Schulz Learning Center at SSU

“ Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. ”
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SSU students at a table

Sustainability Day Panel: From Words to Actions

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by Ashley Simon

"We need what Sonoma State offers. We have so many needs in the community and people have so many good ideas that need a platform." - Suzi Grady, Petaluma Bounty

On Sustainability Day, there were games, giveaways, and lots of panels on the environment and recent sustainability efforts. One of the panels called, "From Words to Action: Applying Sustainability Principles in Our Community" included important information from community partners on how they are being sustainable and how students could be involved in their efforts.

Nick Caston from the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy says that the organization designs its programs to bring in experts from the regional community and throughout the state and connect them with people who work locally. The organization provides leadership training to people in the community about sustainability, the economy, and social equity.


Stand outside of the panel discussion thanking all of it's sponsors.

The Director of the Center for Environmental Inquiry (CEI), Claudia Luke, says that these outside classrooms are welcome to all majors and disciplines. The CEI is made up of three preserves donated to Sonoma State that provide a space for research, training, and technology for students, faculty, and staff of the University. Faculty can set their classes up for a trip to the Preserves for projects.

Suzi Grady from Petaluma Bounty says there are many opportunities to work with Petaluma Bounty, including regular one-time volunteer opportunities. The organization likes to partner with faculty who bring their students out for team-building activities, but is also looking for long-term relationships.

Another panel participant was Oren Wool from Sustainable North Bay. He says that a good way for students get to involved with them is through their live events. Even though it is new, there are more opportunities opening up with this organization. "We're always looking for ways to give them guided responsibilities so that they're actually going forth after their experience with us and learning how to create or engage in the community for change."

Keenan Foster is the Principal Environmental Specialist for the Sonoma County Water Agency. The Sonoma County Water Agency has partnered with Sonoma State to create Watershed Academics To Enhance Regional Sustainability (WATERS). WATERS helps with watershed management and gives students knowledge about watershed management and experience with water management issues.

An exciting thing to know about some of these efforts is that many of them are connected. For example, the WATERS Coordinator is also Claudia Luke. The service-learning classes and other class projects that happen at the Preserves are also working with the Sonoma County Water Agency. Another way to get in to contact with the Sonoma Water Agency is through the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy.

Talia Eisen says the Sonoma Ecology Center is very open to any students that want internships. Eisen expresses her enthusiasm for students working with the Sonoma Ecology Center, saying, "We're really excited to work with interns. They're really important to us." Interns at the Ecology Center can do many things such as participate in community events and celebrations.

Thank you to Petaluma Bounty, Sustainable North Bay, Sonoma State University Institute for Environmental Inquiry, the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy, Sonoma Ecology Center, and Sonoma County Water Agency for providing a great group of panelists.


From left to right: Merith Weisman, Suzi Grady, Oren Wool, Claudia Luke, Nick Caston, Talia Eisen, and Keenan Foster.

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