Environmental Studies Wetlands Legacy

"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot."

 -Aldo Leopold

Wetlands Ecology

Tom Tahoe 2015

Wetlands ecology is a course that introduces and discusses wetland systems, principles of wetland ecology, the functions of wetlands, and regulations regarding development within wetlands. This is a great match for students interested in wetland management, restoration, or biogeochemistry. Students participate in field trips that provide experiential learning of various wetland types and gives students a chance to evaluate wetlands just as a professional delineator would.

Restoration Ecology 

Cosumnes Preserve

Restoration ecology emphasizes the application of ecological principles to restoration design, implementation, and adaptive management. Students learn site evaluation strategies, monitoring methods, traditional resource management, and special restoration issues. 

Field Methods 

Jake Field Methods

Field Methods, ENVS 121, taught by Dr. Ishikawa and Dr. Stevens, is a course where students learn important data gathering strategies in outdoor environments. Students participate in wetland assessments, plant sampling, water quality experiments, tree measurements, and many other activities to help prepare them for careers in the field. 

Wetlands Education at Bay Point Regional Shoreline

David Hill at Bay Point Regional Park

Several Sacramento State students 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.  

Hima Mesopotamia

Hima Mesopotamia is a non-profit corporation supporting the ecological and cultural health of the Mesopotamian Marshes of Iraq. al Hima is a traditional Islamic system of resource tenure, meaning a "protected area". Modern al Hima zones have been established around wetlands and wadis to allow ecological regeneration and wise use. CSU Sacramento has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Basrah Marine Science Center to collaborate on projects in the Tigris Euphrates basin. Hima Mesopotamia acts as a stewardship and education program that seeks to restore and maintain the ecology of the region as well as the traditional cultures that were birthed there. Dr. Stevens is collaborating with Dr. Nadia Al-Muddaffar Fawzi, Kelly Goodwin, and Bayan Mehdi from the Basrah Marine Science Center on the impacts of marsh desiccation on Marsh Arab women's lives, and their ability to adapt to changes occurring in their community.   Please visit the Hima Mesopotamia website for more information- www.hima-mesopotamia.org .

Dr. Stevens at the 2014 Global Environmental Summer Academy

APWA Reporter Cover

Cosumnes River Preserve

The Cosumnes River, the only undammed river in the Central Valley, flows through one of the most biologically rich riparian environments with a rich legacy of Traditional Resource Management and Traditional Ecological Knoweldge by Plains Miwok Native Californians. The objective of this research is to categorize the ethnoecology and historic ecology of the Cosumnes area, and the contribution of this knowledge to contemporary restoration and conservation. ENVS students Jackie Teofilo and Cheyene Keniston are working on this research project.


Paul Oviatt at the Provost's Student Research Showcase

The Society of Wetland Scientists is an organization with the goal to promote understanding, conservation, scientifically based management, and sustainable use of wetlands throughout the world. Their website has links to great articles, their own publications, lists of grants, access to wetland career searches, and much more! The SWS website also contains information and guidance for becoming a certified wetland scientist. Check out the website here at SWS.org and the Western Chapter at swswestern.org . To learn more about becoming a student member of the organization to receive full access to the resources listed above click here- www.sws.org/membership/join-today.html .


The California Rapid Assessment Method for wetlands is used as a guideline for analyzing and determining wetland health in California. It serves as a helpful method for monitoring wetlands and assessing mitigation projects. CRAM utilizes a simple rating scale that can be used to measure landscape context, hydrology, physical structure, and biotic structure. In California, the CRAM is often used to determine whether or not the wetland can be turned into another type of landscape and is therefore used to protect our state's natural wetlands. For more information about CRAM including how to get certified, please visit www.cramwetlands.org .

Bushy Lake Restoration Project

Amber Dewey at the Provost's Student Research Showcase

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.