The Watershed Institute

The Watershed Institute Labs

The Watershed Geology Lab

The lab students get a hands on education with geologic surveying tools.

Director: Doug Smith

Location: Chapman Science - Room E138

Mission: This lab serves the hydrologic, geologic and geomorphic research needs of the region. Services include stream gauging, sediment studies, surveying, and drone photogrammetry. We monitor the impacts of San Clemente Dam removal, erosion and sediment management at State Parks, sea cliff retreat, as well as oversee coastal management.

To be a part of this lab: Students must earn an 'A' in GEOL 260 and may contact Dr. Doug Smith ( about research opportunities in the lab.

The Plant Pathology Lab

The lab rolling up plastic sheeting outside in the sun.

Director: Cr. Timothy Miles

Location: Chapman Science - Room E325

Mission: The Plant Pathology Laboratory at CSUMB is interested in many applied aspects of plant pathology, such as the development of resistant cultivars, and cultural and chemical practices that result in improved disease management. We are also interested in pathogen infection and the host's biochemical defense mechanisms as well as pathogen detection using molecular techniques.

To be a part of this lab: Students must take Plant Pathology in the fall & Mycology in the spring in the School of Natural Sciences at Cal State Monterey Bay, and contact or if you are interested in research / capstone opportunities

Agricultural Bio Geochemistry and Bio Remediation Lab

The lab posing with a tractor.

Director: Arlene Haffa

Location: Building 13 Labs 101 & 113

Mission: We are interested in how best management farming practices (BMPs) impact economic and environmental sustainability. This includes work on the nitrogen cycle as well as pesticides. We are also interested in finding ways to mitigate point source nitrogen and pesticide contamination of surface waters using bioreactors.

To be a part of this lab: Contact for research / capstone opportunities

The Terrestrial Wildlife Biology Lab

The lab demonstrates how to weigh a small mammal properly in the field.

Director: Dr. Jenny Duggan

Location: Chapman Science - Room E 120

Mission: This lab studies the responses of wildlife to changes in land use and cover. We test ecological theory while providing wildlife managers with the information, methods, and tools needed to make science-based management decisions, and balance human health and well-being with that of wildlife.

To be a part of this lab: Contact if you are interested in research/capstone opportunities.

The Watershed Environment and Ecology Lab

John Olson studying a critter with a child in a creek.

Director: Dr. John Olson

Location: Chapman Science - Room S305

Mission: We study how streams (both flowing and dry), rivers, lakes, and wetlands respond to human stressors. We then develop tools for natural resource agencies to use in assessing, monitoring, and restoring freshwater ecosystems. This helps us understand the current status of freshwater ecosystems, and intact ecosystems can be protected while degraded systems can be restored. These tools help protect threatened and endangered species as well as water quality.

To be a part of this lab: Contact if you are interested in research/capstone opportunities.

Return of the Natives Restoration and Education Project

Young plants growing in R.O.N.'s nursery.

Directors: Laura Lee Lienk ,MS (Co-Director) Sharifa Crandall, PhD, (Co-Director)

Location: Watershed Building #42

Mission: The mission of Return of the Natives is to bring people to nature and nature to people through hands-on habitat restoration and environmental education

To be a part of this lab: Visit the watershed building for more information, or contact