Fairfield Osborn Preserve Virtual Tour

Begin Your Journey!


Osborn Virtual Tour Map

Click through the map and tabs below to navigate through the Osborn Virtual Tour, led by Suzanne DeCoursey.



Osborn Virtual Tour Videos
1. Introduction

Introduction to SSU’s Center for Environmental Inquiry and the Osborn Preserve: CEI, environmental readiness, SSU Preserves, Osborn Preserve


Safety: appropriate clothing, ticks, poison oak ID

2. California Fescue

Perennial Native Grasslands and Regional Biodiversity: regional biodiversity, North Coast, California perennial native grasslands, grassland biodiversity, long-lived and deep-rooted perennial bunchgrasses


California Fescue Closeup

3. Moletrack

Giant Mole Track: Osborn geology and geomorphology, volcanic rocks, basaltic, rhyolitic tuff, faults, uplift, formation of mole track

4. Douglas Fir

California Oak Woodlands: California oak woodlands, woodland productivity, acorns, oaks, nutritional value, Douglas fir, pine family, ethnobotanical uses of Douglas fir


Douglas Fir Closeup

5. Spring Box

European History and Rare Invertebrates: spring box, European history, 1870s, Syncaris pacifica, California freshwater shrimp, very rare, endangered, endemic, species discovery on the Osborn Preserve

6. Perennial Stream & Coverboard

Perennial Stream: perennial stream, spring, earthquake, change in stream flow


Coverboards: research, education, reptiles and amphibians, thigmotactic animals, animal evidence

7. Tower Look Out

Viewpoint and Weather Tower: view, types of environmental inquiry on SSU Preserves, research, education, creative inquiry, weather tower, microclimates

8. Turtle Pond

Turtle Pond Overview: Turtle Pond, western pond turtle, perennial pond, aquatic vegetation


Turtle Pond Closeup


Exploring Turtle Pond: aquatic vegetation, water fern, Azolla, duckweed, carbon sequestration, climate change


Azolla Closeup

9. Madrone

Madrone Tree: madrone, manzanita, heath family, refrigerator tree

10. Stone Circle

Stone Circle: seasonal cascade, being in nature, listening


11. FOP Plaque

Fairfield Osborn Plaque: Roth family, Fairfield Osborn, plundered planet, sustainability, more recent history of preserve, The Nature Conservancy



12. Copeland creek

Copeland Creek: perennial creek, amphibians, aquatic invertebrates, Larry Serpa, Lynn Lozier, The Nature Conservancy, aquatic biodiversity, California giant salamander, apex predator, lack of fish


Atmospheric Rivers: atmospheric river, wet season, stream flow, erosion


Copeland Creek Closeup (1): no narration, sight and sound of flowing creek, meditative


Copeland Creek Closeup (2): no narration, sight and sound of flowing creek, meditative

13. Marsh

Marsh: marsh formation, marsh vegetation, infilling, class project, class research, geomorphology, research, inquiry


European History in Marsh: legend, boat, land change, infilling, weeping willow, European history, ecofact 

14. Miner's Lettuce


Edible Plant: miners’ lettuce, Claytonia, edible, ethnobotany, taste

Miners’ Lettuce Photo

15. Grassland Coverboard

Looking Under a Coverboard: looking under a coverboard with no initial narration, exploring, finding, slender salamander, how to handle animals, “nature clean”

Slender Salamander Photo

16. Douglas fir (part 2)

Habitat Change in Oak Woodlands: California oak woodlands, Douglas fir, fire, habitat change, vegetation change, land management

17 Bay tree

California Bay Laurel: California oak woodlands, bay tree, bay leaves, ethnobotany, cooking, bay nuts, avocado, relict species, Pleistocene, sole survivor

18. Outro

End-of-Tour Reflection: being in nature, end-of-tour reflection