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"It wasn’t just classes I was going to; it was a place where I could share my opinions with people who had similar passions. It was a really close-knit group of people, and the professors were great at getting to know you and making you as successful as you possibly could be."
— Kara Doolin, SSU Graduate

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On-Campus Programs and Partners

SSU students involved in service-learning projects may also collaborate with on-campus programs, many of whom are already partnered with off-campus organizations. This creates a web of connectivity and a feeling of community that enhances students' learning.

On-campus partners include the following:

  1. Classroom Garden
  2. Engineering Environmental Monitoring Sensor Network
  3. Entomology Outreach
  4. Friends of Copeland Creek
  5. Watershed Contamination Analysis

Classroom Garden

Student interns and members of clubs, fraternities, and sororities learn about ecology, watershed stewardship, sustainable landscaping, garden allies (helpful garden denizens), and related topics as they tend to SSU's Classroom Garden. They are often accompanied by environmental studies and planning (ENSP) and biology students who are working on service-learning projects to benefit the Garden or nearby Copeland Creek.

The Garden's ambiance is welcoming, uniquely so to homesick freshmen who wander through in search of solace.

garden ambiance

Figure 1. The Garden's ambiance is welcoming.

The Garden partners with many organizations to promote sustainable landscaping and backyard ecology (the study of how living beings interact with their environments, i.e. backyards). Collaborations may involve sharing seeds, knowledge, research projects, or other resources. In some cases, SSU students are trained to provide service to Garden partners.

For example, SSU entomology students working through the Garden have participated in Mark Twain Day at Bayer Farm (in southwest Santa Rosa), where they helped school-aged children learn about insects associated with Mark Twain's books.

For more information about service-learning projects directly supported by the Garden, see Aquatic Insect Collection and Grasslands Restoration. For more information about Garden partners, see Off-Campus Partners.

Engineering Environmental Monitoring Sensor Network Program

The Engineering Environmental Monitoring Sensor Network Program supports engineering students in IT technology as they produce a senior thesis that addresses real-world issues and that relies upon sensor data gathering and distribution.

In 2010-2011, the Program supported a service-learning project titled Remote Sensor Monitoring of Copeland Creek Water Quality. Senior Design students built and designed a remote sensor to monitor water flow and other parameters in Copeland Creek. The technology used in the monitoring project also served as proof of concept for multiple applications and associated Senior Design projects, including Saving Water in Sonoma County.

For more information about Engineering Environmental Monitoring Sensor Network Program partners, see Off-Campus Partners.

Entomology Outreach Program

Students from many disciplines serve in the the Entomology Outreach Program as volunteers and as interns. They work with faculty, with researchers, and with local schools and agencies to conduct research, engage in outreach activities, and share an awareness of and appreciation for insect biodiversity in ecosystems.

In 2010-2011, Program outreach to school-aged children grew by about thirty percent. With help from the Learn and Serve grant—and through joint efforts with more than six organizations—SSU students and interns in the Program helped to develop school, garden, and watershed curriculum that featured insects. They then piloted their program in K-2 classrooms and in school gardens in the spring.

Elementary School Children Become Bug Enthusiasts

Figure 2. Entomology outreach inspires enthusiasm for insects.

For more information about Entomology Outreach Program partners, see Off-Campus Partners. For more information about service-learning projects directly supported by the Entomology Outreach Program in 2010-2011, see Aquatic Insect Collection. For upated information about the Program, see Entomology Program.

Friends of Copeland Creek

Friends of Copeland Creek strives to restore campus portions of Copeland Creek to its native ecological processes and functions.

Objectives are as follows:

  • Remove exotic species and replant native vegetation.
  • Create a riparian corridor for wildlife.
  • Increase the aesthetic value of the Creek.
  • Foster public awareness of the importance of the Creek through educational activities.
  • Collaborate with other programs on campus and in the community.

For more information about Friends of Copeland Creek, contact Julie Bright. For more information about Friends of Copeland Creek partners, see Off-Campus Partners.

Watershed Contamination Analysis

Students in multiple science disciplines sample and analyze water samples to solve real-world problems like point source water pollution. (Point source pollution is contamination that can be tracked to a discernible source, like a pipe or a building.)

Service-learning projects supported by the Watershed Contamination Analysis Program in 2010-2011 include the following:

  1. Microbiological Monitoring of Copeland Creek
  2. Remote Sensor Monitoring of Copeland Creek Water Quality
  3. Water Quality Monitoring of Copeland Creek.

For more information about Watershed Contamination Analysis Partners , see Off-Campus Partners.