Riparian Restoration Projects
Spring 2014 - Present
The Land Management Program prepares 20 students each Spring semester to work on ecological restoration projects at partner sites in Sonoma County. With WATERS support, a watershed unit was introduced into the program and included training in riparian restoration strategies and watershed management principles and skils. Partner organizations provided training and supervised students at work sites. Some students in the program additionally undertook independent watershed related research projects.
- Staff: Suzanne DeCoursey (SSU Preserves)
- Partners: Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, UC Davis Bodega Marine Reserve, Fairfield Osborn Preserve, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and Pepperwood Preserve
Students documented insect biodiversity at three sites slated for restoration in the City of Santa Rosa: Colgan Creek, Fresno Avernue Migration Corridor Preserve, and Samuel P Jones Shelter and Community Center. These data will serve as a baseline for comparison with future studies that determine how restoration efforts affect insect biodiversity.
- Faculty: Fran Keller (Biology)
- Partners: City of Santa Rosa
New riparian management techniques are focused on promoting native species diversity and maintaining flood capacity. These techniques include removing and controlling non-native blackberry, active restoration of native plant species, limbing the lower branches of existing trees to promote taller, shadier canopies and to allow maximum flow during floods. Do these techniques meet the multiple objectives of controlling floods and increasing the abundance of native species? What are the effects on other organisms (e.g., birds and fish)? Can successional processes be ‘fast-forwarded’ to result in taller, shadier, riparian communities with an understory dominated by native plant cover?
- Faculty: Caroline Christian (Environmental Studies and Planning)
- Partners: SCWA
Vegetation measurements of this project are part of a separate SCWA-SSU contract to Caroline Christian
Stewardship and restoration of watercourses requires physical activity to clean up refuse, maintain paths, plant natives, and remove invasive species. At the same time, these activities can potentially improve the health of participants. This project examines the effects of self - paced restoration activities on heart rate and metabolism.
- Faculty: Bulent Sokmen (Kinesiology)
- Partners: City of Rohnert Park, SSU Preserves, SSU Garden Classroom
Blackberry Control on Copeland Creek
Himilayan blackberry is a common invasive on the banks of Copeland Creek from the headwaters to the Laguna. A variety of control efforts are underway. WATERS sponsors summer crews from the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps who work at a variety of locations, including SSU campus and at SSU's Fairfield Osborn Preserve.
- Staff: Suzanne DeCoursey (SSU Preserves), Craig Dawson (SSU Facilities)
- Partners: Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps