Osborn Projects

BiologyCulture • Education • Facilities & AdministrationLand & Water ManagementTechnology

Cross-Preserve Projects

The Center engages students, faculty, partnering organization, and community members in all aspects of running preserves. Projects emerge from the needs and opportunities of each Preserve and are made possible with funding through grants, contracts and donor generosity. For more projects and independent research, see Info Hub.

Biology Projects

Weed Management Planning at the Osborn Preserve


Maintaining natural processes on 4,200 acres of wildlands at our preserves requires a careful assessment of risks, opportunities and resources. SSU Restoration Ecology students, under the direction of Professor Caroline Christian, drafted weed management plans for the Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

Cultural Projects

Osborn Oral History Project

Spring 2013

William and Joan Roth donated lands for the Osborn Preserve. This collaborative project with Steve Estes and students in his History 500 class gathered information about Osborn Preserve land use and the factors leading to the transition of these lands into and educational and research site.

Osborn Cultural Resource Plan


Archaeology Master's student, Kyle Rabellino, is working with Preserve staff to draft a Cultural Resource Plan for the Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

Facility and Administration Projects

Osborn Camping Facilities

2013 - present

We are exploring opportunities for overnight camping facilities at the Osborn Preserve and are seeking faculty and students interested in working with us to design carbon neutral low-impact facilities.

Land & Water Management Projects

WATERS Collaborative

2012 - present

Copeland Creek runs from the Osborn Preserve, down Sonoma Mountain, across the SSU campus and into the Laguna de Santa Rosa. We are working with faculty and students to study sedimentation, water quality and biodiversity in the watershed. These projects (participants, methods, and data) are described in detail on the WATERS Collaborative website.

Technology Projects

Osborn Weather Station


Environmental monitoring is at the heart of Preserve research and educational activities. Senior Engineering Science students modified, constructed, and programmed weather sensors to create a wireless weather station for the Osborn Preserve. Resulting data includes temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and rainfall.

Osborn Environmental Sensor Network


Sensors networks are an emerging field in the environmental sciences. Master's Student Sen Guan worked with the Center to develop a series of telecommunication towers allowing sensors to collect and transmit data from remote locations on the Preserve. Resulting data include recommendations for transmission efficiency for a permanent network and a Master's Thesis.

Osborn Solar Power Monitoring System


Field facilities are an opportunity to demonstrate new approaches to energy conservation. In this engineering science capstone project, students developed a system to monitor solar power generation, electrical use, and back up generator activity to assist SSU Facilities in monitoring energy consumption of the Osborn facilities.