Search Projects

Peter Newson watering plants

Effects of fungi on soil fertility

Faculty: Nathan Rank, Martha Shott,  Melina Kozanitas
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

To assess the effectiveness of alternative fertilizers, we compared the growth rate of Solidago californica in soil treated with three different fertilizer types.

Topographic map of thistle distribution

Control of yellow star thistle

Faculty: Robin Glas, Wendy St. John
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

Studies guiding the control of yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

Oak Trees

Electromagnetic properties of diseased oaks

Faculty: Mohamed Salem, Robin Glas, Wendy St. John, Melina Kozanitas
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

Multiple studies to investigate the presence and effect of sudden oak death in local habitats. 

shrubs on study plot

Effects of oak disease on wildfire burn severity

2018 to present
Faculty: Lisa Patrick Bentley
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry, North Carolina State University, California Polytechnic State University

Evaulation of the relationship between sudden oak death severity and wildfire intensity in the 2017 Atlas/Nuns/Tubbs Fire complex.

Mavic Pro Drone

Drone support for environmental studies

2018 to present
Faculty: Owen Anfinson
Partners: Sonoma Water, Cotati Fire Department, Center for Environmental Inquiry, SSU Police Department

As one of the only certified Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) pilots on campus, I aid other SSU researchers in applying drone imaging to the study of landscape and ecological projects.

Copeland Creek diagram

Copeland Creek flood analysis

Faculty: Owen Anfinson, Michelle Goman
Partners: Sonoma County Water Agency, Center for Environmental Inquiry, Department of Transportation, Sonoma Resource Conservation District, City of Rohnert Park, City of Penngrove, City of Petaluma

Copeland Creek can jump its banks, depositing sediments where the creek empties onto the Santa Rosa plain. Flood modeling and field studies help agencies and community groups design solutions.

Cartoon artwork created at Sustainable Enterprise Conference

Envisioning a sustainable and resilient campus

Faculty: Judith Ford, Wendy St. John
Partners: North Bay Forward

We held a visioning charrette (brainstorming with intent) with 100 students to visualize the future of Sonoma State in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, natural systems, community engagement, and academic experience.

student standing in a pond with a net and bucket

Newt species identification

Faculty: Derek Girman
Partners: Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation

Morales et al 2018: Identification of newt species is a challenge for field biologists.

Student collecting soil sample

Characterization and causes of soil compaction

2016 - 2018
Faculty: Nathan Rank, Martha Shott, Jeremy Qualls, Wendy St. John, Melina Kozanitas
Partners: Crane Creek Regional Park

Soil compaction increases runoff and erosion. Students characterized and studied the cause of soil compaction at multiple sites. 

Student making a thin section from a sample of rock

Weathering and landslide susceptibility in the Copeland Creek watershed

Faculty: Laura Waters
Partners: Sonoma County Water Agency, Center for Environmental Inquiry

The upper watershed of Copeland Creek is known for its landslides, slumps and debris flows. We evaluated sites on SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve to determine how slope stability is correlated with rock type, and degree of weathering and vegetation.