September 19, 2007

Sacramento State, USGS conference
celebrates 10-year partnership

Sacramento State and the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center will celebrate 10 years of partnership with a research conference 8 a.m., Friday Sept. 28 in the Alumni Center.

The conference, titled Cooperative Science: Collaboration and Discovery, will focus on the history of the collaboration, review the array of projects and activities underway and discuss new trends and opportunities for joint research. Sacramento State faculty and USGS research scientists will also discuss river science, water quality, geology and hydrology, as well as data sets and instrumentation.

“This is an important event, not only because it symbolizes an important milestone to the communities and constituencies we serve, but also because it affords us a tremendous opportunity to review our history and thus plan for our future together,” says David Earwicker, Sacramento State’s assistant vice president of Research Administration and Contract Administration.

In July 1994, Sacramento State and the USGS entered into a formal agreement to cooperate in establishing and operating a research facility on the campus. It was the first time a district office of the USGS had agreed to relocate to a university campus. Construction of Placer Hall, the new home for the geology department and USGS, began in the fall of 1995 and was completed a year later. In 1997, a formal cooperative agreement was completed to facilitate research collaborations between the University and USGS.

Bringing the USGS office here was important for two reasons, says Greg Wheeler, associate dean of undergraduate studies. “It gave the University an opportunity to work with an agency that has an impact on the greater community, but more importantly, it provided an unprecedented benefit to the students. There is no place else where students can study and work with federal scientists in the same building on issues not just significant to California, but to the world.”
Wheeler was the Geology Department chair at the time, and was instrumental in bringing USGS to the campus. 

In addition to conducting scientific research, experts from the USGS teach short courses, seminars, lecture courses, and provide technical assistance on student research projects. The USGS also offers graduate assistantships and employment opportunities to students.

“USGS has become a part of the campus, and the partnership illustrates the importance of investing in and nurturing such relationships,” Wheeler says.

To register for the conference, visit For more information on the USGS contact Jan Burnauhgh at (916) 278-6402. For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.