Campus: CSU Chico -- January 23, 2002
Environmental Science to be Boosted by Field Research Equipment at CSU Chico
California State University, Chico's College of Natural Sciences is
acquiring an array of equipment to use in the field to support course
work and research in the environmental sciences.
The Environmental Science Field Research Unit (ESFRU) will include
varied sensors, meters and probes along with portable hardware and software.
The equipment will be able to fit in the back of a truck and will be
used by faculty and students in environmental science, geology, hydrology,
biology, chemistry and math and possibly other programs.
James Houpis, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, said the field
research unit would include some new and existing equipment. The cost
of new equipment will be $259,000, he said. The unit will be assembled
during the spring 2002 semester.
Among the new equipment to be purchased will be an auger for taking
soil samples, a transmitter and receiver that take sonic readings in
drilling holes, a portable kit for measuring photosynthesis, and a spectrometer
and reflectometer to test soils and plants, respectively.
"I feel ESFRU will provide great opportunities for our students
and faculty in the environmental arena," said Houpis. "Not
only will it enhance our existing record of excellence in environmental
curriculum and research, but the portable nature of it will facilitate
collaborative efforts with other colleges and take full advantage of
the new CSU, Chico Big Chico Creek Reserve."
Houpis said some of the benefits of the field research unit will be
promoting cross-discipline class work and research, providing students
local research opportunities, offering environmental educational programs
to the community and training students on state-of-the-art equipment
that will help them compete in the job market.
Interest in environmental education and research is strong in the college
and university-wide, Houpis said. Many undergraduate and graduate students
are choosing environmental research projects for their theses, he said.
Since July, the college has secured more than $800,000 in funding through
grants and contracts, he added.