CSU Fullerton -- November 14, 2003
Grants Flow to Cal State Fullerton Hydrogeologist
Richard Laton, Cal State Fullerton assistant professor of geological
sciences, is awash in grants dealing with the health of groundwater
in two Southern California regions, a circumstance that has created
a stream of opportunities for real-world research by the university’s
The Santa Ana resident has received grants totaling more than $250,000
from the Mojave Water Agency for research on water sources, water sampling
and water supplies in the Victorville, Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley
areas. The most recent grant awarded this fall — for $192,907
— funds various research projects.
The agency is looking ahead to the day when the area, which currently
has about a half-million residents, will grow to 1.5 million. Reliable
sources of water will be essential to support this growth, Laton noted.
Already, the area is developing as one of Southern California’s
newest commuter communities.
Laton and his students also have been conducting research on the San
Gabriel River through a $32,000 Friends of the San Gabriel River grant.
He and graduate students Brenda Nelson of Santa Fe Springs and Daneh
Manouchehri of Fullerton have been surveying the river from the Whittier
Narrows Dam to its southern end near Seal Beach in order to produce
a series of maps in connection with a Watershed Management Plan for
the area. The goal, noted Laton, is to maintain all water chemistry
information on one database that can be used to determine the health
of the river.
In addition, the researchers are working on standardizing areas for
sampling so that citizen groups can monitor the river for the next 20
years. In projects for the Mojave Water Agency — which covers
an area of more than 5,000 square miles — Laton forecasts research
work for the next two decades.
Students are learning valuable lessons in the various projects, Laton
said. “In deep-well drilling, for example, students are getting
hands-on experience no other CSU students are having. Students see everything
from start to finish — drilling the holes, installing the pipes,
sampling the water and writing reports. All of this experience can be
of great help when looking for a job.”
Working on the Mojave Water Agency projects are graduate students Rene
Perez of Riverside and Anna Garcia of La Mirada, as well as undergraduates
Mike Blazevic and Andy Tang of Fullerton, Nick Napoli of Brea and Viva
Ebbs of La Verne.
Students will be displaying their research findings in three poster
presentations Dec. 8-12 at the National Groundwater Conference in Orlando.
Four students presented research posters Oct. 28-29 at the California
Groundwater Conference in Ontario. The CSUF student posters were the
only student posters accepted for presentation at the Ontario conference.
Media Contacts: Richard Laton, assistant professor
of geological sciences, (714) 278-7514 or email@example.com
Dave Reid, Public Affairs, (714) 278-4855 or firstname.lastname@example.org