The School of Natural Sciences (SNS) is the administrative home for an array of academic degree programs, research laboratories, and community outreach programs. All SNS programs provide outstanding opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to learn how to use interdisciplinary science and technology to serve community needs. SNS places a heavy emphasis on preparing students for rewarding careers and/or more advanced academic study in fields related to environmental resource assessment, management, and policy. Faculty clusters provide particular strengths in marine and terrestrial biology/ecology, watershed science and hydrology, environmental science education, advanced technologies for geospatial data work, and molecular biology and genetics.
School of Natural Sciences professor, Dr. Fred Watson, along with Liberal Studies professor, Dr. Scott Waltz, have been working hard to turn their dreams of connecting campus and nearby seaside communities to Fort Ord National Monument a reality. Last week, the California Transportation Commission awarded TAMC $10.3 million to build the first segment of the trail, along Highway 218 in Del Rey Oaks.
Dr. AJ Purdy, an alumnus of the Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy master's program (CWSP; now known as ENSCI), is currently serving as a Postdoctoral Scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Group.
Dr. Melissa Garren, an adjunct research faculty member within the School of Natural Sciences (SNS), was recently featured on Conscious Company Media as one of the 35 World Changing Women in Conscious Business.
Amelia Olson, an alumna of the Applied Marine and Watershed Science (AMWS) graduate program, has been immersing herself in the environmental consulting realm since completing her master's degree.
School of Natural Sciences Assistant Professor, Dr. John. Olson, was recently featured on CBC radio discussing the findings from his published research on Predicting the combined effects of land use and climate change on river and stream salinity.
Jake Cline, current Applied Marine and Watershed Science student, recently defended his thesis during the School of Natural Sciences Weekly Seminar Series. His thesis research focused on examining gene expression and metabolic enzyme activities in juvenile blue rockfish under simulated ocean acidification (OA) and hypoxia.
You can add a book series to Dr. James Lindholm's list of published works! As the James W. Rote Distinguished Professor of Marine Science and Policy, and the Director of the Institute for Applied Marine Ecology here at CSUMB, he has guided many students through the field of Marine Science. With his first novel, Into A Canyon Deep, Dr. Lindholm inspired countless others to embrace the thrills that lie beneath the ocean's surface. The sequel, Blood Cold, continues to follow Dr. Chris Black as he explores False Bay off the coast of South Africa.
SEASIDE, Ca., December 14, 2018 – A study conducted by California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) School of Natural Sciences assistant professor John Olson has found that the combined effects of land use and climate change are resulting in increased salinity levels in rivers and streams, further highlighting an emerging threat to freshwater resources, biodiversity and ecosystem functions across the United States.
Jessie Doyle and Arev Markarian, current Applied Marine and Watershed Science graduate students, recently received an award for ‘Best Research Poster’ at Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day. GIS Day is an annual event that invites GIS users from the local community to share their work, collaborate, and network.
Charles Nye, a Marine Science student, recently received a Student Presentation Award at the National Diversity in STEM Conference for his summer research project. Put on by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), this conference allows students to share their research in a professional setting, network with STEM professionals, and attend professional development sessions.
SNS faculty member, Dr. Daniel Fernandez, was recently interviewed and featured in a video produced by 'attn:' (a southern California-based group) discussing the use of fog water.
School of Natural Sciences Professor, Doug Smith, and CSU Monterey Bay masters student, Joey Klein, were recently featured in the Monterey Herald. The articled reviewed their recent surveying trip at the Carmel River and the environmental response to the November 2015 removal of the San Clemente dam. To read more about their research, check out the article on the Monterey Herald website.
Carrie Boyle, a recent graduate of the Applied Marine and Watershed Science master’s program at CSUMB (now known as ENSCI), has spent the past year serving as a California State Sea Grant Fellow at the Coastal Conservancy.
CSUMB Marine Science alumna, Emily King, was recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle discussing her project on the invasion of destructive snails in Bay Area waters. To read more about her research, check out the article on the San Francisco Chronicle website.
Cherisa Friedlander, a recent graduate of the Applied Marine and Watershed Science master’s program (now known as ENSCI), has been on quite the adventure since graduation. Directly following commencement, she embarked on a 13-month assignment at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.
Dr. Daniel Fernandez recently accepted the Best Practice Award at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference on behalf of the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) at CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
Emma Haines, a senior ESTP student, was recently recognized as the School of Natural Sciences' Outstanding Woman Geoscientist. This annual award was given by the Association for Women Geoscientists, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
Michaela Miller, 2nd year graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science (AMWS) master’s program, is working hard to combat marine debris on California's Channel Islands as part of her Professional Science Master’s (PSM) project.
Kaitlyn Chow, alumna of the ESTP and AMWS programs at CSUMB, now serves as a hydrographer for Yuba Water Agency in Marysville, CA.
California State University, Monterey Bay is now hiring a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Biological Oceanography to begin in Fall 2019. For more information or to submit your application, check out the official job listing.
Sacramento, CA, June 28, 2018 – California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Biology Student Josue Duque has been conducting research in sustainable agriculture for the past year. He has been working with Stefanie Kortman in the laboratory of Dr. Arlene Haffa, an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, in collaboration with Forrest Melton, a NASA Senior Research Scientist. The research team is seeking to quantify the environmental and economic benefits of on-farm best management practices for irrigation and fertilizer use.
SEASIDE, Calif., May 16, 2018 – Four CSUMB seniors, all Sally Casanova Scholars for the 2017-18 academic year, have been awarded summer research fellowships for the summer of 2018 through the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship Program. All four pre-doctoral scholars have been awarded up to $8,000 each in support of their summer research to cover the cost of housing, meals and a research stipend.
Kirby Bartlett, a marine science student, recently received an honorable mention for her National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program application. Kirby chose to pursue marine science to address the ocean’s health, specifically in regards to fisheries science and policy. After graduation, she plans to attend UC Santa Barbara to study small scale sustenance fisheries in Latin America.
April 30, 2018—This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded CSUMB School of Natural Science students-- Lauren Castonan and Marisa Thompson—Ernest F. Holling Undergraduate Scholarships. Castonan and Thompson were two of 150 undergraduates to be awarded the prestigious scholarship. Students will travel to Maryland where they will meet with peers and NOAA scientists to study our changing environment.
Molecular Biology student Leah Martin was awarded an honorable mention for the John C. Johnson Award for Excellence in Student Research this past March at the TriBeta Western Regional District II Convention in Irvine, CA, for her project “Galectin-3 Inhibitor GR-MD-02 Increases CD8 T Cell Infiltration of MCA-205 Tumors”.
Environmental Studies undergraduate Katie Brown was recently awarded a National Association of Science Writers (NASW) Travel Fellowship to attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, an experience she describes as “transformative.”
After graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy, alumnus James McClure ventured far from the temperate climate of Monterey Bay. After speaking with a friend studying a PhD in glaciology at Louisiana State University (LSU), James made the decision to apply. It was just a quick jump from there to the Antarctic.
SEASIDE, Ca., March 20, 2018 – California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) School of Natural Sciences associate professor Cheryl Logan has been awarded a 2018-19 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to study coral thermal tolerance in the Galápagos Islands. Her research, which will span a total of five months starting in spring of 2019, will focus on thermal tolerance of corals and help develop a better model for predicting future bleaching.
SEASIDE, Ca., February 26, 2018 – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently appointed a new committee of 12 international experts tasked with investigating strategies to increase the resilience of coral reefs. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) School of Natural Sciences associate professor Cheryl Logan represents CSUMB on the committee.
If you have been admitted to Cal State Monterey Bay, please join us for our Admitted Student Reception on April 7th. If you are interested in one of our science majors, make sure to visit the Chapman Science Center to learn about the exciting labs, courses, research, and internship opportunities available to students. Meet with faculty in Biology, Marine Science, Environmental Studies, and Environmental Science, Technology and Policy.
Dr. Fuhs believes in the importance of clearly communicating science concepts to the general public. The Fuhs Family Foundation has provided funding for CSUMB for a one year $10,000 scholarship and a paid summer internship in science communication at KQED Public Media in San Francisco*. Applications are being accepted now beginning with the 2018 summer internship and scholarship support for the academic year beginning Fall 2018.
Finding a new shark species requires a deep dive into inaccessible, often unexplored waters, which is where Dr. Dave Ebert's passion - the Lost Sharks - has taken him. Across 6 continents and in over 25 countries Dave has discovered over 60 of these previously unknown species. He encourages audiences around the world to explore their own "lost sharks" and the passions that drive them.
The National Oceanic Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed high school academic marine sciences competition. Schools form teams of 4-5 students to compete in a quiz-bowl to win great prizes, scholarships, and a chance to compete at the national competition. CSUMB now hosts the Sea Lion Bowl, Central and Northern California's regional NOSB.
This Presentation is sponsored by The James W. Rote Distinguished Professorship in Marine Science & Policy and CSU COAST.
Come enjoy drinks representing cultures from around the world, learn about how to get involved with sustainability activities, clubs and initiatives on campus and in the community.. Open to all students, staff, and faculty.
We are pleased to announce the applications to the 2018 BD2K Summer Program at UCSC are open. To help students prepare for the application process we will be hosting an informational meeting.
Professor Doug Smith and his students have used a natural laboratory near CSUMB to educate the next generation of environmental scientists.
My success story: The extraordinary opportunity of getting to live the CSUMB Dream in a unique environment
As told by Sophie Schneider, CSUMB Exchange Student Fall 2016-Spring 2017: "Exactly one year ago, the international office of the University of Applied Sciences in Muenster offered the opportunity for one student to go one semester abroad at the partner University CSUMB! A stipendium based on a partnership, where your tuition fees are covered by the exchange cooperation. Only one chance to 15,000 students..."
SEASIDE, Ca., Dec. 6, 2016 – CSUMB School of Natural Sciences associate professor Corey Garza has been named to the national board of directors for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). SACNAS is the largest society in the United States that focuses on increasing underrepresented students participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Biology, Environmental Studies, Marine Science, and Environmental Science, Technology and Policy students will be presenting their capstone projects and posters. Friday, December 15, 2017. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library, Room 1188
Come listen to scientists discuss their approaches to studying California's iconic marine predator and the many new insights they've gleaned. With Dr. Chris Lowe (CSU Long Beach), Dr. Sal Jorgensen (Monterey Bay Aquarium), and Dr. Barb Block (Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station).
The Monterey Bay Regional Ocean Science Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is open from now until February 16, 2018. California State University, Monterey Bay, offers a 10-week REU in the beautiful Monterey Bay Region. Students will collaborate with mentors at host institutions to develop hypothesis-driven projects and receive critical feedback from mentors.
The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) is now offering support for CSUMB undergraduates working with COAST faculty members on marine, coastal, and coastal watershed related research projects. Awards of up to $500 can be used for research expenses.
In just three years since his graduation from CSUMB’s Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy Master’s program (now Applied Marine and Watershed Science), Danny Wright has made a profound, positive impact on the global water crisis through his founding of Gravity Water. Gravity Water is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Santa Cruz, with operations in various developing communities in Nepal. The number one cause of water-related illness and death around the world is fecal contamination from human waste. Gravity Water focuses on implementing their systems at schools since children are the greatest at risk. After launching in 2016, he and his team have provided clean drinking water to over 3,000 children.
A one-day forum addressing innovative water management strategies for the Central Coast. This Forum features over 20 regional, national and international innovators, policy makers, and scientific researchers who will explore new vistas in water management for the residential, agricultural and industrial needs of California's Central Coast. An Expo will feature innovative technologies, the latest water research, water suppliers and sponsors.
SNS Bioethics Lecturer Linda MacDonald Glenn lectured at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) conference at Georgetown University on the Ethics of Exponential Enhancement and Evolution: the Future Soldier.
Professor Victoria Derr's ENSTU 350: Research Methods for Environmental Studies (4 units) students are supporting CSUMB's Living Community Challenge. The Living Community Challenge is a framework for master planning, design, and construction. It is a tool to create a symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment.
Dr. Tori Derr sheds light on the resilience of communities, and what it means for children. While adults are often given opportunities to participate in planning initiatives, young people’s vision for the places they live, and their idea of what they need to be healthy and successful members of society, is also valuable. This ideology is part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, which has been ratified by all member nations except the United States.
Dr. John Olson recently co-authored a peer reviewed article in Nature, Ecology and Evolution on using satellite Earth observations to interpolate point observations of biodiversity across landscapes. The paper, published on June 22nd, 2017, points out that high-throughput techniques like environmental DNA, acoustic sensors, or automated trail cameras can detect an incredible number of species at one time. However, this abundant data is still measured at discrete points and does not truly represent how biodiversity is changing across the globe.
Dr. Eric Crandall participated in a Bioassessment of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, together with scientists from the Smithsonian Institution, Florida Museum of Natural History, the Bishop Museum and the University of Hawaii.
The Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship is meant for students who wish to continue their education to the doctorate level, but have faced obstacles that may impede their goal of obtaining a PhD and eventually professorship at a CSU. Through hard work, and an honorable passion for his studies, Jacob Green is one of four CSUMB students to recently receive this award!
Peer-reviewed articles and textbooks appear to be only the surface of James Lindholm’s writing practices. As the James W. Rote Distinguished Professor of Marine Science and Policy, and Director of the Institute for Applied Marine Ecology here at CSUMB, he has inspired many students, and helped them reach their goals in the Marine Science field. Now, he’s written an adventure novel!
The Dr. Earl H. Myers and Ethel M. Myers Oceanographic and Marine Biology Trust has granted CSUMB Applied Marine and Watershed Science Masters student, Jake Cline, a research grant for his work studying the molecular physiology of juvenile rockfish. Jake's work will specifically examine the acute effects of low pH and dissolved oxygen on the molecular physiology of juvenile rockfish.
Alumna Alexandra Walling receives prestigious Helen Fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History
Alumna Alexandra Walling recently received the prestigious Helen Fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The Helen Fellowship is a unique opportunity for women to spend a year immersed in teaching and research at the AMNH in New York City. As a fellow, Alexandra will split her time between teaching and a research residency with museum curator Eunsoo Kim and her lab on a genomics project investigating the presence and effects of viral-like gene transfer agents on protists and their genomes. Additionally, the Helen Fellows contribute to curriculum and teach within BridgeUp: STEM, a computational science program for high-school aged young women and middle-school aged boys and girls from New York City. Alexandra was a 2016 graduate of the Biology program at CSUMB and currently works for the School of Natural Sciences as a Biology Laboratory Support Technician. Congrats Alexandra!!
Students in the BIO 195: Special Topics (1-4 units): Wildlife Research Techniques course got first-hand experience in wildlife biology over spring break by participating in one of two field research projects. The first, led by Dr. Jenny Duggan, focused on the behavioral ecology of ground squirrels. Students were able to assist in trapping and radio collaring ground squirrels on the CSUMB campus and at the Santa Lucia Preserve. The students then tracked and observed the squirrels to compare behaviors between the urbanized areas around campus and the wild areas at the preserve. The second project, led by Dr. Gerick Bergsma, focused on the insect and spider communities living in and under oak trees at the UC Fort Ord Natural Reserve.
Professor John Goeltz and his undergraduate students Alesha Corral, Lisa Fredenburg, Levi Matsushima, Parker Smith, and Dylan Jones recently returned from the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco. This meeting featured excellent technical programs on a variety of topics, poster sessions, expositions, and social events over the course of a 3-4 day period.
SNS Faculty member Linda MacDonald Glenn is quoted in this month's National Geographic Cover Story "Beyond Human". Glenn, a bioethicist and attorney, has written numerous peer reviewed articles on evolving notions of personhood and humanity, and her take on some of the complex issues can be seen in the online version of the April issue.
The 2017 Monterey County Science & Engineering Fair took place on Saturday March 11, where future scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians gathered to showcase their projects. This annual competition celebrates achievements of middle and high school students that have been supported by their parents, teachers, and schools. Through the competition, hundreds of Monterey County students are challenged to go beyond their classroom studies to do independent project-based research. The students work independently or in teams to address questions in disciplines including environmental science,computer science, health and medicine, chemistry, and biology. The Monterey County Science & Engineering Fair a collaborative effort sponsored by the Monterey County Office of Education, the Naval Postgraduate School, California State University Monterey Bay, and many other community partners. The fair is also affiliated with the Society for Science & the Public, and selects projects which go on to compete in other state and national competitions, including the prestigious Intel International Science & Engineering Fair. Every student is celebrated and encouraged by the hundreds of other attending students, parents, teachers, mentors, sponsors, judges, and members of the public.
March 2017 - Students in the ENVS 195: Special Topics (1-6 units) class participate in current and ongoing water quality research being performed by CSUMB student researchers under the supervision and with the assistance of faculty. Students are exposed to and participate on projects such as the water quality of the Salinas River and Tembladero Slough, water quality of the Elkhorn Slough, water quality of rivers and streams in southern Monterey County after the Soberanes Fire, water quality of Ephemeral Ponds on Carmel Beach, and remediation of agricultural effluent with bioreactors. Students test for dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, nitrates, phosphates, and perform fecal coliform bacterial counts. Students participate in this research, as well as work with CSUMB student researchers on the preparation of technical reports, presentations, and posters detailing the research for delivery to interested parties and stakeholders.
School of Natural Science students Adriane Baade, Mary Hernandez, and Summer Wilson presented research posters with their mentor, Dr. Jenny Duggan, at the Annual Wildlife Symposium held by the California Central Coast chapter of The Wildlife Center on January 12, 2017. The posters were well received and provided a great opportunity for students to network with local wildlife biologists. The California Central Coast chapter of The Wildlife Society is planning a lecture/social hour at CSUMB on March 14th; information can be found here.
Dr. John Olson's new paper examines the effect of total dissolved solids on stream macroinvertebrates
Dr. John Olson’s newest paper, published in the journal Freshwater Biology (see link below), examines the effect of total dissolved solids (TDS, a measure of stream salinity) on macroinvertebrates. In a field experiment, carried out in Piermont Creek, Nevada, Dr. Olson and his team measured how growth, mortality, and emergence of 13 species of aquatic invertebrates changed with increasing TDS. He then modeled how aquatic invertebrate responses to TDS concentrations can predict their occurrence in different streams. This research contributes to our understanding of how natural and human-driven changes in salinity impact the health of the river’s inhabitants, and has important implications for the management of fresh water resources. Dr. John Olson is one of our newest faculty membersin the School of Natural Sciences. His research focuses on freshwater ecology,water quality, and bioassessment. He is currently teaching Aquatic Ecology,Capstone Seminar, and an Ecology Lab
Return of the Natives (RON) grows more than native plants! RON grows connections between CSUMB students, local schools, families and teachers. RON grows confidence in CSUMB students as future science leaders, future teachers, and future community members. "Carmel Magazine" in their February 2017 edition features two CSUMB students, Freshman and ENSTU major, Angel Jimenez Gonzales and Alyssa Schaan, Global Studies grad and current teaching credential and teacher ed grad student. For more information about RON and its many programs contact; Laura Lee Lienk, RON Director firstname.lastname@example.org
My goal is to establish stronger collaborations with Chilean researchers involved with fog research. Chile is a leader in terms of the length of time and number of people who are and have been involved in fog research. This is for good reason. The country extends over 2000 miles of coast and has extensive medium-to-tall coastal hills where the fog forms readily. In so doing, I have traveled by bus or rental car from Santiago to the northern part of Chile (the Atacama Desert) a distance of over 1200 miles and have met with I think many Chilean researchers involved with fog or dew (and one who does mercury research), who have been very gracious and open about showing me their experimental sites. I have visited over 6 locations where active fog collection is taking place at either a small or a large scale and I attended an environmental forum sponsored by a company/Foundation for Desert Studies who is making beer from fog. The name of the beer is "Atrapanieblas" which means fog catcher. It is quite good! I also visited the driest spot on earth here in the Atacama and stayed in a research site that is completely solar and the water we use comes from fog collected. During this trip I have presented five times on the research that my group and I are doing in California. I used the presentation I gave to the AMWS class in January. I gave it in Spanish four of the five times. As a result of my trip, we are looking at several joint projects and now a handful of Chilean researchers plan to be involved in weekly teleconference calls with our (primarily) US research fog research group.
Former CSUMB Environmental Science, Technology and Policy (ESTP) major, Juan Perez, speaks on the value of his summer internship in this new article published by the CSU.“If I hadn’t taken that first internship, I wouldn’t be out here in the fields as my own boss,” he states. Perez ended up switching majors, and finally found his home in ESTP. He now runs J&P Organics, a local farm in Salinas.
Using next-generation RNA sequencing and bioinformatics to understand the effect of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems
February 2017 - A new study examining how ocean acidification may negatively affect some juvenile rockfish, a key marine prey base to the California ecosystem, was published by researchers from Moss Landing Marine Labs of SJSU, CSUMB and UC Santa Cruz. The research, which suggests potential negative effects to the structure and function of marine ecosystems that support coastal fisheries and communities, was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
On November 10th, 2016, Dr. Eric Crandall organized and led a day-long symposium on Seascape Genetics. Seascape genetics is a young field that uses spatial data from remote sensing and oceanographic models as predictors of population genetic patterns. This approach can inform management decisions about where to site Marine Protected Areas and help us to understand how marine species will adapt to climate change. Speakers from CSU Monterey Bay, UC Santa Cruz, Hopkins Marine Station, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and the National Marine Fisheries Service discussed new methodologies and ways to increase collaboration along the US West Coast. The symposium was funded by the UCSC Institute of Marine Sciences.
Looking for older stories? Visit our Archive of Field Notes, which covers stories from 2007 - 2016