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32nd Annual Planning Commisioners Conference announced - Saturday, December 5, 2015, 9:00am - 1:00pm
For Commissioners, Elected Officials, Professional Staff, and Community Members
Presented by Sonoma State’s Department of Environmental Studies & Planning, Center for Sustainable Communities, and Student Planning Association. Co-Sponsored by APA California Northern Section. An update on planning practice and law specially designed for planning commissioners, Elected Officials, Professional Staff, and Community Members.
Conference documents now available
To view documents related to this conference please visit our conference webpage -
ENSP Fall 2015 application dates for current students announced
For currently enrolled students at SSU, Fall '15, applications are being accepted from October 1 - October 30, 2015. Applications are only accepted during one or two application months each year so if you are interested, we encourage you to apply. Applications outside of the stated application months will not be accepted. Please note that even undeclared students must apply to the Department.
Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award
The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning is pleased to announce the 2014-15 recipient of the Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award is Heather Wacker. Heather's research focuses on helping to determine what habitat characteristics best predict tick abundance and disease prevalence. Her research is to assess the prevalence of ticks and relate them to population sizes of local wildlife populations. She hypothesizes that this data will be relevant in determining tick abundance as she believes that the higher the biodiversity of an area, the lower the tick count will be. She predicts that biodiversity as well as predator prey interactions will play a role in the abundance of ticks. She is particularly interested in mountain lion abundance and their occurrences and how they might influence the abundance of reservoir hosts for the pathogens causing Lyme disease. She is curious if mammalian community composition at wildlife camera stations correlate with tick abundance and prevalence of pathogens causing tick borne illness.
Robin Burton, a charismatic and dedicated teacher of agroecology and native plant propagation at SSU, recently passed away. Robin was a graduate of the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning at SSU. After graduation she went on to do field work in agriculture in Latin America as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. In addition to sharing her wealth of experienced-based insights and life philosophy with university students, Robin also passed her passion on to high school students through her work at the Orchard View Charter School in Sebastopol.
As an instructor at SSU for over a decade, Robin was loved by all for her wit, practical knowledge, and passion for all of life — but especially plants. Robin's Life Tribute was published in the Press Democrat on September 21, 2014. A second memoriam was published in Sonoma West, Sonoma County on October 8.
Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award
The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning is pleased to announce the 2013-14 recipient of the Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award is Brandon Sanders, who is also our Head Intern in the Classroom Garden. His research project will explore the agricultural history of Sonoma County, with particular emphasis on changing crops and practices in the Dry Creek region. He will be working with Lou Preston, owner of biodynamic Preston Vineyards, to connect with local land owners as well as historical documents, to see what can be learned from past agricultural practices and crop transitions that could be applied to today's efforts to farm more sustainably. Brandon's research will also provide a historic backdrop for a day-long field trip to Preston Vineyards in March 2014, as part of the annual American Society for Environmental History conference, taking place in San Francisco.
Students recognized for community work
Press Democrat reports on SSU's student-run farming group and its impact on the campus.
Faculty member inducted into the College of Fellows by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
Congratulations to Prof. Tom Jacobson who was inducted into the College of Fellows by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) as part of its 2014 National Planning Conference held in Atlanta in late April. This organization "recognizes planners who have made exceptional contributions to their communities and to the planning profession. They demonstrate outstanding achievements and excellence whether through professional practice, planning research, teaching and mentoring, or community service and leadership," said AICP President Lee Brown, FAICP. Our ENSP faculty and staff are very proud of your continuing accomplishments.
California History Article
Dr. Laura A. Watt had a new article published over Summer 2014, in the journal California History, titled "The Bay Area's Solar Salt Industry: An Unintended Conservationist." This article is co-authored with a former masters student from the CRM program on campus, Ellen Joslin Johnck -- yes, if you do research work with faculty, you too might get published! You can find the journal on-line via the Library, or email Dr. Watt for a copy if interested.
Steve Orlick Retires
Prof. Steve Orlick retired from the ENSP Department at SSU after 31 years of teaching. Steve was instrumental in establishing the Planning Concentration in Enviromental Studies and Planning and initiating the Institute for Planning Assistance (ICPA). Over the years, planning students have taken many of his classes including Senior Workshop which annually produces plans and planning documents for local communities. Our faculty, staff and students will miss Steve but know he will be stopping by or visiting as a guest lecturer. Steve will enjoy his retirement, relaxing, golfing and traveling the world while taking a few (thousand) pictures.
Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award
The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning announces the Application for the 2013-2014 Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award. All applications and supporting materials are due in the ENSP office (located at Rachel Carson 18) by Noon on Thursday, April 25th.
This award is for outstanding undergraduates engaged in projects addressing environmental issues. This award is made possible due to the generous support of Dr. Amy Glasmeier, head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and former ENSP student. One $500 award will be offered this academic year (2013-14). All ENSP majors are eligible to apply for this award. The funds must be used for project-related expenses.We encourage all students interested in applying for this award to first meet with a faculty advisor to discuss project ideas well before the proposal deadline. All applicants must have a faculty sponsor to be eligible for the award. Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award Application. Please see the application guidelines for more information or contact a faculty member within ENSP.
Announcing new ENSP faculty member!
We extend a hearty welcome to ENSP’s new full-time faculty member, Dr. Daniel Soto, who will be joining us this coming fall to lead the Energy Management and Design program.
Assistant Professor Daniel Soto comes to SSU from Columbia University, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Earth Institute working on solar micro-grids in Mali and Uganda. Daniel earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford University. He also has an M.S. in Physics from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to his return to academia, Daniel worked as an engineer at two startup companies creating optical micro-mechanical devices for laser displays and optical communications.
Daniel's teaching interests are in energy efficiency and energy generation. He enjoys teaching both large-scale issues involving energy and analysis of small-scale energy systems. The potential for energy efficient technologies and approaches to improve human wellbeing motivates his research. In the developing world, he investigates new approaches to lower economic barriers to energy access and how energy efficient appliances can lower the cost of energy access. Daniel is also interested in the use of computation and communication technologies to impact energy problems and disseminate information.
A Community Forum on meeting challenges for the healthy communties planning movement will be held on Wed., April 9, in SSU's Environmental Technology Center (ETC), from 5-6:30 pm. Details.
Mac Hart, ENSP Major and newly elected Associated Students President
Newly elected Associated Students President, Mac Hart, has big plans for Sonoma State University. Now entering his senior year at SSU, he was elected in Spring 2013. His running mate, Anthony Gallino, was elected as Executive Vice President.
Hart plans to improve upon the accountability of the Associated Students. He is dismayed by the disconnect between student representatives and the student body that elected them in the first place. Moving forward, he is also hoping to improve communication between student run organizations, as several overlap at with shared visions or goals.
"These next two semesters are so crucial for Sonoma State. With the Student Center opening and the GMC just finishing up its first year there has never been a more important time for Associated Students to guide the way, challenge the process, and enable students to act," says Hart.
Hart is entering his senior year as an Environmental Studies and Planning major. Prior to his election, he started a network of off-campus gardens selling student-grown produce to Sonoma State Dining Services. Talk about sustainability!
That endeavor started with a backyard. Hart began developing a concept for a garden, one that would utilize local unfarmed land for the purpose of growth, experimentation, cultivation and profit.
"I left about 200 notes on doors," Hart said. He circled the neighborhood adjacent to campus once, and when no one called he did it again and eventually received one call that worked. "They were skeptical and it was kind of interesting because it was this new type of relationship that I was not used to and the landowner was not used to," he said.
Once this relationship was established, Hart's garden project began to flourish. Obtaining the plot, located in a backyard in Penngrove, was just the beginning.
Early on Hart had established a connection with Dining Services at SSU, agreeing to collect the compost from the cafeteria for his garden plot. He was collecting about 30-35 gallons of compost a week, all by bicycle trailer, a truly sustainable method.
From collecting the compost, Hart was able to build relationships with the chefs and administrators, which eventually led to a business agreement. Hart went though the steps to start selling his produce to Dining Services.
Last year he grew three varieties of salad, which he combined into a product, a spring mix. He sold his spring mix to the SSU cafeteria and other dining venues on campus.
Interest in the garden idea grew as well, from a single landowner who had an agreement with Hart, to other landowners in the neighborhood. They saw what was happening in Hart's plot and came around to the idea themselves, opening up their land to other SSU students. Now Hart is able to share his knowledge of gardening with others.
Hart plans to encourage sustainability through his garden work and through his office as the Associated Students president.
Posted by Bryan Bell on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Al Zelinka, ENSP's Planner In Residence for 2013-14
Al Zelinka will be on campus for his fall visit from September 30 through August 2. Al, Community Development Director for the City of Riverside, will be visiting a number of ENSP classes, holding career coaching sessions with ENSP students, and meeting with faculty and SSU administration. In addition, he will be a featured speaker at a Community Forum on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design on Tuesday, October 1, in the ETC from 500-630pm.
ETC Hosts Advanced California Environmental Quality Act Workshop
In February, ENSP hosted the Association of Environmental Professionals' "Advanced California Environmental Quality Act Workshop" in ENSP's Environmental Technology Center. The Workshop featured presentations by three CEQA experts (including recent ENSP "Planner in Residence," Al Herson). Fifty environmental professionals attended the event, which was staffed by ENSP students, affording these students the opportunity to network with this group of practicing professionals and receive the same training as the "pros" In this photo, ENSP Professor Tom Jacobson welcomes attendees at the Association of Environmental Professionals' Advanced California Environmental Quality Act Workshop.
Announcing our new ENSP faculty member!
We extend a hearty welcome to ENSP's new full-time faculty member, Dr. Daniel Soto, who will be joining us this coming fall to lead the Energy Management and Design program.
Congratulations to our 2013 graduates
The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning are very proud of our graduates and their many accomplishments. While we are sad to see our graduates leave, we know they also represent tremendous hope for our world. We wish you success in the coming years and hope that you will stay in touch.
The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning (ENSP) is pleased to announce the Glasmeier Research and Writing Award for outstanding undergraduates engaged in projects addressing environmentally-related issues. One $500 award will be offered this coming academic year (2013/14). All ENSP majors are eligible to apply for this award. Applications are due at Noon, in RCH 18, (ENSP Office) on Thursday, April 25th.
Sustainable Landscape Certificate Program - No longer available
This certificate program is designed with the working professional in mind and the non-professional who has a passion and strong interest in sustainability and landscaping. It is a 6-month program focused on developing the skills and resources necessary to enable sustainability-based decision making within a corporate, institutional, municipal, or individual site setting. Graduates of this program will be able to work with owners, project managers, architects and contractors in a new construction, renovation or on-going maintenance setting. Graduates will facilitate the design and implementation of the many strategies covered in the program.
Sonoma State University’s 29th Annual Planning Commissioners Conference Saturday, December 1, 2012 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Presented by SSU’s Department of Environmental Studies & Planning, Center for Sustainable Communities, and Student Planning Association. An update on planning practice and law specially designed for planning commissioners and agency staff. The seminar handouts were: California's Efforts to Support a Sustainable North Bay (and Beyond) by Mike McCoy; Center for Sustainable Communities -- Projects Update: Healthy communities, sustainability planning, reducing GHG emissions, low impact development by Alex Hinds and Wayne Goldberg; Planning for Housing in an SB 375 World by Cathy Creswell; and Rethinking Water Friendly Development Practices by Elizabeth Patterson and Josiah Cain.
Our Center for Sustainability Communities has received several new grants focusing on planning for climate change and the role of water in low-impact development planning.
Our department chair (Dr. Rocky Rohwedder) recently gave a TED talk on "Ecological Handprints: Lifting Humanity While Lowering Our Footprint."
Welcome back Prof. Tom Jacobson from your year-long sabbatical.
2012 Udall Scholar award
Belated congratulations to Ingrid Stearns, an ENSP Conservation and Restoration student, and recipient of the 2012 Udall Scholar award. This summer, all Udall Scholars assembled in Tucson, Ariz., to receive their awards and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance. Ingrid, congratulations on your achievement.
Association of Environmental Professionals talk
"Preparing for a Career in the Environmental Professions", an upcoming noon program (Thursday, September 20) brought to us from the San Francisco Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals. All ENSP students -- all study plans and all years -- are welcome and encouraged to attend. Learn what you can be doing now to choose and get ready for an environmental career.
Sonoma State University’s 28th Annual Planning Commissioners Conference Saturday, December 3, 2011 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Presented by SSU’s Department of Environmental Studies & Planning, Center for Sustainable Communities, and Student Planning Association. An update on planning practice and law specially designed for planning commissioners and agency staff. The 2011 SSU PC Conference Flyer and registration form are now available. Recognizing the ongoing fiscal challenges facing many local governments, we are maintaining our reduced registration fee this year at $75 per person and not providing lunch at the end of the day’s program. We hope this helps and we’ll see you in December.
Our dear friend and colleague, Prof. Steve Norwick passed away after being struck by a passing vehicle while riding his bicycle down Petaluma Hill Road on June 8. Steve just retired from the Environmental Studies & Planning Department after 38 years of teaching. A memorial service for Prof. Norwick will be held on the SSU campus at the lakes area at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. The event is planned as a celebration of his life for family, friends, colleagues, students and former students.
Faculty member joins California Institute for Energy and the Environment
Sascha von Meier is now working at the California Institute for Energy and the Environment, helping to coordinate research related to the smart grid. We miss her dearly and wish all the best in this exciting new role.
SSU Environmental Technology Center Anniversary
Join us for the 10-Year Anniversary Celebration of the SSU Environmental Technology Center, Friday, April 20th from 3:30 - 5:30 pm. We will have tour guides for gardens and the building, refreshments, a photographic art show on sustainable food and farming, and more! This is part of the campus-wide EarthWeek celebration.
Planning Workshop Presentation 2012
SSU's 2012 Planning Workshop presents the Sonoma County Airport and Environs Area Plan on Thursday, May 3rd from 7 - 9 pm at the Sonoma County Water Agency.
SSU's 2012 Planning Workshop presents the Existing Conditions Report for the Sonoma County Airport area on Thursday, February 16 from 7 - 9 pm at the Sonoma County Water Agency.
California Chapter of the American Planning Association Award
Our Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) has received the Academic Achievement Award from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association for Healthy by Design: A Public Policy and Land Use Planning Workbook. This project which involved four of our students as research assistants, was a collaboration between the CSC, planning directors from the County of Sonoma and all the cities in the county, the Sonoma County Dept. of Health Services, the County's Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and others. If you would like to see the workbook itself, it's on-line at www.healthysonoma.org.
William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
Natalie Hambalek, a biology major with a minor in environmental studies and planning, has been named a recipient of the William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement. This award is among the highest forms of recognition for student achievement in the CSU.Recipients have demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success. Congratulations, Natalie.
Sonoma State University's 28th Annual Planning Commissioners Conference was held on Saturday, December 3, 2011 in the Cooperage from 9 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
This event is presented by SSU's Department of Environmental Studies & Planning, Center for Sustainable Communities, and the Student Planning Association. The seminar handouts were: Effective Communication for Planning Commissioners by Janet Ruggiero, FAICP; How to Review a Development Proposal by Mike Moore; Suggestions for Success by Wayne Goldberg.
Change to Major/minor requirements
ENSP 200, Global Environmental Issues, is an introductory survey course intended primarily for lower-division students who need to complete the D5 General Education requirement as well as those without a background in global environmental issues. Due to limited funding and related seat availability, as well as departmental curricular adjustments, ENSP 200 will no longer be required for admittance to the major, effective Fall 2011. In addition, this course will no longer be a requirement for the BA or BS degree in Environmental Studies and Planning. Departmental publications will be updated accordingly before the start of the Fall 2011 semester.
ENSP Graduate is 2011 Commencement Speaker
Daisy Meyer, ENSP Major in Outdoor Leadership, was selected as the student speaker at the 3 p.m. ceremony of Sonoma State University's 50th Annual Commencement on May 28. After graduation, she looks forward to joining the Peace Corps. Daisy, good luck and congratulations.
Congratulations to our ENSP Spring 2011 graduates. We wish you well.
Glasmeier Research and Writing Award 2010-11 Awarded
Congratulations to Heidi van de Wouw, this year's recipient of the Glasmeier Award! Heidi's project is titled "Reducing the toxicity of chromium in polluted soil" and she will be working with Dr. Stephen Norwick in the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and Dr. Carmen Works in the Chemistry Department.
Faculty member publishes new book
Prof. Laura Watt's review of a new book about national parks entitled Review of Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of National Parks by William C. Tweed was published last week in the High Country News, a national news magazine on western environmental issues.
Planning Workshop Presentation 2011
The Senior Planning Workshop students in the Environmental Studies and Planning Dept. are presenting their research on planning the next fifty years including a downtown central area plan for Rohnert Park on Thursday, May 19, at 7 pm in the Rohnert Park City Hall Council Chambers on 130 Avram Avenue.
ENSP student publishes papers
ENSP student Amanda Artz, currently a senior in the Conservation and Restoration (track 2) study plan, had a fantastic internship last summer with Esri, the company that makes many of the big GIS software programs and etc. -- and not only did she get a great internship (paid!) experience, she also is now a published author -- two of her articles, one on wildlife corridors, the other on the Save-the-Redwoods League here in California, have been published this Fall in Esri's journal ArcNews, (Vol, 32, No. 3, pages 27 and 29), and the latter has been re-published in their on-line magazine ArcWatch.
Congratulations to Amanda for doing such excellent work, and an extra bravo for getting published!!!
Semester at Sea 2010
Prof. Rocky Rohwedder is on sabbatical this year. In his absence Prof. Tom Jacobson will be advising the Environmental Education and Outdoor Leadership students. During Fall semester 2010 he was teaching for The University of Virginia as a faculty member with their Semester at Sea program. Rocky blogged about his round-the-world voyage so visit www.sonoma.edu/ensp/rocky and check out his sabbatical research project at www.ecologicalhandprints.org
Planning Workshop Presentation 2010
The Senior Planning Workshop students in the Environmental Studies and Planning Dept. are presenting their research on planning issues in Rohnert Park on Thursday, February 17, 7 pm in the Rohnert Park City Hall Council Chambers.
Glasmeier Research and Writing Award 2010-11
Now accepting proposals for the 2010-2011 Glasmeier Undergraduate Research Award The Glasmeier Research Award was established in 2007 for outstanding undergraduates engaged in projects addressing pressing environmental issues. Two awards of $500 each will be offered this year. Proposals are due November 15, 2010.
Sonoma State University’s, 27th Annual Planning Commissioners Conference, Saturday, December 4, 2010, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Sonoma State University’s 26th Annual Planning Commissioners Conference Saturday, December 5, 2009 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Presented by SSU’s Department of Environmental Studies & Planning, Center for Sustainable Communities, and Student Planning Association An update on planning practice and law specially designed for planning commissioners and agency staff Watch for registration materials Recognizing the ongoing fiscal challenges facing many local governments, we are maintaining our reduced registration fee this year at $75 per person and not providing lunch at the end of the day’s program. We hope this helps and we’ll see you in December.
Practical approaches to today's planning challenges: Effective city council-planning commission-staff relations Planning for planning commission success;
CEQA, general plans, global warming, and local government action;
What does SB 375 really mean for local planning and livable communities?;
Climate change and planning: bringing it home to the North Bay;
The land use/public health connection: Preview of a new project in Sonoma County
Faculty Photography Exhibit
SSU News Center announced The Annenberg Space for Photography Fresh Water Exhibit Featuring Photographs by Prof. Laura Watt. In honor of Earth Day, a one-day special presentation slideshow will feature 30 of Watt’s photographs. The exhibit runs through June 13.
Joe Armstrong, ENSP adjunct faculty member for many years, recently passed away at his beloved homestead in Healdsburg, CA. Joe was a major force behind our innovative academic program in Energy Management and Design, as well as the heart of the campus organic garden. "The Compost King'" (as he often called himself) will be missed, but the impact of his life on all of us will never be forgotten. Here is a link to an article on Joe in the local Press Democrat.
Sustainable Enterprise Conference
Professors Alexandra "Sascha" von Meier, environmental studies and planning, and Robert Girling, business will be speakers at the upcoming fifth annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference on Fri., May 7 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park. Professor Laura A. Watt recently had a letter to the editor published on-line in The Nation, relating to her research work about wilderness management at Point Reyes.
ENSP Graduate is 2009 Commencement Speaker
Adam Williams, ENSP Graduate, Speaks at 2009 Commencement.
Congratulations to our Environmental Studies and Planning graduates. Our faculty and staff are proud of your achievements. Stay in touch.
Glasmeier Research and Writing Award 2009-10
Applications for Glasmeier Research and Writing Award now available. Due on Thursday, February 18th at Noon. Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning announces the Application for the 2009-2010 Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award. All applications and supporting materials are due in the ENSP office (located at Rachel Carson 18) by no later than: 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2010. Overview of the Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award: This award is for outstanding undergraduates engaged in projects addressing environmental issues. This award is made possible due to the generous support of Dr. Amy Glasmeier, head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and former ENSP student. A total of $500 will be offered this year. All ENSP majors are eligible to apply for this award. The funds must be used for project-related expenses, including travel to conferences, travel for research-related expenses, lodging, materials, equipment, etc. We encourage all students interested in applying for this award to first meet with a faculty advisor to discuss project ideas well before the proposal deadline. All applicants must have a faculty sponsor to be eligible for the award. Please see the application guidelines for more information or contact a faculty member within ENSP.
Employment opportunities for ENSP graduates
Semester at Sea 2009
Faculty member receives 2008 Northern Section APACA award
Celebrating the Life of Ken Stocking
A campus celebration in memory of Kenneth Stocking, professor emeritus of environmental studies, takes place Sat., April 25 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Environmental Technology Center . Stocking, who passed away last November at the age of 97, began his career at Sonoma State in 1964. During his 15 years with the university, Stocking was professor and chair of the Biology Department, founded the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning, and started the botanical garden near the lakes which still bears his name. The April 25 ceremony includes "light refreshments, a walk through campus to see some of Ken's legacy, other stories about Ken, reacquainting with fellow ENSP alumni, and a toast to the life of Dr. Ken Stocking.http://www.sonoma.edu/pubs/nb/2009/04_24/ http://www.sonoma.edu/ensp/news/StockingMemorial.htm
Staff Excelence Award 2007-2008
Congratulations to Jo-Ann Dunn-Smith, Environmental Studies and Planning, for receiving the Staff Excellence Award for 2007-2008. She and John-Scott Forester, Art Department , were honored at Staff Appreciation Day. For details on their professional contributions, visit http://www.sonoma.edu/es/recognition/past_excellence_recipients.html