Currently at the Center for Environmental Inquiry


Announcing the Center for Environmental Inquiry!

We are pleased to announce the launch of Sonoma State University’s new Center for Environmental Inquiry. The Center will oversee and expand programs at SSU’s three preserves – the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, Fairfield Osborn Preserve, and Los Guillicos Preserve – while also increasing access to resources and technology for students, faculty and regional employers. Dr. Claudia Luke, who is currently director of the SSU Preserves, will serve as director of the Center. You can see a sneak peak of our new graphic mark to the left. Learn more at: SSU New Center: SSU Expands Nature Preserves With Launch of Center for Environmental Inquiry



Congrats to the Class of 2015

We are pleased to announce the 2015 graduating class of Naturalists and Land Managers!  The Naturalist training program at the Osborn preserve is the longest running program of its kind in Sonoma County and has turned out over 1600 naturalists since its inception.  To learn more and/or sign up for next year’s program: Docent Naturalist Training or Land Management Training.



Check Out Our New Interactive Maps

We now have an on-line interactive mapping program for students, faculty and researchers conducting projects at the Osborn Preserve. The map allows users to turn on and off data layers from the Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and LiDAR Program (hillshade, aerial imagery) with Osborn Preserve boundaries, drainages, ponds, and access layers. You can see the map here: Osborn On-line Interactive GIS.




Photo credit: Website images are available at the Preserve Gallery or Sonoma Preserves Photo Group unless otherwise indicated.

August 2015

Docent Naturalist Training Program

Aug 31-Sept 8: Required informational Meetings for the Osborn Naturalist Training are held Aug 31 (Mon), Sept 1 (Tue), Sept 2 (Wed), Sept 3 (Thu), and Sept 8 (Tue). All meetings are 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Room 101, Darwin Hall, SSU Campus. The training is open to students and community members. Contact Us for more information about how to participate.


September 2015

Docent Naturalist Training Program

Aug 31-Sept 8: Required informational Meetings for the Osborn Naturalist Training are held Aug 31 (Mon), Sept 1 (Tue), Sept 2 (Wed), Sept 3 (Thu), and Sept 8 (Tue). All meetings are 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Room 101, Darwin Hall, SSU Campus. The training is open to students and community members. Contact Us for more information about how to participate.

Sept 9 (Wed): Registration Deadline

Sept 13-Oct 11 (Sundays): Training Days for registered participants occur on five consecutive Sundays (Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 11) from 9 am to 5 pm at the Osborn Preserve.

Osborn Elementary School Tour Program

Sept 21 (Mon): Applications Due - Elementary schools interested in tours of the Osborn Preserve must register by this date.

Sept 23 (Mon): Notification of lottery results for elementary school applicants to the program.


October 2015

Docent Naturalist Training Program

Sept 13-Oct 11 (Sundays): Training Days for registered participants occur on five consecutive Sundays (Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 11) from 9 am to 5 pm at the Osborn Preserve.

Osborn Elementary School Tour Program

Oct 22-Dec 4: Elementary School Tours (for lottery winners only) occur Thursdays & Fridays from 9:45 am - 2:00 pm.

Public Hikes at Osborn Preserve

Oct 17-Dec 5 (Saturdays only): The public is welcome to join Saturday tours without a reservation starting Oct 17. Meet at 10:00 am on Saturdays at the Osborn Preserve parking lot.


November 2015

Osborn Elementary School Tour Program

Oct 22-Dec 4: Elementary School Tours (for lottery winners only) occur Thursdays & Fridays from 9:45 am - 2:00 pm.

Public Hikes at Osborn Preserve

Oct 17-Dec 5 (Saturdays only): The public is welcome to join Saturday tours without a reservation starting Oct 17. Meet at 10:00 am on Saturdays at the Osborn Preserve parking lot.


December 2015

Osborn Elementary School Tour Program

Oct 22-Dec 4: Elementary School Tours (for lottery winners only) occur Thursdays & Fridays from 9:45 am - 2:00 pm.

Public Hikes at Osborn Preserve

Oct 17-Dec 5 (Saturdays only): The public is welcome to join Saturday tours without a reservation starting Oct 17. Meet at 10:00 am on Saturdays at the Osborn Preserve parking lot.

Welcome to SSU's outdoor classrooms. We welcome visitors of all ages and affiliations engaged in research and education. Explore our preserves, Programs and Projects at each of the links below. If you like what you see and would like to get involved, please consider a donation to the Center. Over 50% of our annual budget is supported by donors.


Preserves

Los Guillicos, Osborn and Galbreath Preserves are in the Mayacama, Sonoma, and Inner Coast ranges of California's North Coast and range in size from 40 to 3,600 acres. Each Preserve is a unique blend of environment, culture and economy that create opportunities for teaching, research, and community engagement in the liberal arts and sciences. Reservations are required - see Visit a Preserve for details.




Programs

Preserve-sponsored programs engage learners of all ages and focus on environmental education, watersheds, and land management. We prioritize hands-on learning.




Projects

At each of our preserves, we collaborate on projects with organizations, students, faculty and community members to address regional environmental challenges. Independent research by persons of any affiliation is encouraged. Resulting data (see Info Hub) are shared with agencies and other stakeholders. To learn more about on-going projects, visit Preserve Project pages: (Osborn Projects, Galbreath Projects).


This year, I learned the term “wicked problem.” The phrase defines a problem that is difficult to solve because of incomplete information, nondefinitive solutions, and complex interdependencies. In a Policy Science journal article in 2012, Levin et al. coined the term "superwicked problem” to characterize the challenge of global climate change. How do we prepare students to grapple with such complex issues?

The Center's preserves are SSU's outdoor classrooms. Preserve programs create the hands-on learning experiences that challenge students to deal with the complexities and inconsistencies that characterize real-world problems. Everything we do at our preserves - operations, management, data, and programs - is an opportunity to seek student involvement and input in finding new solutions. In the past 3 years, we have collaboratively developed projects with students and faculty in the performing arts, business, history, engineering, computer science, geography and the life sciences. (See InfoHub/Projects).

Each of our three preserves provide unlimited opportunities for discovery and learning in economy, culture and environment. These sites can be the inspiration for acquiring skills and motivation needed to embrace multi-disciplinary solutions that will characterize the Century of the Environment.

Dr. Claudia Luke
Director, Center for Emvironmental Inquiry