Culture and Policy

ben fordSteve Estes, Professor, History Department, SSU

Contact: Phone: (707) 664-2424;; website 

Area of Expertise: Historical Methods

Water-Related Courses Taught: HIST 500 Historical Methods

Water-Related Community Connections: Since 2011 I have worked with the Center for Environmental Inquiry to incorporate historical qustions about environmental processes into my HIST 500 class. In our most recent project, we interviewed local community members near each of the SSU preserves to find out more about landscape changes in local watersheds.

debora hammond

Robert Girling, Professor, Department of Business Administration, SSU

Contact: (510) 548-8340,; girling website

Area of Water Expertise:Sustainability; Business Strategy; Social Entrepreneurship; International Business

Water-Related Courses Taught: Sustainable Business Strategies; International Business: Global Sustainability and Entrepreneurship​; Leading Sustainable Enterprises

Water-Related Community Connections: Sustainable Enterprise Conference, Sustainable North Bay; Board of Directors Bay Area Green Tours.

Publications: The Good Company: Sustainability in Hospitality, Tourism and Wine [Business Expert Press; 2016]

debora hammond

Debora Hammond, Professor, Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-3179,; hammond website

Area of Water Expertise: Sustainability, ecopsychology, systems theory

Water-Related Courses Taught: Water Matters (LIBS 320B); The Global Food Web (LIBS 320B); Challenge and Response in the Modern World (LIBS 202)

Water-Related Community Connections: Food and Water Roundtable hosted by AgInnovations Network

alex hinds

Alex Hinds, Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities, SSU

Contact: (415 669-7230); hindsa@sonoma.eduwebsite

Area of Water Expertise: Sustainability planning, climate change, smart growth and water friendly development strategies

Water-Related Courses Taught: Sustainability and Green Building: What You Need to Know (ENSP800 3962); Mainstreaming Sustainability: Plans, Codes and Urban Design ENSP800 3963; Preparing and Enacting Climate Action and Energy Plans (ENSP800 3965); Act Now: Funding and Implementing Sustainable Community Strategies (ENSP800 3967)

Water-Related Research: My colleagues and I at SSU's Center for Sustainable Communities consist of "recycled" public sector professionals, faculty and students who assist communities in the development of sustainable strategies. We are currently working for the California Department of Water Resources in the development of an integrated water management - land use tool that calculates the costs and benefits of water friendly development practices.

Water-Related Community Connections: I have directed California planning, building and environmental health departments for over 24 years in Marin, San Luis Obispo, and Lake Counties. My legacy project was completion of Marin County's highly regarded general plan and sustainability programs which received numerous state and national awards. I was a founding member of Green Cities of California, past president of the California Planning Foundation and the California County Planning Directors Association. I am currently a member of the California Planning Roundtable and an international director for the American Planning Association's Northern California Section .

tom jacobson

Thomas Jacobsen, Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Planning, Director Institute for Community Planning Assistance, Interim Director SSU’s Sustainable Communities Program 

Contact: (707) 664-3145;; website

Area of Water Expertise: sustainable development, environmental regulation

Water-Related Courses Taught:  ENSP 308 - Environmental Literature, ENSP 310 - Introduction to Planning, ENSP 315 - Environmental Impact Reporting, ENSP 404 - Environmental Law, ENSP 415 - Land Use Law, ENSP 416 - Environmental Planning, ENSP 418 - Planning for Sustainable Communities

Water-Related Research: My research and professional interests are planning and regulation for sustainable development, growth management, property rights and environmental regulation, and development “impact” fees. 

Water-Related Community Connections: The Institute for Community Planning Assistance (ICPA) is a non-profit research center sponsored by the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State University. The main purposes of ICPA are:

  1. To engage in community service by making needed services available to local agencies at low-cost
  2. To provide a mechanism for faculty and student research in the areas of community and environmental planning
  3. To further the education and professional development of planning students by complementing their classroom and internship experience
  4. To provide financial assistance in the form of wages to student employees who are hired on an as-needed basis to fill various research and support roles.

Studies undertaken by ICPA are directed by University faculty who often donate the majority of their services. Student Assistants are carefully screened in order to match skills and interests with the unique needs of each project. The Institute has been extremely busy in the last few years, employing ten students while handling almost $250,000 in contracts with local non-profits and governments. Sample projects include the Keller Canyon Property Valuation Study (Contra Costa County), Design Guidelines for Crow Canyon Area (City of San Ramon), a Petaluma Tree Inventory, and a Napa County Sign Inventory.

Mads Lynnerup, Lecturer, Arts Department, SSU

Contact:; website

Area of Expertise: artist

Water-Related Courses Taught:  ARTS 336-001 Advanced Sculpture

Water-Related Community Connections: I worked with Center for Environmental Inquiry on a sculpture project at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve that explored the interaction between art and environment.

tom jacobson

Michelle Mazzeo, Director, North Bay International Studies Project, SSU

Contact:; nbisp website

Area of Water Expertise: professional development for K-12 teachers in sustainability

Water-Related Community Connections: She currently runs the North Bay site for the California International Studies Project and supports Pk-12 educators as they develop global competence and active citizenship in their students.

Michael Moore, Geography Environment and Planning Department, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-2414;;

Area of Water Expertise: public sector planning

Water-Related Courses Taught:  ENSP 315 - Environmental Impact Assessment, ENSP 411A - Planning Workshop Fall, ENSP 411B - Planning Workshop Spring

Water-Related Research: water use planning with SSU Sustainable Community Center

Water-Related Community Connections: Mike Moore concluded a 34-year career as a public sector planner in 2014. During most of that time he was the Planning and Building Director for the Cities of Sonoma and Mill Valley and the Community Development Director for the City of Petaluma. Currently. He is currently a planning consultant for DVC Group in Sonoma County and provides on-call contract planning services through the Berkeley office of MIG, Inc. Mike is a member of the California Planning Roundtable and a volunteer helping teach U.S. Citizenship classes in Santa Rosa, CA.

tom jacobson

Emily Ray, Assistant Professor, Political Science

Contact: (707) 664-2731;

Area of Water Expertise: Environmental Politics, Environmental Political Theory, Natural Resource and Land-use Conflicts, Environmental Movements; Public Policy

Water-Related Courses Taught:  POLS 302: Social Science Research Methods

Water-Related Research: Her research centers on natural resource disputes, the political economy of resource use, and how to build a theory of collective environmental responsibility.

Water-Related Community Connections:

rocky rohwedder

Rocky Rohwedder, Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Studies and Planning, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-2249;; website

Area of Water Expertise: Low impact water purification in developing countries, water education and teacher training.

Water-Related Courses Taught: Energy, Technology and Society (ENSP 330); Sustainable Communities (ENSP 418); Freshman Interest Group: Leadership (UNIV 102)

Water-Related Research: My current research focuses on ways to help lift people out of poverty with a low ecological footprint. Water security and quality is obviously of critical importance.

Water-Related Community Connections: I was the lead consultant and facilitator in the Middle East Peace Process during the Clinton Administration. In that role I helped to develop a water education program for youth, working with high level representatives from the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan and Israel. Many of my students have left Sonoma State University to work for the Sonoma County Water Agency across a variety of areas including planning, education and research.

rocky rohwedder

John Sullins, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-2277;; sullins website

Area of Water Expertise: philosophy of technology, philosophical issues of artificial intelligence/robotics, cognitive science, philosophy of science, engineering ethics, and computer ethics

Water-Related Courses Taught: PHIL 301 Philosophy of Science and Technology

Water-Related Research: My recent research interests are founded in the technologies of Robotics, AI and Artificial Life and how they inform traditional philosophical topics on the questions of life and mind as well as its impact on society and the ethical design of successful autonomous machines. My work also crosses into human interaction with environment, such as water, and the use of computer simulations in studying the evolution of morality.

Water-Related Community Connections: Center for Environmental Inquiry, SCWA

laura watt

Laura A. Watt, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies and Planning Department, SSU

Contact: (707) 664-2722;; website

Area of Water Expertise: environmental history, policy, and planning, particularly regarding public lands management and restoration

Water-Related Courses Taught: Environmental History (ENSP 307); Environmental Planning (ENSP 416); Landscape History of the American West (ENSP 421); Restoration and Society (ENSP 425)
Water-Related Research: My long-term research agenda is to explore the history of protected landscapes to bolster their long-term sustainability in terms of both natural and cultural systems.  In contrast to most land policy research, I use landscape as a tool for understanding the complex interactions between people and their environments, tracking historical changes in protected areas as indicators of shifting social dynamics and structures.  A firm grounding in property theory contributes to my interest in the interplay between public and private ownership in protecting rural landscapes.

Water-Related Community Connections:  Research work on Point Reyes National Seashore and the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project; contract work as a planner with the Arcata (King Range) and Ukiah BLM offices