Geological and Environmental Sciences

Student Achievements

Fall 2018

Environmental Science Student Publication

Dan Hiney (BS Environmental Science-Applied Ecology 2018) worked with Drs. Kristen Kaczynski and Mandy Banet (Biology) to turn his senior project into a manuscript. His research Using citizen science to estimate the Coastal Rainbow Trout population of Grass Creek Valley Reservoir is now published in California Fish and Game Journal. For his research, Dan recruited six fellow anglers to assist in mark-recapture data collection over 13 days in the Fall of 2016. Dan trained these ‘citizen scientists’ in proper fish handling for measurement and fin clipping for marking. Dan’s manuscript discusses the potential for utilizing experienced anglers to assess fisheries populations.

Hiney, D.C., K.M. Kaczynski, and A.I. Banet. Using citizen science to estimate the Coastal Rainbow Trout population of Grass Creek Valley Reservoir. California Fish and Game 104(2): 75-85.

Spring 2018

Graduate Student presents at Society for Conservation GIS meeting

Lexi Thornton presented her master’s research “Mapping Risk for Phytophthora ramorum with an Anthropogenic Focus” at the Society for Conservation GIS annual meeting in July, 2018.

Lexi Thornton presenting poster

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Present at 2018 Geological Society of America Cordilleran Region Conference

Graduate students Sommer Cassady, John Kelly, Jay Smart and Sean Lucas, along with undergraduates Angelica Rodriguez (below left), Evan Pavonis and Amy Robson (below right) all presented posters at the May 2018 annual Geological Society of America (GSA) Cordilleran Region conference in Flagstaff, AZ.

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Present at the California Society for Ecological Restoration 2018 annual conference

Allen LaGrange (MS Environmental Science) and Jessica Shippen (Envir Sci – Applied Ecology) presented their research at the California Society for Ecological Restoration 2018 annual conference in San Diego. Allen presented his master’s research, Response of Wet Meadow Vegetation Along a Hydrological Gradient after Passive Restoration. Jessica presented her and Dr. Kristen Kaczynski’s research, Monitoring Short- and Long-term Vegetation Changes Following Wet Meadow Restoration.

College of Natural Sciences Poster Session Results

Once again, the GEOS Department had an amazing showing at the annual College of Natural Sciences Research Poster session. Not only did our department contribute about 1/3 of the posters (out of eight departments) but the quality was across the board outstanding. Our department won four of the six awards this year—quite impressive for one department!!


Vallejo poster

Felisa Vallejo, "A survey of native and non-native plant populations on a managed California grassland at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve”. 


Bryn Copson poster

Bryn Copson, Sandrine Matiasek, "Fate of Heavy Metals in Urban Stormwater Biofiltration Systems” 


GEOS 402 poster

April Bischel, Andre Bournet, Evan Davis, Danny Fields, Nicholas Holt, Evan Mason, Margaret Pierce, Natalio Plascencia, Amy Robson, Corey Ritchardson-Fernandez, Neil Trent, Emily Truscott, Hannah Aird, “Interpreting the Magmatic Evolution and Emplacement of the Bald Rock Pluton through Geochemical and Petrographic Analysis”. 


Jay Smart, Sean Lucas poster

Sean Lucas, Jay Smart, Ann Bykerk-Kauffman, "The Painted Gorge fault, a potentially active dextral fault in the northeastern Coyote Mountains, Salton Trough, California” 

GEOS Senior Receives Research Award for Spring 2018

Bryn Copson (ES Honors research student) was awarded a Student Award for Research and Creativity from the Provost Office for her research titled “Fate of Heavy Metals in Urban Stormwater Biofiltration Systems” in Spring 2018.

Graduate Student Receives Research Award for Summer 2018

Richard Vitamanti (MS Geosciences: Hydrology) was awarded a Student Award for Research and Creativity from the Provost Office for his summer research titled “Effects of Additives and Saturation Depth on Nutrient Retention in Urban Stormwater Biofiltration”.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students Present at 2018 This Way To Sustainability Conference

This Way to SustainabilityGraduate student Richard Vitamanti (MS Geosciences: Hydrology) and undergraduate students Bryn Copson (ES), Eric Dearden(ES), and Quoc Nguyen (Chemistry) presented their research titled “A “swale” future for stormwater: bioswales to the rescue” at the 13th annual This Way To Sustainability conference at Chico State on March 16th 2018. Their research was funded by an EPA P3 grant awarded to Dr. Matiasek.

Fall 2017

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Present at the State of the Estuary Conference

Graduate student Richard Vitamanti and undergraduate students Bryn Copson, Eric Dearden, and Rachel Libby presented their research poster on stormwater biofiltration at the State of the Estuary conference in Oakland, CA on Oct. 10-11, 2017. They presented their work to over 800 conference attendees from local, state, and federal agencies focusing on the management and ecological health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The State of the Estuary Conference showcased the latest information about the estuary’s changing watersheds, impacts from major stressors, recovery programs for species and habitats, and emerging challenges.

Graduate Student Wins Groundwater Conference Outstanding Poster Award

Environmental Science graduate student Cab Esposito presented his research at the 2017 Groundwater Conference and 26th Annual Meeting of the Groundwater Resources Association of California. Cab was awarded the "Dr. David Huntley Student Competition Award, In recognition of their Outstanding Poster Presentation at the 2017 Groundwater....". Below is the citation.

Esposito, C.M., Mehl, S., and Houk, E., 2017. Coupling land use change and regional hydrologic models to assess impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems. Presented at the 26th Groundwater Resources Association Annual Meeting, 2017: Time for Collaboration and Innovation, October 3, Sacramento, CA.

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Present at 2017 Geological Society of America Conference

Graduate student Sommer Cassady and undergraduates Angelica Rodriguez, Chad Dodge and Andrew Guglielmo all presented posters at the October 2017 annual Geological Society of America (GSA) conference in Seattle Washington.

GEOS Graduate Student Publishes Article

GEOS Graduate student Fletcher Alexander (PSM) coauthored an article that was recently published in Sustainability: Journal of Record titled Public-Public Partnerships for a New Paradigm in the Civic Role of the University (PDF). The article highlights the South Campus Neighborhood project, a collaboration between CSU Chico and the City of Chico.

Spring 2017

GEOS Graduate Student Receives Research Award

Allen LaGrange (ES, master’s student) was awarded a Student Award for Research & Creativity through the Honors Program at Chico State for his research titled “Hydrological and Ecological Indicators for Wet Meadow Restoration: Papoose Meadows, CA”.  (here’s the link: you can make it fancy with a hyperlink:

Student Project Awarded EPA Grant

In April, a team of interdisciplinary California State University, Chico students, led by Dr. Sandrine Matiasek, were awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to research and develop sustainable biofiltration technology for small urban areas like Chico. The CSU, Chico team was one of eight teams awarded the grant in the nation, as part of the EPA's People, Prosperity, and the Environment (P3) Student Design Competition Phase 2. Their two-year project, titled "Evaluating Biofiltration in Small Urban Areas: Chico, California Case Study" will be testing the effectiveness of biofiltration using sand, compost, lava rock, zeolite, and native, drought resistant plants in an effort to mitigate urban storm water runoff. The full press release of the Phase 1 project that led to their selection for the Phase 2 award can be read here.(opens in new window)

GEOS Senior Wins First Place in Research Competition

Jimmy Monge (ES, Applied Ecology Senior) won First Place in the Group 1: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate session at the 31st Annual CSUC Student Research Competition on March 7, 2017.  Jimmy presented his research at the CSU-wide conference in San Luis Obispo on April 29, 2017.