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Chico State

Science and Environment

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.

President Gayle Hutchinson laughs with graduate students Valerie Sgheiza and Mallory Peters as they stand on a dock on the Sacramento River.

Finding Answers in the River

An interdisciplinary team of Chico State faculty and graduate students conduct research on the Sacramento River to establish predictable patterns in drowning cases and create an app to aid law enforcement in decreasing recovery time.

Michaela Marr studies needles on a tree.

Opting Outside: Students Plunge Into Watershed for Immersive Course

One class spent two incredible weekends camping on Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve and exploring study sites ranging from the Sacramento River all the way upstream to the creek headwaters, to understand how the watershed works as a whole and learn about the wildlife that exists there.

Students show off metal and paper straw alternatives

Get Ready: Chico State is Going Strawless

Chico State goes through 130,000 plastic straws every year. Starting April 23, these single-use items will be no longer be sold on campus.

Liz Bianchini performs lab work

On the Hunt for Avian Influenza Virus

While the work may be dirty, the goal is more glamorous. Chico State virologist Troy Cline and students are identifying avian influenza viruses in waterfowl in hopes of preventing threats to human health and the US poultry industry.

Graduate student Dylan Stompe (left) drives a boat along with Carlos Estrada (right) as students count salmon as part of a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (UGR) involved in the Chico STEM Connections Collaborative (CSC2) program on the Sacramento River on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer)

Saving the Salmon

Chico State students and faculty members join forces with high-profile partners and the United States Bureau of Reclamation in multi-million dollar mission to save the Chinook salmon.

A man highlights a butterfly guide.

Close Encounters of the Insect Kind

A trip to Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve to aid in the North American Butterfly Association's annual butterfly count proves more elusive than imagined.

Portrait of Curt Haselton.

The Quest for Sounder Structures

Curt Haselton, a Chico State alum and civil engineering professor, leads the development of the SP3 software that can evaluate and predict the damages a building might receive in the event of an earthquake, making it possible to improve building code to minimize overall damages.

Bones Abroad

Forensic anthropology graduate students spent their summers abroad digging for research opportunities: Sarah Hall excavated human remains in a 19th-century cemetary in Bogota, Columbia, while Valerie Sgheiza traveled to the beaches of Antigua in the West Indies to examine the remains of 17th-century British soldiers.

Jay Bogiatto watches birds through a scope on a beach in Panama.

Professor Leads Annual Wild Goose Chase—Literally

During the annual Snow Goose Festival, Chico State biology professor and avid birder Jay Bogiatto leads a not-for-the-faint-of-heart birding field trip around the Northern Sacramento Valley.

The Chico State Tiny House Club gave a tour of their 196 sq. ft tiny house to the campus on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer)

Big Finish For Chico State’s Tiny House

CSU, Chico's Tiny House Club designed and built a home measuring less than 200 square feet, impressing judges at the recent Sacramento Municipal Utility District's Tiny House Competition.

Charged and Ready to Go

This week, the nation's first thin-film photovoltaic charging station opened on the Chico State campus, offering campus and the community eight traditional power outlets and four USB portals from the comfort of a shaded table.

Biology Lab Goes Fishin’

A student research lab on campus uses fish to pursue treatments for blood-related diseases.

A hand arranges sticks and logs in a box to make a bee hotel

Building a Better Bee Hotel

The University Farm was abuzz as more than 60 students and community members crowded a classroom for a workshop on constructing wild bee habitats commonly known as bee hotels.

Agriculture major Kristin Quigley peers into a microscope.

Supporting a North State Resource

On the first floor of Holt Hall lies one of the Central Valley's largest collection of pressed and preserved flora, totaling at over 117,000 specimens that live in the University's herbarium.

Infographic: Campus Conservation Saves Millions of Gallons of Water

With state-mandated reductions, the University is doing its part to be good neighbors and good stewards of water during California's drought.

Chico State Forensic Anthropology Program

Our forensic archaeology program gives students a rare opportunity to learn field recovery methods by documenting mock crime scenes that replicate real-life cases. Graduate students working in the Human Identification Lab assist faculty in the recovery of human remains for local and federal agencies. How has Chico State enriched your learning experience? Tag your posts […]