Galbreath Sudden Oak Death Blitz

Help control this destructive forest pathogen! Now in its 15th year, this statewide citizen science project is vital to managing Sudden Oak Death, which is widespread in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. We are particularly concerned about the possibility of the more virulent EU1 strain of the pathogen infecting tanoaks at Galbreath Preserve. Join us to contribute to science and help the preserve, while getting your own bay laurel or tanoak trees tested at no cost.


  • Alan Chesterman, SOD Specialist, UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County

This project is part of a statewide survey to help scientists understand the prevalence and spread of this dangerous pathogen. All of the samples brought in will be tested and results collated and entered in a database that will form the basis for further action to be taken throughout the state. Help us save our oak trees. Learn more at 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. 


We will meet at the Yorkville Post Office for a short presentation and demo about the pathogen, past blitz findings, and how to collect. We will then open it up for Q&A, where you can get clarification about what you've learned and how to successfully collect leaves. 

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’ll meet back at the post office to turn in collection packets, share our experiences and get questions answered. 

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, or you may take sampling packets home with you after the event to mail in no later than Tuesday. Contact for detailed instructions.

Collected samples will be driven to the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Lab for analysis, and participants can see results online in late summer at Participants are invited to a meeting in early fall held by UC Berkeley experts to discuss results and learn about management options for Sudden Oak Death.


You must complete a 30 minute online training before attending this event, which will cover safety, SOD basics, symptoms found on Tanoak and California Bay Laurel leaves, and sampling protocols. These will help you understand the characteristics of the pathogen and how to recognize the symptoms.

We will meet at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Yorkville Post Office on Highway 128 where we will hear a short presentation then form carpools to caravan to the preserve. 

You will be asked to sign a waiver upon your arrival. This event is recommended for adults, or ages 10 and up with adult guidance. Children (age 17 and under) MUST be accompanied by a legal guardian or a group leader who can legally take on that role (e.g., Girl Scout group).

This event is free of charge. No pets or smoking permitted. 

COVID-19 Safety

At registration, you will be asked if you can provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. All staff are fully vaccinated and boosted. 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. SSU requires that you must properly wear a mask when indoors (e.g., carpooling), even if you are vaccinated. Bandanas, gaiters or vented masks are not suitable. We will spend our time outdoors where social distancing is possible. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

You must bring a 4- or all-wheel drive vehicle, or park at the post office then be a passenger in another vehicle that will drive up to and within the preserve. All attendees must wear a suitable mask while in vehicles.

Please bring a suitable mask, at least 1 liter of water to drink, sun and insect protection, lunch and shoes to hike in. There is a restroom available at the Galbreath Preserve, but no drinking water. Layered clothing and long pants are recommended. We will be walking on a rocky road that has varied terrain to accommodate different levels of fitness.  

All equipment will be provided and there is no previous experience or knowledge about Sudden Oak Death is required.

How to Sign Up

Register at the link below. Please have each adult attending register separately, and indicate how many children will be attending with you.

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
Sunday, May, 1, 2022, 9:00am to 1:00pm