School of Social Sciences Centers & Institutes

Anthropological Studies Center (ASC)

The ASC was established to provide practical experience in Cultural Resources Management to complement undergraduate and graduate curricula available through the regular instruction program of the University. The Anthropological Studies Center has been helping private companies and government agency clients with archaeo-logical sites, Native American concerns, and historic buildings since 1974. Our staff’s intimate working knowledge of state and federal regulations coupled with solid scholarly research earned ASC the American Society of Civil Engineers 1999 Award of Merit as well as the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation; in 2003 ASC’s director received the Society for California Archaeology’s Thomas F. King Award in Cultural Resources Management.

ASC is led by Dr. Thomas Whitley, a practicing archaeologist with with over 30 years experience. The organization’s large staff is managed by Mary Praetzellis, M.A., who is also a Registered Historian.

Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

The Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is a non-profit academic institute housed in the Department of Sociology at Sonoma State University. The Center was formally constituted in February 1987 for the purpose of providing education about the origins, nature and consequences of the Holocaust. In recent years, the Center has broadened and expanded its focus to include the study of issues surrounding other historical and modern genocides.

The primary activities of the Center have been weekly, public Holocaust Lectures throughout the Spring Semester each year; the development of Holocaust resource materials (publications, videotapes, etc.) for campus, school, and public use; and cooperative efforts with a community-based group, the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust, to provide Holocaust education in the SSU service area schools.

The Center promotes research on Holocaust themes and has also sponsored conferences, teacher training workshops, film series and author presentations. In collaboration with the Schulz Information Center, other regional libraries and the Holocaust Library in San Francisco, it endeavors to maintain and enhance the SSU Holocaust collection.

Environmental Technology Center (ETC)

The Environmental Technology Center (ETC) is a dynamic, interactive and integrative facility where faculty, students, and community members can work together in education, applied research, and collaborative projects on energy and environment. Incorporating sustainable building techniques and a wide range of design features that minimize energy use, the ETC is projected to consume only 20% of the energy allowed by state code for similar buildings. These “Green Building” features include environmentally responsible building materials, passive solar heating and cooling, daylighting and shading, advanced window systems, “smart building” control technologies, photovoltaic electricity, and energy and water-efficient landscaping.

Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis (CIGA)

The mission of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis (CIGA) is to enable and promote the application of geospatial technology to social and environmental problems through research, education and community service. The lab seeks interdisciplinary collaboration among campus and external researchers, students and other organizations in projects that involve geographic information and spatial analysis at local to global scales. To accomplish these goals, the GIC provides: computer, software and data resources; Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing expertise and consulting services; educational courses; and community outreach. Courses in the Department of Geography and Global Studies provide a solid foundation in geospatial science. Students are given a unique opportunity to broaden and refine their education by working on real-world problems in CIGA research projects and service contracts.

Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC)

The Center for Sustainable Communities specializes in preparing and implementing climate-friendly, sustainable community strategies. Located within the Environmental Studies and Planning Department, the Center draws upon the expertise of recently "recycled" governmental officials and faculty who mentor and work with several carefully selected students on real world projects. The Center and its predecessor organization, the Institute for Community Planning Assistance, have prepared planning documents and research for many local City and County governments. Examples include the writing of "Healthy by Design: a Public Policy and Land Use Planning Workbook" that received top honors in its category in 2011 from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association, preparing greenhouse gas reduction strategies for the Cities of Vallejo and Santa Rosa and assisting in the development of a model Solar Energy Facilities Ordinance and Guidance Document for the California County Planning Directors Association. The CSC is providing a climate action plan to the City of Benicia. In addition, the Center oversees Green Building and Sustainable Development Certificate programs and has been requested by the California Department of Water Resources to develop a low-impact development decision tool.

Currently, four former County and City Community Development Directors, two ENSP faculty members and five students are engaged in Center-related activities.

Northwest Information Center (NWIC)

The Northwest Information Center (NWIC) is one of eleven Information Centers (IC) that comprise the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS, designated by the State Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) as an official regional repository for that portion of the statewide inventory of historic resource information, NWIC has the regional area which covers the sixteen north coastal, central interior and bay area counties of Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. The three main functions: to archive historical resource records and reports; to provide access to the historical resource information through either staff-generated assessments with accompanying recommendations to private and public agencies, cultural resource consulting companies, and the general public, or to provide direct access to qualified individuals; to provide public education by offering student internships and tours as well as through formal and informal presentations to members of the general public regarding historical resources and the various regulatory context under which under which these resources are considered. Students in Anthropology, History, Geography, and Environmental Studies and Planning often intern at NWIC.