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Public Affairs

CSU Exploring the Unexplored

February 23, 2012
By Stephanie Thara

Offering nearly 4,000 total degree programs, the CSU allows students to explore the different realms of industries such as life science, biology, oceanography, botany, chemistry, archeology and geology. In addition to having degree options in niche professions like watershed management, fisheries biology and forestry, the CSU maintains classes that give students a well-rounded education in all aspects of science.

Through executing research, experimenting in the field, working with the local science community and participating in science-based organizations, CSU faculty brings ample experience to their classes. Faculty members make science come to life by offering hands-on opportunities and  a wealth of knowledge to  students in classes such as wetlands ecology, remote sensing, geomorphing, mycology (study of fungi), ichthyology (study of fish) and ornithology (study of birds).

With the help of students, fellow scientists and local organizations, CSU faculty has delved into the unexplored scientific topics and has impacted California with their research, including:

Rikk KvitekCSU Monterey Bay professor and seafloor mapping expert Rikk Kvitek was part of a public-private-academic partnership that helped California map all the state’s waters from the shore line to the three mile state limit. The seafloor mapping project allowed the state to institute a marine protected area network and made California the first state in the world to map the territorial sea of a state.

Paleontologist and Cal State San Bernardino professor Stuart Sumida’s anatomical expertise has made him invaluable to motion picture animators, who trust him to help properly portray animal movements. Working on more than 40 films, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” and “Kung Fu Panda,” Sumida has been part of the artistic teams nominated for 10 Oscars.

Chico State biology professor and waterfowl specialist Jay Bogiatto has conducted Danielle Zacherlresearch that has contributed to the understanding of waterfowl issues in California. Additionally, he has served as a “go to” source for the Chico community for information on population and migration patterns of ducks, geese and swans.

Cal State Fullerton professor and marine ecologist Danielle Zacherl has spearheaded efforts to revive California’s native oyster, the Olympia — Ostrea lurida — which could conceivably lead to the restoration of the Olympia fishery along the Southern California coast.