SSU Preserves creates opportunities for collaborative research, management and education that enhance appreciation and understanding of the earth and human-environment interactions. We prioritize projects that enhance communication across disciplines and professions, and seek extramural funding to spark innovative new approaches to societal challenges. With all of our projects, we seek to engage students in all aspects of these enterprises to provide real-world experiences.
Engineering Student Projects- Each year, engineering students in IT technology create a senior thesis that addresses real-world issues at our Preserves is sensor data gathering and distribution.
Collaborators: Farid Farahmand, Engineering Funding: Please consider sponsoring a student project!
Master Plan for a Galbreath Preserve Field Station
With the generous support of Bob and Sue Johnson, we have begun a Master Plan for facilities at the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve. RIM Architects will be working with us to design a suite a buildings that attracts faculty, students and researchers to study and learn about the lands of the Preserve. Energy efficient overnight facilities, laboratories, meeting rooms, as well as an environmental sensor network with astronomical observatory are goals of the planning effort. Stay tuned for more on this exciting planning effort!
Coastal Prairie Enhancement Feasibility Study
Coastal grasslands are some of the least well-known and least protected of California's plant communities. The Coastal Prairie Enhancement Study will prepare educational materials, undertake new approaches to grassland mapping, and target the control of velvet grass (Holcus lanatus) at five sites in Sonoma and Marin counties. The SSU Preserves are assisting in the development of coastal grassland education materials.
Collaborators: Ocean Song Farm and Wilderness Center, Sonoma State University, UC Davis Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis Center for Spatial Technology and Remote Sensing, California Native Plant Society, California Department of Fish and Game's Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program, UC Bodega Marine Reserve, California State Parks, Bodega Pastures, Sonoma Land Trust, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Funding: Ocean Song Farm and Wilderness Center with funding from California State Coastal Conservancy, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, UC Natural Reserve System, UC Davis Office of Research
Weed Management Planning at the Osborn Preserve
Maintaining natural processes on the nearly 4,000 acres of wildlands at our Preserves requires a careful assessment of risks, opportunities and resources. SSU Restoration Ecology students, under the direction of Professor Caroline Christian, are drafting the first weed management plan for the Fairfield Osborn Preserve.
Collaborators: SSU students, Caroline Christian Funding: SSU Field Stations & Nature Preserves, TBD
Sediment Prevention Planning in the Navarro Watershed, Galbreath Preserve
Road related sediments are a non-point source pollutant detrimental to Coho salmon and steelhead trout. To evaluate the effect of roads and trails on sediment levels in stream environments, we conducted a preliminary assessment and prescription for Preserve roads.
Collaborators: Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Pacific Watershed Associates Funding: The California Coastal Conservancy
Copeland Creek Historical Hydrology Pilot Project
Copeland Creek, which runs through the Fairfield Osborn Preserve and the SSU Campus, has been chosen as the focus of a pilot project to better understand historical hydrology of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The first step in restoring the Laguna's watershed is to develop a historical hydrology map of Copeland Creek to gain insights into how natural patterns have been altered by human activities, suggest ways to restore and enhance them, and help identity priority sites for protection.
Collaborators: Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma County Water Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and SSU Field Stations & Nature Preserves. Funding: San Francisco Bay Joint Venture
North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative
The North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative is a group of natural resource managers and ecologists formed during the 2009 State of the Laguna Conference. Members are experts and community leaders from a range of natural resource science and management fields critical to understanding the climate adaptation challenge and options for action. Three working groups arose from the conference, representing the science, policy, and stewardship aspects of responding to climate change. Three working groups arose from the conference, representing the science, policy, and stewardship aspects of responding to climate change. Through the actions and outcomes of these working groups and the utilization of the SF Conservation Commons Sonoma County's community of resource managers, scientists, farmers and private stakeholders can begin to collaborate on implementing climate adaptation strategies tailored to protect the hydrology, habitats, and local communities of Sonoma County watersheds.
Collaborators: Laguna Foundation Funding: TBD
Sonoma Environment Education Collaborative (SEEC)
SSU Preserves is working with other educators on an innovative planning effort that will enhance SSU's capacity to provide expertise and student internships across Sonoma County. SEEC undertakes its mission by identifying and addressing regional needs for environmental education beyond the scope of individual organizations. The collaborative identifies gaps in existing resources and activities, considers how existing resources can be better leveraged to achieve common goals, and seeks new resources for collaborative projects that enhance existing infrastructure and programs. Collaborators: Laguna Foundation, LandPaths, Audubon Canyon Ranch, Sonoma Ecology Center, Lynmar Wineries Funding: TBD