Campus: CSU, Sonoma -- April 12, 2001
SSU Geography Professor Receives Grant to
Study Sudden Oak Death Spread in Sonoma County
Sonoma State University geography professor Ross Meentemeyer has received
a $36,000 grant from the Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Board to study
ways to forecast the spread of Sudden Oak Death in Sonoma County.
Meentemeyer and other SSU biologists will work with Maggi Kelley, co-director
of UC-Berkeley's Center for Assessment and Monitoring of Forest and
Environmental Resources (CAMFER).
The research will use Geographic Information Technologies to examine
the spatial distribution of Sudden Oak Death, seeking to understand
the ecological and human-influenced factors that
are involved in the spread of the disease.
The grant provides for the use of high-resolution digital aerial photography,
and GPS surveys on the ground, to determine the current distribution
and spread of infected trees. The proposed study sites are Fairfield
Osborn Preserve, Audubon Canyon Ranch's Bouverie Preserve, Jack London
State Park, and Annadel State Park.
The County has the northernmost edge of the disease in California, and
it includes areas of severe infestation as well as oak woodlands in
which the disease is just beginning.
The researchers will develop a model of the disease's progression across
the landscape to provide land managers and public officials with a tool
to prepare management and mitigation strategies, especially in areas
of high infection risk.
"This model will also provide a greater understanding of the ecological
and human-related factors associated with Sudden Oak Death's spread,"
the professor says. "Such an understanding will be invaluable for
educating Sonoma County citizens about ways to avoid inadvertently spreading
the disease further."