GEP Forum


An invitation to SSU Faculty, Staff, Students, & Community Members

Our Geography, Environment, and Planning (GEP) Department here at Sonoma State invites you to join our Community Research and Career Speaker Forum. We meet via Zoom from 12-12:50 on Monday this Fall 21. All are welcome, please contact Professor Jeffrey Baldwin ( for the zoom link.




Subject of talks

August 23rd

Course Introduction

Introduction with Dr Baldwin


August 30th

Environmental Education

Suzanne DeCoursey Education program director, Osborn Preserve

Research and internship opportunities with SSU‘s preserves, land management, and more broadly with the Center for Environmental Inquiry

September 6th


Labor Day

No meeting

September 13th

Environmental systems, stream form, and paleo-ecology

Prof. Michelle Goman

Chair, GEP department

(Environmental Systems Focus)

Research into early human settlement and paleo-climates in the SF Bay area and in Southern Mexico. She will also tell us more about our Environmental Systems focus, and describe research opportunities with her here at SSU

September 20sth

Stream form management

Frankie Malamud-Roam &

Elise Piazza (2019)

Army Corp of Engineers

Regulatory Project Managers with the US Army Corps of Engineers ~ Senior project manager Dr. Malamud-Roam is joined by 2019 GEP grad Elise Piazza who applied for and earned her position at the height of the Covid lockdown. Both engage in the evaluation and management of proposed projects involving navigable water of the US ~ & more!

September 27th

Working to understand and address climate change

Prof Javi Hernandez Ayala

GEP department

(Geospatial and Environmental Systems Focus) and

Claudia Sisomphou

Sonoma Clean Power

A national expert on hurricanes and climate change Prof Hernandez will tell us about his research into extreme weather and opportunities for student research in his lab. Javi is joined by SSU grad Claudia Sisomphou, communications specialist with Sonoma Clean Power

October 4th

Clean Energy

Prof Daniel Soto (Professor of energy management and technology) and Janina Turner (The Climate Center)

Dr Soto shares his research and other efforts to move us towards more sustainable and resilient energy systems. Recent SSU grad Janina Turner is working to expand Community Choice Energy within California and also as a youth movement leader

October 11th

Planning for resilient and sustainable urban and rural landscapes

Prof Kevin Fang (Professor of Urban Planning and research into alternative transportation and

Misti Arias, general manager of Sonoma County Ag and Open Space

Today we learn about planning for more sustainable cities and rural land use. Dr. Fang tells us about GEP’s planning focus and his own research into alternative transportation. SSU grad, Misti Arias was recently named General Manager of SoCo Open Space which seeks to conserve farm and wildlands

October 18th

Applying GIScience

Monica Dimson (PhD student in Geography at UCLA) and Corbin Matley (2020 GEP grad) tell us about applied work in GIS and habitat conservation

Our speakers today give us further insight into the potential of working with GIScience in applied ways to help living landscapes be more resilient. Ms. Dimson graduated from our program eight years ago and offers a compelling story of career development.

October 22nd

Due – two reflections on preparing for careers



October 25th

Environmental Law

Tom Wheeler environmental lawyer is joined by GEP grad Yadira Ramirez, third year Environmental Law student

Many of our students have expressed an interest in environmental law and policy. Our two guests today provide an early and a mid-career perspective and help us understand how to build a career in environmental law and policy

November 1st

Geographic Information Science

Prof Matthew Clark

GEP department

(Geospatial Science focus)

And alum Rose Snyder both work with local non-profit Point Blue Foundation

Dr. Clark will share his research using GI Science and Rose Snyder will speak more on their work in the "Soundscapes to Landscapes (S2L) project which uses remote sensing (satellite imagery and automated recording devices to characterize our area’s avian habitat and populations

November 8th

Alternative food systems

Christine Kuehn with Sonoma Resource Conservation District and Justin DeMatteo leads Farmster in Cotati (SSU grads ~ 2015)

Christine Kuehn leads sustainable food production projects while Dustin DeMatteo leads Farmster in Cotati which provides interested students and residents with resources for those interested in community farming and working with livestock

November 15th

Public lands and Parks management

Anne Lattke (~2015: Natl Park Service in Alaska) and

James Gergus (2016: Sonoma Regional Parks)

Following graduation from our program Anne migrated to Alaska and has developed a career in National Park management, While James is focused on the local working as a Ranger with SoCo Regional Parks

November 22rd

Sonoma Water

Allyson Souza (2016: Fish biologist) and

Aurora Alexander (2020: Water quality specialist) ~ both with Sonoma Water

Following internships with Sonoma Water (formerly SoCo Water Resources), our speakers today found permanent places for themselves at our county’s water utility, and do very different and equally interesting duties

November 29th

Graduate School

Dakota Whitman (2019: MA in Physical Geography at the University of Oregon and Kelsey Haydon (~ 2018: UC Davis, PhD Geography program in process)

Dakota, after completing his Masters degree in two years (that is really fast) is now working in Montana as a fluvial geomorphologist with the River Design Group. Kelsey’s dissertation research focuses upon climate change and water policy and environmental injustice, timely, yes?!