Center for Water and the Environment

Research Initiatives

Living Laboratory - Sacramento River

CWE in partnership with River Partners is using the Sacramento River as a living lab for learning about the watershed, its history and challenges, restoration, ecology and watershed processes. Research opportunities are available for undergraduate and graduate students.

  1. Salmon
  2. Restoration monitoring
  3. Carbon sequestration
  4. Water quality

 

Big Chico Creek Watershed Tour

The Big Chico Creek Watershed Tour is an innovative new program for students through CWE. Students from across campus can apply for this 1-unit course to explore watershed issues from the headwaters of Big Chico Creek to its confluence.

The purpose is to engage students in complex, real world problem-solving using a local watershed as the model for exploring issues in the context of larger, multifaceted environmental and societal systems. Students will learn with faculty from different departments across campus; engage with fellow students from different majors, use multidisciplinary research techniques, and learn hands-on about the creek that runs through campus.

 

Lower Tuscan Aquifer

Thanks to a $50,000 litigation settlement awarded to the CSU, Chico Research Foundation for water-related research, two professors in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences (Drs. Todd Greene and Karin Hoover) were able to conduct a study on the often mentioned, but little studied, Lower Tuscan Aquifer in the northern Sacramento Valley.

 

Energy

Solar Energy Research

A team of engineers and chemists working with industry, county officials, and community colleges to develop research and capacity in material, electronics, manufacturing, cybersecurity.

Biodiesel

The biodiesel team, led by Dr. Lisa Ott (Associate Professor in Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Dr. Janine Stone (Assistant Professor in Economics Department) is developing a process for using biodiesel waste glycerol in the production of deep eutectic solvents, an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional volatile organic solvents.

The team, comprised of chemistry, economics, and agricultural business students, tested the chemical process for developing DESs from waste-glycerol, and studied the economic viability of deep eutectic solvents used in university chemistry labs instead of conventional volatile organic solvents. The team was funded by EPA P3 Phase 1 to research a sustainability challenge and travel to the D.C. competition to present their innovative solution. The faculty and student team’s success led to Phase 2 funding by the EPA to continue their biodiesel research through 2019.

 

Water Quality

Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory

The mission of the Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory (ABL) is to support the use of biology in California's water-quality management and assessment programs. The ABL at CSU, Chico is affiliated with the Department of Fish & Game's Water Pollution Control Laboratory in Rancho Cordova, CA.

Water Sustainability REU

a team of civil engineers, environmental scientists, and geologists developing a research experience for undergraduates in water sustainability.

Urban Stormwater

Dr. Sandrine Matiasek is leading an interdisciplinary team of CSU, Chico students to research and develop sustainable biofiltration technology for small urban areas like Chico. Using the CWE laboratory as the staging ground for their research, the students are developing green methods for filtering urban storm water runoff in order to reduce the impact of sediments, pesticides, metals and other pollutants on local aquatic ecosystems.

WRPI Portola Project

The CWE team will assist a CSU-wide team to provide planning and engineering services to formulate a construction/financing program to replace the sewer lines for the City of Portola, and prepare feasibility studies for alternative drinking water supply and distribution. The CSU-wide team will include the Water Resources and Policy Initiatives (WRPI) administrative staff and consultants, CSU Fresno faculty, and Cal Poly Pomona faculty and students.