• The SIRIUS Team

    The SIRIUS Project at Sacramento State is led by Principal Investigators, Drs. Thomas Landerholm and Kelly McDonald, and includes faculty, staff and students from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geology and Environmental Studies.

    The SIRIUS Team
  • American River

    The American River runs through the Sacramento State campus, providing a habitat for flora and fauna, a recreation area for local residents and an authentic laboratory for Sacramento State students.

    American River
  • Redesigned Courses

    SIRIUS project faculty and staff are re-designing 12 laboratory courses in the Biological Sciences and 6 courses across Chemistry, Geology and Environmental Sciences to include authentic research experiences focused on the human impacts on the American River Ecosystem.

    Photo of students in lab
  • Learning Community

    The SIRIUS project is using a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) to train faculty and staff to design, coordinate, implement and assess labs based on the principles and design elements of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs).

    Faculty at SIRIUS Summer Institute


Thomas Landerholm

Kelly McDonald

The SIRIUS Project is supported by the National Science Foundation, W. M. Keck Foundation and the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology

The Sustainable Interdisciplinary Research to Inspire Undergraduate Success (SIRIUS) Project aims to provide nearly 2,000 students, majoring in the Biological Sciences, with authentic research experiences. This is being achieved through the re-design and coordination of 12 laboratory courses, all focused on a common theme – the human impacts of the American River Ecosystem. The curriculum spans introductory to capstone-level courses and multiple sub-disciplines of biology, giving students repeated experiences to develop research skills and contribute novel data to the existing knowledge about the waterway that runs through the Sacramento State campus.

Our Goals

Goal 1
To provide high-impact research experiences to 100% of our students.

Goal 2
To develop a collaborative, interactive community of faculty, staff and students.

Goal 3
To bring the power of the University to bear on an important local scientific problem.

Goal 4
To help the Sacramento regional community sustain an important local treasure.