School of Science & Technology

The decline in northern California kelp forests has triggered scientists and ecosystem managers to address the decline by better understanding the causes of kelp forest die-off. This unprecedented event has presented an opportunity to study the decline and work towards solutions for restoring kelp forests. With funding from The Nature Conservancy, the Hughes Lab at Sonoma State University will be conducting surveys across a gradient of kelp forest decline, as there are still a few resilient patches left to learn and study from.

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) was established by the California Legislature in 1999, and it's main purpose was to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that would serve as "ocean parks" to protect marine life and habitat. We are now about 15 year into the process and to date we still have very little understanding of estuaries within the MLPA network, and if they are meeting their goals of enhancing fisheries and protecting biodiversity.

The Remote Girls Tinker Academy is a two-week program designed to engage and inspire middle school students through Maker principles to encourage the exploration and development of technical, mathematical, and artistic abilities. For Summer 2020, thirty middle school students from across Sonoma County have been selected by CTEF/CWISE to participate in this hands-on program to be taught remotely by SSU professor and student assistants. They will participate in a variety of activities including coding, modeling, crafting, sewing, and building.

There is a growing understanding that adipose tissue releases hormones (adipokines) that help regulate metabolism, immune function and reproduction. This study examines changes in blubber gene expression and blood concentrations of adipokines in naturally fasting elephant seals, examines their relationship to immune markers and reproductive hormones, and will provide novel information on how body condition influences health and reproduction in wildlife.

Working with Project Management at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, SSU personnel will support press communications, outreach events and scientific illustrations on behalf of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory scientific missions. Dr. Cominsky is a scientific Co-Investigator for both missions, and also serves as press officer. Aurore Simonnet's illustrations of previous Fermi and Swift high-energy discoveries have included covers of two issues of Science magazine, and one issue of Nature.

Working with the Science Museum of Minnesota, SSU faculty, staff, and students create, test, and review hands-on activity toolkits and professional development opportunities & resources for museums and science center staff and volunteers. This work is a part of NASA's Space and Earth Informal STEM Education Project. Dr.

The Family Nurse Practitioner Program at SSU offers a Master of Science as well as a Post Masters Certificate Program with a full and part-time option.  The mission of our program is to serve the underserved populations in Northern California.   With the help of grant funding we are able to provide an opportunity for Advance Practice Nurses in rural areas to become nurse practitioners while staying in their community to provide the care to those patients in need.

The SEnS Program is the first engineering summer camp at Sonoma State University. This hands-on program teaches students engineering design, innovation, analysis, planning, teamwork, and communication skills. Students will create exciting projects, including Bluetooth enabled robo-car, light tracking system, electronic games, and much more.

Transformative Inclusion in Postsecondary STEM: Towards Justice (TIPS Towards Justice) aims to increase the participation and success of Latinx students in STEM by transforming STEM department cultures to become truly “Hispanic-Serving.” Starting in the Math and Stats Department followed by other STEM departments, faculty will develop, test, and publish a two-year departmental pathway that will address persistent marginalization and underrepresentation of Latinx students in STEM—a necessary step if the talents of a growing Latinx population are to benefit the country.

The goal of this project is to uncover how human cells regulate their chromosome organization during cell division throughout normal, and disease states. Chromosomes are packaged DNA structures that consist of an individual’s genetic information. During cell division, chromosomes will duplicate, and divide equally among two daughter cells. Abnormalities that occur during cell division in humans can lead to detrimental consequences, and disease.

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