Environmental Studies Student and Faculty Activities

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ENVS student, Moiz MIr, wins 1st place for the Provost's Award for Research Excellence at Student Research and Creative Activity Spring Symposium - Way to go Moiz!

Below is a pic of the award and Moiz in the field conducting his research at Bushy Lake

 Mir-ORIEDaward-Mar4-2019-pic.jpg     Moiz-Mir-at-Bushy-Lake-2018Picture1.jpg 

ENVS student, Moiz Mir, to speak at 2019 Student Research and Creative Activity Spring Symposium

This year’s Symposium will feature 58 student presenters representing departments and programs across six academic colleges. Presentation sessions will begin at 9:00 am and presenters will disseminate their research, scholarship, and creative activities via oral presentation.  

For more details including the event program, visit:  https://www.csus.edu/studentresearchcenter/2019-Spring-Symposium-Program.pdf.

Moiz Mir is speaking at 10:40 am on Monday, March 4, 2019, on his initiative and research at Bushy Lake . Moiz is also the president of ESO. 

ENVS Professor, Christine Flowers, honored by SRA

SRA (Sacramento Running Association) is honoring ENVS Instructor, Christine Flowers, as Volunteer of the Year.  This is for Christine’s role in providing  students  training to become volunteer leads for the sustainability platform  and help implementing it for two races a year:  Duper Sunday Fun Run and the  California International Marathon (CIM).  CIM has won two national awards for the efforts and they have acknowledge the students and Sac State as part of the "team". 

Professor Flowers will be receiving the Volunteer of the Year award at the SRA Hall of Fame dinner in February. Per Jenny Machell, Sustainability Manage, SRA, “We really could not run our program without the support of the entire CSUS Sustainability Team and dedicated CSUS students”.  

ESO's End-of-Semester dinner at Mountain Mike's Pizza on Dec. 14. Thank-you ESO for all your hard work this semester! 



Click the links below for articles on ENVS faculty, Dr. Michelle Stevens and her ENVS 158 class and their "Wonders of Wetlands Project".
PG&E Currents: https://www.pgecurrents.com/…/contra-costa-county-pge-prom…/

Brentwood Press: https://www.thepress.net/…/article_6e2dc3a6-d6f2-11e8-ab9c-…

ENVS student, Shannon Dalessandri, publishes paper in Sac State Journal

Shannon Dalessandri's paper entitled "TheTransformation of the Mekong River Basin and the Price of Progress" was selected by the Faculty Senate Subcommittee of Reading and Writing to be published in the Journal of Writing across the Curriculum at California State University.  Her paper was an assignment in Spring 2018 ENVS 112 class with ENVS faculty Dr. Ajay Singh.  Click HERE to access the Journal of Writing across the Curriculum at California State University website and scroll down to the paper. Congratulations Shannon!    

ENVS Professor, Dr. Ajay Singh, contributes to article published in the Eureka Alert newsletter. Below is an introduction by Prof. Singh and the link to the article.

Over the past year, the Trump administration and members of Congress have developed policy initiatives or amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would strip protections of species such as the gray wolf and the greater sage grouse, as well as make it more difficult to implement the ESA to protect species threatened with extinction. A group of researchers including Ajay Singh in the Environmental Studies Department published an article over the summer in Conservation Letters exploring why opposition to the ESA is occurring and who may be responsible for proposed policy changes. Dr. Singh and his collaborators found that a strong majority of Americans (~80%) have supported the ESA since 1996 and opposition has declined to less than 10 percent. If a majority of Americans support the ESA, who is pushing the proposed changes and; do controversial species, such as the gray wolf, increase opposition to regions where they are found? Dr. Singh and collaborators found that even Americans who associate with conservatives, property rights groups, or farming and ranching overwhelming support the ESA; groups assumed to be opposed. Researchers also found that in regions with gray wolf populations, there remains strong support for the ESA. Which begs the question; if we live in a representative democracy, shouldn’t current leaders listen to the American people? If not, why? And who benefits from such changes?

ENVS Professor, Dr. Ajay Singh, is co-presenter in webinar for Northeast Climate Science Center

Click on link below to view the webinar 


“From Identifying to Integrating Stakeholder Preferences in Design of Conservation Plans for Adaptation to Climate Change” 

Across the Mississippi River Basin, some of the most compelling and widespread conservation challenges are focused on reducing nutrient runoff from agricultural lands, which contributes to Gulf hypoxia, while also enhancing habitat for species of management concern, especially grassland and riparian bird species. The NE CSC-funded project, “Incorporating Understanding of Social Drivers that Influence Implementation of Conservation Practices that Improve Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat,” was completed in collaboration with the USGS, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and universities. The team developed a decision support tool to identify areas where strategic implementation of select conservation practices in specific watersheds will improve both water quality and avian habitat. Recognizing that landowner participation and support is critical for conservation practices to be successful, team members conducted a suite of detailed landowner surveys to enhance our understanding of landowner preferences and motivation for implementing specific conservation practices on the ground. Results of this research will lead to an enhanced understanding of how landowners and managers shape adaptation and resilient livelihoods beyond climate risks and, ultimately, how to better address Gulf hypoxia and declining wildlife populations as impacted by extreme climate events. 

Earth Day will be weed-pulling day at Bushy Lake

Sac State Students restoring Bushy Lake  

Sac State environmental studies students have been busy restoring the wetland and riparian habitat around Bushy Lake for four years. (Sacramento State/Robert Dugan)

Earth Day observations don’t get much earthier than Sacramento State’s Bushy Lake work day, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22.

Environmental studies students and members of the general public will celebrate the world’s largest civic-focused day of action by putting on gardening gloves and pulling a bounty of springtime star thistle and other invasive vegetation around Bushy Lake. Gloves, snacks, and background music will be provided.

Bushy Lake is a 20-acre pond that formed in an abandoned oxbow of the lower American River behind Cal Expo. Sac State students, led by Michelle Stevens, professor of environmental studies, have spent much of the past four years restoring a portion of the wetland and riparian habitat around the lake. That area is now home to a thriving population of western pond turtles, whose numbers are declining in other western regions, along with river otters, deer, and many bird species.

“It’s a little gem for our campus,” says Stevens, “and it provides high-impact learning for our students. We’re increasing the habitat for birds. We’re monitoring the turtles and will be actively trying to protect them. We’re seeing recolonization of the valley elderberry longhorn beetle. The deer come in and make their little beds. It’s a beautiful place.”

Bushy Lake is owned and operated by Cal Expo. Sac State students are restoring the wetland and riparian acreage in partnership with Sacramento County Parks.

The students are planting native vegetation, such as white root for butterflies, which will create a fire-resilient landscape along the American River Parkway. The area has been damaged by fires many times in the past. Students continue to conduct high-impact studies at the site, including the design and implementation of experimental restoration strategies and adaptive habitat management.

To reach the Bushy Lake restoration site, drive north on Howe Avenue. Turn left onto Hurley Way and left on Ethan Way (around the southeast side of Cal Expo.) Park in the large field near Cal Expo’s Gate 12. Directional signs will be posted.

Earth Day dates to April 22, 1970, when millions of people in the United States and throughout the world protested the careless industrial development that led to pervasive smog, and the decline of biodiversity caused by the heavy use of pesticides and other pollutants.

Today, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in Earth Day observances, according to the Earth Day Network. – Dixie Reid


ENVS Professor, Dr. Sar Kross, to co-host BARD workshops. For more information click on the links below.




ENVS Professor, Dr. Sara Kross, quoted in article in Nature e-magazine.

A Jordanian farmer holding Barn Owl in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, Israel 


Dr. Julian Fulton's Energy, Society, and the Environment class decided to switch off the lights on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. No, they weren't trying to beat the traffic out of town. They were holding class using a "Solar Suitcase," a low-tech solution for communities around the world that lack clean, quality energy resources for essential services like health centers, classrooms, and cell phone charging.  Twenty percent of the world's population faces such "energy poverty," a condition that detrimentally affects health, safety, education, and livelihood outcomes. The solar suitcase is part of a larger effort led by CSU East Bay and an international NGO called We Care Solar to connect CSU students, local high schools, and energy-poverty communities around the world, including right here in California. Dr. Fulton plans to expand his class' engagement with this program in coming semesters. 


ENVS students Alberto Ruelas-Aguilar and Milo Kovet, along with ENVS Professor Dr. Michelle Stevens, attend the 2017 Ecological Society of America Conference in Portland, Oregon. On  August 11,  2017 Alberto, pictured on the right, and Milo, pictured on the left, presented their poster - Conservation of Western Pond Turtles In A Changing World. Ecological.  


Dr. Michelle Stevens Receives Award 


Dr. Stevens paper "The Effects of Mesopotamian Marsh (Iraq) desiccation on the cultural knowledge and livelihood of Marsh Arab Women" was awarded the Overall Winner 2016 Best Paper in Humanities and Social Sciences by the Network of Iraqi Scientists Abroad (NISA) Award for Outstanding Iraqi Research.  See attached, it is in English.  

(Al-Mudaffar Fawzi, N., K. Goodwin, M.L. Stevens, B. Mehdi, Accepted with Review, 2015, Effects of Mesopotamian Marsh (Iraq) Desiccation on Cultural Knowledge and Livelihood of Marsh Arab Women, Submitted to Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 2(3):e01207) 

Quratulain Ahmed presenting her poster "Assessing bird diversity and ecosystem services in spring flooded alfalfa fields" at the Bay Area Conservation Biology Symposium in Santa Cruz. 


ENVS students, Luis Rosas-Saenz and Alyssa Nerida,

co-publish research paper with Dr. Jamie Kneitel, Biology Dept.

The paper entitled "California vernal pool endemic response to hydroperiod, plant thatch, and nutrients"
(click on the title to view the full paper).
Congratulations Luis an Alyssa!

Spring 2017 ENVS Graduates with ENVS faculty

Spring 2017 CommencementSpring 2017 Commencement

Student Presentations at ARB Dec 13 2016

Shawn Alisea, Daphne Greene, and Anhely Estrada, graduating seniors in the Environmental Studies program, presented their research to the California Air Resources Board on 13 December 2016.  Their work with ARB was conducted as part of their Environmental Studies internship. The students assisted ARB in development and prototype testing of a Portable Emissions Acquisition System (PEAQS) utilized in roadside vehicle emission monitoring.  Their work focused on system design and construction, data entry, and QA/QC analysis.  Daphne will be employed by ARB after fall 2016 graduation.

Provost Student Research Symposium Nov 7 2016

Provost¹s Student Research Symposium, CSUS, 7 November 2016

Friday, Sept. 23 was the Bushy Lake Environmental Education Unveiling. There was a welcome message from College of SSIS Dean Orn Bodvarsson and other opening remarks from Sac Co. Supervisor Phil Serna, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, and ENVS Dept. Chair and Prof. Dr. Jeffery Foran.
Below is the link to the article in Sac State News:
Below is the link to Fox 40 newsbite:
Below is the link to the article in the State Hornet:
Thank-you Professor Michelle Stevens for your dedication and leadership for this project. Thank-you to all the students for your hard work and participation. Well done!

ENVS Professor, Dr. Sara Kross, is interviewed by channel 13 News regarding a possible bird problem at the new Golden 1 Center... click on link below to see the complete interview.


ENVS student and ARB reps featured in Sac State Leader

Additional information on ENVS student interns with ARB

Check out the photo and write up in the Sacramento State Leader regarding the ENVS students assisting with testing ARB's new vehicle pollution monitor at (click here) 

A Mobile Technology to Test Auto Emissions

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) are partnering on a project to evaluate a new mobile emissions testing method.  The technology will be field tested, for the first time, on the CSUS campus.  CSUS students from the Department of Environmental Studies are participating as interns on the project. This prototype system is being tested for accuracy, reliability, and durability.  The system, called the Portable Emissions AcQuisition System, or PEAQS, pulls (sniffs) a sample of a vehicle’s tailpipe emissions as the vehicle travels over a small speed bump.  The system measures black carbon, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. Following a successful deployment of this system at Sac State, it may be used throughout California to gather information about vehicle emissions.  The information collected will improve ARB’s understanding of the impact of cars and trucks on statewide air and climate pollution.  This project is important because cars and trucks are the most significant source of both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the state; therefore, finding and fixing vehicles with broken or malfunctioning emissions control systems is important to reduce air pollution.

Vehicle approaches testing bump

 ENVS students Anhely Estrada and Shawn Alisea checking data

Prof. Fulton's Spring 2016 ENVS 110 class is

featured in the July newsletter of the 

Wiki Education Foundation


 Read the complete article here: 

ENVS student Intern featured in WES July Newsletter

Chris Hersey

Chris Hersey joined the Westervelt Ecological Services team as summer intern in the entitlement department of the Sacramento, California, office. Chris was born and raised in a small town east of Sacramento. He spent two years studying Environmental Science at Humboldt State University with a focus on energy and climate, then transferred to California State University Sacramento  (CSUS) to finish his bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on the social impacts of environmental policy. His studies at CSUS fueled his desire to work in wetland restoration and conservation, leading him to participate in volunteer work educating youth about the importance of wetlands. To read more newsletters from Westervelt Ecological Services go to www.wesmitigation.com

Spring 2016 Commencement

Spring 2016 Graduates

Congratulations to the Environmental Studies Graduates of Spring 2016!

Environmental Studies Professor attends "California's Water Future" workshop

Compass Website Image

Dr. Julian Fulton attended a communications workshop on "California's Water Future" May 10-11, hosted by Compass and UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. The workshop brought 19 scientists together with policymakers and journalists to work on easy-to-grasp messages for creating a more sustainable water future for California. The Compass trainers provided communication tools and emphasized the concept of "silo-busting," that is, engaging a wider audience than those in our scientific disciplines.

Water and Fire Conference

water and fire conference flyer

On April 10-11, 2016, The Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP) and Sacramento State are hosted a conference on campus — Water and Fire: Impacts of Climate Change.  It brought together recognized experts, faculty, students and community members from the spectrum of scientific and policy views, and facilitated debates and caucus sessions to build consensus around actionable next steps that will help our state adapt to climate change.  A book will be published that will include conference conclusions and recommendations for position papers.  The conference was free. If you have questions please send an email to  waterandfire2016info@gmail.com.   

Students visiting Fairbairn Water Treatment Plant in Sacramento

Dr. Fulton's ENVS 110 students visit the City of Sacramento's E.A. Fairbairn Water Treatment Plant, located next to the Sac State campus. Supervising Plant Operator Rod Frizzell gave the students a tour to see first-hand how their drinking water is drawn out of the American River and treated before being piped to homes and businesses. Photo courtesy of Dr. Jeffery Foran.

Students visit Pumping Plant

April 2016 - Dr. Fulton's ENVS 110 students visit the US Bureau of Reclamation's C.W. "Bill" Jones Pumping Plant. Seniors Haley Robinson and Desirey Morris and others stand atop a 22,500 horsepower motor used to pump freshwater out of the Delta to farms and cities to the south. Photo courtesy of Andrew Hawkins.

Creek Week Clean-up at Laguna Creek - April 9, 2016

American River Parkway Cleanup

Dr. James Reede with Environmental Studies Student Volunteers that participated in the Creek Week Clean-up event at Laguan Creek.

Over 1100 pounds of debris/garbage was removed from Laguna Creek by 22 volunteers under Site Supervisor Dr. Reede's guidance.

 Read more about Creek Week here.

Presentation at the San Francisco Estuary Conference

Presenting at the State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference

Three students from the Environmental Studies Department presented posters from their thesis research at the 12th Biennial State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference September 17, 2015. May Xiong presented a poster on Riparian Understory Restoration of White Root (Carex barbarae) and Creeping Wild Rye (Elymus triticoides) in Post-Burn Areas at Bushy Lake, Sacramento, CA. Kayla Henry and Tom Henry presented Monitoring Post-fire Resiliency in a Depressional  Wetland Using California Rapid Assessment Methodology (CRAM), Intensive Vegetation, and Avian Species  Richness to Establish Long-term Monitoring using Citizen Science. The Environmental Studies Department sponsored the students’ conference fees and poster costs. The research, sponsored by Dr. Michelle Stevens, was supported by Sacramento County Parks Department.

Student Article in "Writing the University"

Amaryl Griggs

ENVS student Amaryl Griggs' essay was accepted for publication in "Writing the University", the journal of Student Writing Across the Curriculum published by the Faculty Senate Subcommittee for Reading and Writing. The 2015 edition of the journal will be online in June 2015 and Amaryl's artice will be available then.

Bushy Lake Restoration Project

Bushy Lake

Bushy Lake Restoration Project is a restoration, monitoring and citizen science & community education project located on the American River Parkway near Cal Expo. The primary goal of the restoration experiment and monitoring is to provide a cost-effective and ecologically relevant restoration project after the 2014 fire burned a large area. Students in ENVS participating in the Bushy Lake Project are working closely with Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks  and the American River Parkway Foundation to establish long term monitoring using the California Rapid Assessment Method, vegetation and avian species richness to determine the ecological health and adaptive management of the area.  Several students including Mary Xiong,  Kayla Henry,and Tom Henry are conducting field studies spring 2015 for their thesis projects. The goal of the Bushy Lake Project is to establish a long term citizen science data base and monitoring procedure to evaluate phenology and climate change on the American River. The restoration team prepared an Executive Summary on the project.

Wetlands Education at Bay Point Regional Shoreline

David Hill at Bay Point Regional Park

Dr. Michelle Stevens spent the day on Wednesday, October 22, educating middle and high school students on the wetlands in their neighborhood at Bay Point Regional Shoreline. The annual event, put on by Dr. Stevens and students from her Wetlands Ecology class (ENVS 158), is sponsored by PG&E and Craig Communications. Sac State student mentors included Austyn Cromartie, Teaching Assistant; David Hill, seen above showing participants an artichoke plant on their hike; David Stevens, Laura Rodriguez, Serena Mayo, Jaqueline Teofilo, Ryan Nowshiravan, Sonia Perez, Ericka Picazo Soto, Hunter Watkins, and Louis Junior Rosas. Read the article in the Contra Costa Times here. See a slide show at the Mercury News Media Center here.

Wetlands Ecology and Field Testing

Andrew Lozano at Washoe Meadow

Andrew Lozano (a participant in the CSUS Science Educational Equity (SEE) Program) was an excellent and knowledgeable field assistant for Dr. Stevens during summer 2014. He helped conduct research on wetlands ecology and field testing with the California Rapid Assessment Method in meadows at Lake Tahoe, the Cosumnes River, and Kachituli. In addition, Andrew conducted an independent research project evaluating these wetland sites for culturally significant plant species and Traditional Resource Management by California First Nation people. SEE is a comprehensive academic support program for students who face social, economic, and educational barriers to careers in the health professions, science research, and science teaching. Dr. Stevens and the Environmental Studies Department felt fortunate to have such an outstanding student field assistant, and hope he will choose our ENVS Department when he matriculates from community college.


Christine Flowers' Article on Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility Poster

Christine Flowers, M.S., M.Ed., ENVS lecturer, has co-authored an article for Waste Advantage, the national publication for waste and recycling industry professionals, on extended producer responsibility legislation for hazardous and problematic materials. Read the article here.

Environmental Studies students and faculty are active on campus and in the community