this alarming trend. Though some of her call-to-action will be focused specifically on songbirds, many of her suggestions will benefit all our native creatures—all species of birds, of course, and butterflies, bees, moths, bats, and the animals we share our outdoor spaces with. 

hands hold water as it pours out into river

Rising Waters: Water Quality & Homelessness - Year 2 Results

1:00pm to 3:00pm

As part of the "Rising Waters" initiative, this Year 2 public results workshop presents the findings of several student research projects on the challenging intersection of environmental, social and economic factors that impact water quality. Last spring and summer, students worked with faculty mentors and community partners to study the nexus of homelessness and water quality issues, presenting preliminary findings as part of SSU's Virtual Research Gallery. Join us now to hear about final outcomes, ask questions, and provide input on how these results can be used to take action in our community, with the goal of finding new solutions that benefit people experiencing homelessness and ensure high water quality for everyone. Watch recorded event here: Rising Waters: Water Quality & Homelessness - Year 2 Results, October 14, 2022 and introduction slides here

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

indigenous woman's face looks up

Many Faces of Conservation

1:00pm to 2:15pm

Climate change has a deep and long-lasting effect on the environment and livelihoods worldwide. More and more countries acknowledge that culture, conservation and resilience have become ideas that transcend borders and inspire innovative, preventive, and adaptive solutions, which in many cases come from indigenous communities. Without them - the original owners and guardians of the Earth - and local actions, our planet’s further degradation will be unavoidable. How can you become a Champion for Nature? This and other questions will be raised and discussed in this dialogue with community leaders and experts from South and North America. Watch recorded event here: Many Faces of Conservation, October 4, 2022

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.