Water Quality and Technology

michael cohenMike Cohen, Professor, Biology Department, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-3413; cohenm@sonoma.edu; website

Area of Water Expertise: Environmental microbiology, constructed wetlands, bioremediation, anaerobic digestion of aquatic weeds. 

Water-Related Courses Taught: Bacteriology (BIOL 340), Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (BIOL 338)

Water-Related Research: A Fuel from Aquatic Biomass (FAB) research program conducted in collaboration with the City of Santa Rosa Laguna Treatment Plant from 2007 to 2012 explored three primary lines of investigation:
(1) utilization of native aquatic vegetation to ‘polish’ treated wastewater by removing nutrients and man-made pollutants;
(2) biofuel production via anaerobic digestion of harvested aquatic vegetation in combination with agricultural waste; and
(3) application of spent digestate as a soil amendment to promote plant growth and suppress root disease.

Water-Related Community Connections: I have worked for many years with City of Santa Rosa on water treatment.


michael cohenJacquelyn Guilford, Lecturer, Environmental Studies and Planning, SSU

Contact: (717) 350-4936; guilforj@sonoma.edu

Area of Water Expertise: Water Quality 

Water-Related Courses Taught: Sustainable Water Technology and Toxicology (ENSP 450); CEI Watershed Research Internship Program

Water-Related Research: Studying nutrient loading in Copeland Creek and the Laguna de Santa Rosa

Water-Related Community Connections: Sonoma County Water Agency, City of Santa Rosa Laguna Treatment Plant


mark perri

Mark Perri, Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-2440; mark.perri@sonoma.edu; no website

Area of Water Expertise: atmospheric chemistry; water quality

Water-Related Courses Taught: General Chemistry with Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 125B)

Water-Related Research: We study chemistry that takes place in our atmosphere, as well as anthropogenic influences on our local watershed, e.g. nitrate, phosphate, dissolved oxygen, and hydrocarbons.

Water-Related Community Connections: None

jeremy qualls

Jeremy Qualls, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, SSU

Contact: (707) 484-9269; quallsj@sonoma.edu; website

Area of Water Expertise: freshman course development focused on watershed issues; hydrophilic material development; thermodynamics (towards heat systems and cryogenics); air to water collection methods with low electrical footprints; novel filtration methods of air and water

Water-Related Courses Taught (if applicable): Sustainability in My World (SCI 120)

Water-Related Research: Current water related research involves novel methods to harvest water from the air and developing new hydrophilic nanofibers.

Water-Related Community Connections: If bulk air to water methods are successful, community partners will be needed to test implement large water collectors in various locations around the region.


jeremy qualls

Russ Scarola, Adjunct Professor, Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, SSU

Contact: (707) 235-4883; rscarola@gmail.com

Area of Water Expertise: chemistry; art and science integration

Water-Related Courses Taught (if applicable): LIBS 202 Challenge and Response in the Modern World

Water-Related Community Connections: As part of LIBS 202, I lead the class in water quality monitoring of Copeland Creek. I'm also active in The Share Exchange and serve as Chir of the Board of Directors for the Santa Rosa Tool Library. 


jeremy qualls

Tamas Torok, Visiting Professor from Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Biology, SSU

Contact: (707) 235-4883; rscarola@gmail.com

Area of Water Expertise: microbial diversity in extreme environments

Water-Related Courses Taught: BIOL 240 General Microbiology

Water-Related Community Connections: I worked with the Center for Environmental Inqury and Mike Cohen to incorporate bacteria monitoring study of campus ponds into the General Microbiology course.