Get to Know Tree-Killing Bugs (Osborn)

For the past decade, California’s forests have been experiencing unprecedented levels of tree mortality due to drought and invasions of non-native pests. Sonoma County’s Valley oaks are currently being attacked by the invasive Mediterranean Oak Borer, and pines and firs are declining due to increased attacks by beetles that are native to California. While no evidence of Mediterranean Oak Borer has been detected at Osborn Preserve, just miles away it has. Further, the sustained drought conditions have weakened many trees and shrubs, causing them to be more susceptible to attack, decline and potentially death, from insects and diseases. In this program you will learn about native and non-native pests and diseases like Sudden Oak Death, how to recognize them, and what you can do to stop their spread.


  • Curtis Ewing, Forest Entomology and Pathology Senior Environmental Scientist for Northern California, CalFire
  • Chris Lee, Pathologist for the Northern California coastal area, CalFire


Fairfield Osborn Preserve is a 15-minute drive from Sonoma State's main campus, on Lichau Road in Penngrove. Parking is limited so please consider carpooling. Driving directions will be provided in your registration confirmation and email.

The maximum hike will be 3 miles with a 500-foot elevation gain, adaptable to participant abilities with advanced notice.

Participants must sign a waiver upon arrival. All minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian. Pets and smoking are not permitted.

A restroom, sink for handwashing and potable water are available on site. This is a rain or shine event.

COVID-19 Safety

All staff are vaccinated. 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. You are highly encouraged to get vaccinate and properly wear a mask when indoors (e.g., while driving in carpools). We will spend all of our time outdoors where social distancing is possible. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

Please bring a suitable mask to wear while inside or carpooling. Wear a hat, sturdy shoes for hiking, long pants & sleeves, and sun and insect protection. Poison oak and ticks are present. Bring water and a snack.

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each person should register separately. This event is free of charge.

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.

Fairfield Osborn Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Phone
Contact Name
Kerry Wininger
Date & Time Registration Link
Sunday, April, 23, 2023, 2:00pm to 5:00pm