From restoring historic ships to planting a garden to researching water quality, CSU students are critically evaluating the health of our ecosystem and helping to improve our local and global communities.
One year after the devastation that came from the massive earthquake off the coast of Sendai, 15 CSU Channel Islands students enrolled in Science and Technology in Japan traveled to Japan to volunteer in the rebuilding efforts during their spring break.
Some of the first words of greeting that Earth Sciences Professor Judy King receives from Biogeography students are: "Have you seen the garden today?"; "Did you notice how much the Sycamore has grown?"; "Those Monkey Flowers are blooming like crazy!" With funding from an ECO LED grant made possible by Edison International, 26 students joined forces to plan a garden, learn the scientific and common names of their plants, dig, add amendment, dig some more, learn to plant carefully, spread wood chips, build a path, and water diligently.
Students in Dr. Steve Blumenshine's aquatic ecology course work with a variety of community partners on issues of water quality and habitat restoration, including fish sampling, water testing, river restoration efforts and teaching aquatic ecology modules in local classrooms.
In Dr. Matthew Johnson's Upland Habitat Ecology course, students learn about the process of research by being exposed to real issues impacting their community and sharing their findings and recommendations with local planners and city officials.
Volunteer work aboard historic vessels in the San Francisco Bay is a tradition at California State University Maritime Academy. Robbie Jackson, instructor of Marine Engineering Technology, saw a need to spread the word among campus cadets to get involved by offering a Historic Ship Preservation service-learning course.
The students of Engineers Without Borders USA-Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (EWB-Cal Poly) are creating change domestically and abroad. In the summer of 2011, students worked with villagers in Sainji, India to create an economical and user-friendly corn de-kerneler to help ease the physical stress of their manual method.