College of Natural Sciences


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The Center for Healthy Communities at Chico State (CHC) has received funding to expand and continue the CalFresh Outreach (CFO) Higher Ed. Contract through 2024. The California Department of Social Services funds the Center to run the CFO program which includes providing training and technical assistance to 5 community based organizations and 50 college campuses spanning all 3 systems of public higher education and private colleges in the state of California.

Center for Healthy Communities at Chico State’s CalFresh Outreach Higher Ed & Far North contract helped put an estimated $63 million in pockets of students and community members for groceries in 2022. When using the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Multiplier Effect, CHC helped create nearly $100 million in economic impact across the state.

CHC partners with these community organizations and campuses to assist likely eligible community members and college students with the CalFresh Food benefit application process. CalFresh Food benefits help supplement applicants' grocery budgets so they can afford healthy food and contributes significantly to the economy.

To learn more about CalFresh Outreach visit CHC's website.

The new Science Building, which houses the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Science Education, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences, officially opened in January 2021. Many faculty and students began research in the building during the summer, and we are now offering in-person classes this fall.   

The Student Success Lab (SSL) has also opened at the new Science Building. Located on the fourth floor, SSL offers study spaces, access to computers, and free printing to students majoring in a program housed in the College of Natural Sciences. SSL is facilitated by Advising and Retention Specialist, Stephanie Ross, who also assists students with academic advising, campus navigation and much more. 

Chemistry Summer Research Institute (CSRI) provides a stipend to students for 10 weeks of full-time research. 19 students participated in this program with 9 faculty supervisors during the summer of 2021. Students were active in their research and were able to safely present their findings while socially distancing, and several will be presenting at the American Chemical Society in March 2022.

Monica So was awarded 2 grants: “Assessment of Lettuce Responses to Lighting using Semi-Transparent Agrivoltaics”, Agricultural Research Institute, June 2022, funded $250,000 and “LEAPS-MPS: Tunable Hybrid Materials for Charge Transport”, NSF, August 2021, funded $250,000.

Hyewon and Joe Pechkis in the Physics Department manage a team of students that investigate the fundamental nature of matter by slowing particles down to nearly absolute zero. This means Chico houses the coldest place in all of California!

Joe Pechkis was also awarded the 2021 Outstanding Lecturer Award selected by the University’s Faculty Recognition and Support Committee. Anther 2020-2021 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient in the College of Natural Sciences includes Amanda Banet (Outstanding Research Mentor).

Dr. Eric Ayars, in the Physics Department, was part of an international expedition to Antarctica to obtain spectroscopic data from the solar corona during the total solar eclipse of 2021.

Physics Summer Research Investigations (PSRI) provided a $5000 stipend to 12 students for 10 weeks of full-time research. Several students presented their research at national conferences after the summer.

Earth and Environmental Science professor Dr. Shane Mayor received an NSF grant within the Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program with his colleague Dr. Chenning Tong at Clemson University. They will be studying the theoretical and observational investigations of multi-point Monin-Obukhov similarity in the convective atmospheric surface layer.

Earth and Environmental Sciences professor Dr. Sandrine Matiasek and a team of students examine the magnitude of water contamination that resulted from the Camp Fire, as well as the possible public health and environmental implications for urban and environmental users in Butte County and beyond. With more than 14,000 structures lost to the fire, as well as hundreds of businesses, thousands of cars, and widespread infrastructure, the implication for impacts is significant.

Earth and Environmental Sciences students and faculty are assisting on one of the biggest paleontological finds in state history! Unearthing California's Prehistoric Past.(opens in new window)

ERTH Graduate Student Maurice Ledoyen was selected as an Outstanding Graduate by the university and featured in Chico State Today.

The Mathematics and Statistics Department was awarded Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) for student support.

Math Faculty member Thomas Mattman won the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award for his paper “Invisible Knots and Rainbow Rings: Knots Not Determined by their Determinants.” The award is made to authors of expository articles published in Mathematics Magazine.

NFSC houses an amazing program called FitU. Fit U is an 8-10 week program that provide clients a total of 8 individual sessions with nutrition and physical activity mentors. Nutrition mentoring sessions are based on a non-diet approach. Mentors guide clients towards developing a healthier relationship with food.

Gateway Science Museum was awarded Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) in support of capacity building activities to improve technology, facilities, educational programs and services to the community.