College of Natural Sciences

2020–2021

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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.

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.


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. Other 2020-2021 Outstanding Faculty Award recipients in the College of Natural Sciences Include Amanda Banet (Outstanding Research Mentor) and David Stachura (Outstanding Professor Award).


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)


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.


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.