2013-14 Highlights

See 2013-14 Accomplishments for more details

  • 286 students participated in 21 WATERS projects with 12 faculty. Participants included students in 14 courses, 9 departments, and 3 schools.  Students engaged in service-learning, independent research, senior capstone projects and student assistantships.  
  • WATERS supported two events that engaged approximately 250 students, faculty, staff and community members: 2014 SSU Science Symposium and lecture from the Marin Carbon Project
  • Staff from 12 organizations worked with faculty and students on WATERS projects: City of Santa Rosa, City of Rohnert Park, Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, Center for Environmental Inquiry, SSU Garden Classroom, SSU Facilities, SSU Sustainability Executive Committee, Pepperwood Preserve, Marin Carbon Project, Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps
  • WATERS collaborated with the Sustainability Executive Committee to launch the "Sustainability in the Classroom" program which provided $6,000 (50% from GMC Academic Integration Funding – PI Paul Draper) and 50% from WATERS) to support faculty interested in incorporating sustainability and water-related service-learning projects into course curricula. Three course development projects were awarded during 2013-14.
  • $63,834 in matching funds supported WATERS projects
  • PG&E donated high-density lidar covering 400 acres in the headwaters of Copeland Creek. The data are unparalleled in detail, providing lidar at 40 pts per square meter (recent county lidar coverage is at 8 pts per square meter), and creating an important resource for research on erosional processes and vegetation analysis. Data covers 411 acres of the Fairfield Osborn Preserve and was flown on April 2013.
  • WATERS supported 2 grant applications: $160,000 from EPA Pollution Prevention Grant Program for student project support; climate monitoring equipment for the upper watershed from an NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program.

Riparian Restoration    

  • A watershed management training unit was introduced into the Center for Environmental Inquiry's Land Management Internship program and included training in riparian restoration strategies and watershed management principles and skills. CEI Land Management Training Program       
  • Insect surveys at 3 City of Santa Rosa restoration sites established pre-project biodiversity baseline. Insect Biodiversity Monitoring at Riparian Restoration Sites in the City of Santa Rosa
  • People engaging in self-paced restoration activities (e.g., shoveling, raking, carrying dirt in a wheelbarrow, and placing leaves into a container) showed similar reductions in blood pressure to people walking, but they burned more calories and sustained higher heart rates. Copeland Creek Riparian Restoration Exercise Project
  • Center for Environmental Inquiry and SSU Facilities hosted the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps to remove Himalayan blackberry on campus and the Fairfield Osborn Preserve. Blackberry Control on Copeland Creek     
  • Freshmen gathered data on 4 watershed issues in the headwaters of Copeland Creek: water quality, blackberry removal techniques, drought documentation, and terrestrial invertebrate responses to moisture gradients.        

Water Quality

Water Availability and Use