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Chico State

Science and Environment

A rock decor inscribed "Home Sweet Home" is placed at a destroyed home from the Camp Fire along Newman Avenue in Paradise.

Paradise Continues to Rebuild and Evolve Three Years After the Camp Fire

Three years after the Camp Fire scattered the residents of Paradise, the town continues its rebuilding process—while also evolving.

Kendall Hall is framed by trees as a student walks up its entry path.

Fulbright Program Names Chico State to Prestigious List of National Higher-Education HSI Leaders

Chico State has been named a Fulbright HSI Leader in the designation’s inaugural year, and is one of just 35 higher education institutions nationwide to receive the honor.

Sean Nies uses a paintbrush to brush soil away from mastodon teeth.

New Gateway Exhibit Showcases Fossils Unearthed in Northern California

This extensive paleontology exhibit gives visitors a chance to explore our region’s rich evolutionary and geological history, including fossils from one of California's most remarkable discoveries.

Lee Altier stands among the plants in the aquaponics garden at the University Farm

Professor Receives Fulbright Scholar Award To Teach and Study Agricultural Best Practices in Turkey

Lee Altier is taking nearly 40 years of farming expertise to Ege University in Izmir, Turkey to focus on agroecology.

Sunlight breaks through branches and leaves of trees that are surrounded by grass and volcanic rocks

Land Donation Doubles Size of BCCER, Now CSU’s Largest Ecological Reserve

Chico State's BCCER received an anonymous land donation—doubling its size and making it one of the largest college- or university-operated reserves in the entire state.

Jesse Dizard stands on an open ridge in the foothills in front of a wooden pole with clothes and hats hanging from it.

Anthropology Professor Selected for Prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award

Jesse Dizard is interested in how natural resource management—or lack thereof—impacts individuals, subcultures and bureaucracies. In Jordan, he'll be studying impacts of its water scarcity crisis.

Sean Nies uses a paintbrush to brush soil away from mastodon teeth.

Unearthing California’s Prehistoric Past

Geological and environmental sciences students and faculty are assisting on one of the biggest paleontological finds in state history.

A student walks past the Science Building in the evening light.

Science Takes Center Stage

This fall—three years after breaking ground— the new Science Building will open fully with more than 523 in-person class sessions serving thousands of students.

A pair of cows chew grass in a field

CRARS Awarded Five-Year, $7 Million Grant to Help Counter Climate Change Challenges

Chico State’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems was awarded a five-year, $7 million grant by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Brian Brazeal wears a helmet with a headlamp in a dark mine shaft.

Anthropology Professor Chosen for Prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award

Anthropology professor Brian Brazeal is Chico State's own Indiana Jones— and was recently awarded a Fulbright award.

Office Hours: Psychology Faculty and Neuroscientist Shawn Bates

Professor Shawn Bates may be new to the Psychology Department, but he brings with him a longstanding passion for neuroscience, mentoring, and diversity in STEM.

Sunshine breaks through the tops of trees over a ranch-style setting.

Family of Professor Emeritus Gifts $1 Million for Educational Programming at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

The Dempsey family has donated $1 million to the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve—the largest cash gift in its history—for educational programming.

Lisa Kendhammer fills plastic bags with chemistry equipment for at-home experiments.

Chemistry Kits Deliver At-Home Learning Opportunities

Despite learning virtually for the vast majority of the fall semester, chemistry students are still able to conduct hands-on experiments at home.

Water gently flows through the Sacramento River

Chico State Enterprises Receives $10 Million Grant to Continue Salmon Habitat Restoration Projects

Chico State Enterprises received a $10 million grant over five years to help restore 47.3 acres of juvenile salmon habitat and 4.3 acres of spawning habitat along the Upper Sacramento River.

A digital illustration of four different movie titles

KIXE PBS to Showcase ALVA-Produced Films in August

Local Public Broadcasting Service station KIXE PBS to air a series of documentary films from Chico State's award-winning Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology.

Portrait of David Johnson in a field

Chico State Leads New Future for Agriculture Industry

To mitigate the ag industry's environmental impact, researchers at the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems are finding new methods and teaching them to the next generation.

Hyewon Pechkis smiles while in conversation.

Five-Year, $430,000 Grant Funds Cutting-Edge Physics Research at CSU, Chico

Physics faculty Hyewon Pechkis was awarded a National Science Foundation Early Career Award, granting her and her cutting-edge research $428,734 over the next five years.

A family pets a dairy cow at the University Farm.

CSU, Chico Honored as One of Nation’s Top Colleges for Agriculture Degree

Grad Reports recently honored Chico State at No. 12 on its national list of “25 Best Colleges for an Agriculture Degree” for 2020.

Students water plants in a greenhouse.

CSU, Chico Awarded $2.2 Million Grant for Undergraduate Research Experiences

The National Science Foundation awarded Chico State $2.2 million to launch a program to cultivate entrepreneurial mindsets and research opportunities right within the everyday classroom.

Students walk down a road at University Farm

Journal Club Keeps Undergraduate Agricultural Research Rolling

Unable to meet in the fields to check their research plots, an undergraduate group started a Journal Club to stay connected and keep learning.

Troy Cline and student do research in a lab

Faculty Expert: Virology Professor Troy Cline

Virologist Troy Cline shares what stands out to him about the novel coronavirus and how he’s been incorporating the crisis into his lessons.

White puffy clouds float above Trinity Tower.

Worth Sharing: Model UN Team Shines

A listing of professional achievements by Chico State faculty, staff, and students.

Several people in a grassy area set small prescribed fires with fire canisters.

University’s Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve Scheduled For Prescribed Fire

Chico State's Ecological Reserves are partnering with Terra Fuego and Cal Fire to conduct a prescribed burn on Tuesday.

Jackson Webster dips a sampling container into Butte Creek.

Water Contamination Goes Under the Microscope

A team of faculty and student researchers is examining the magnitude of water contamination that resulted from the Camp Fire, as well as public health and environmental implications.


Four faculty discuss their current research and how they aspire to change the world.

An illustration depicting five student faces and the words "The Changing Face of Chico State"

The Changing Face of Chico State

Today, Chico State is home to more identities and expressions than ever. Yet, “first gen” is one of the fastest-rising identity markers. The University is focused now more than ever to ensure they achieve their dreams—no matter how high they are set.

An illustration by Jenn Liv for Genentech shows blue cancerous cells amid a sea of purple healthy cells.

Every Two Minutes

Every two minutes, a new case of breast cancer is diagnosed in the United States. Meet three alumni whose lives are driven by these tiny yet deadly cells.

Cawa Tran speaks on stage at ED X Chico

Coral, Relationships, and Us

In this episode of "Out of Curiosity," Chico State professor Cawa Tran explains how her research on sea anemones, coral, algae, and the symbiotic relationships that tie us all together can help us learn not only how to preserve the reefs, but how to examine our own relationships.

Sam Clegg gestures as he speaks to a group of college students

Curiosity Fueled Alumnus’ Journey to Mars

Sam Clegg (Chemistry, ’92) fed an insatiable curiosity to become a laser spectroscopist and chemist at Los Alamos—and help us learn more about Mars than ever before.

Jackie Rodriguez adjusts a trail camera mounted to a tree by a strap.

‘Adopt An Acre’ Catches Critters on Camera

With support from the Adopt An Acre program, student researchers are using trail cameras to get a snapshot of the wildlife that roams the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.

A stack of national publications report the significance of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969.

“Apollo at 50:” Local Scientists Commemorate History, Look Ahead

Lisa Westwood and Dave Schlom, local experts on the American space program, share their excitement for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, space heritage, and what the future holds for space travel.

Nick Nelson smiles as he wears protective glasses and looks at a solar eclipse among a large crowd at Chico State.

Making the Stars Your Map

On this episode of the University podcast "Out of Curiosity," Chico State professor Nick Nelson explains the old-school method of finding way your home: celestial navigation.

Eli Goodsell gestures with his hand while standing in a bright green meadow surrounded by faculty and staff.

Warriors Against Wildfire

At the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, action to temper and prevent devastating wildfires has been taking place for 20 years.

Predicting the Weather is Chaos

In this episode of "Out of Curiosity," Chico State physics professor Nick Nelson explains the chaotic business of weather prediction on planet Earth.

Cindy Daley and two students crouch in a field of grass holding piles of soil in their hands.

CSU, Chico Establishes Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

Chico State has long been a pioneer in sustainability and a leader within agricultural education. Now, these two priorities will merge.

Chico State professor Garrett Liles stands a podium as he speaks to a crowd of students.

What Can We Learn From the Dirt?

On this episode of Out of Curiosity, professor Garrett Liles explains why soil is "the most important thing on the earth."

Karin Wells shines a flashlight into a burnt vehicle enshrouded in darkness from smoke with the text "The Search for What Remains" imposed bove

The Search for What Remains

Leading the nation's largest recovery effort since 9/11, Chico State's Human Identification Laboratory responded to the Camp Fire for the crucial, yet daunting task of searching for human remains.

Faculty Ashley Kendell (left) and P. Willey (right) work in the Anthropology Department Human Identification Laboratory.

Finding Answers Through Forensics

The Human Identification Laboratory's faculty members operate the most experienced forensic lab west of Texas, providing vital information on dozens of homicides, traumas, and cold cases every year.

A giant smoke column is seen exploding from flames on a darkened hillside as a wildfire rages out of control.

The Rise of Megafires

As wildfires grow faster, larger, and more deadly every day, alumni and faculty share professional and personal perspectives on what’s happening, why, and how we can respond.

Three men in protective eyewear do laser testing over a table.

Physics Research Institute Examines Space and Time

From using laser pulses to study reactions in unfathomably small time periods, to examining how stars behave over incredibly long ones, physics undergraduate researchers explored the universe this summer.