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Other Centers, Facilities, and Programs
in Environmental Sciences at SDSU

The Applied Microbiology Laboratory provides support to businesses and government agencies in the solution of microbiological problems. The Laboratory specializes in the enumeration of soil, marine and freshwater bacteria, especially those capable of degrading petroleum hydrocarbons and cyanides.Contact: Dr. Barabara B. Hemmingsen, 619-594-6275,

The Biological Resources Division (BRD) Field Station is a unit of the U.S. Geological Survey that is based in the SDSU Department of Biology. It fosters cooperation and collaboration between BRD scientists and those at SDSU and other regional universities in the conduct of scientific research in plant and animal ecology and conservation, urban ecology, taxonomy, toxicoloty, physiology, and chemistry, as well as wildlife and fisheries inventory, monitoring, and management.

The SDSU Biological Field Stations have operations based at four sites in the San Diego region: the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (1714 ha), the Sky Oaks Biological Field Station (874 ha), the Fortuna Mountain Research Reserve (500 ha), and the Tijuana River National Esturine Research Reserve (NERR). These facilities support teaching and research on the natural ecosystems of southern California by students and faculty at SDSU and cooperating institutions, and are managed for the long-term preservation of the native fauna and flora.

The Central Asia Research and Remediation Exchange (CARRE) is an umbrella organization under which projects linking Central Asian countries such as Turkmenistan and Kazakstan can incorporate resources and expertise from SDSU, other CSU schools, and NGO's. Remote sensing and GIS via the Internet and assistance in infrastructure development including oil and gas development, pipeline siting and monitoring, agriculture development, tourism, and business are part of our focus. Many of problems in Central Asia are nearly identical to those in the Salton Trough, which is several hundred times smaller, but with expertise that can assist the people of Central Asia.

The Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) is an internationally recognized facility that specializes in applying image processing, remote sensing, GIS,automated cartography, and numerical modeling to problems with a spatial dimension.

The Center for Energy Studies (CES) facilitates, promotes and supports research and academic programs relating to the study of energy and its impact on society. Emphasis is on issues of concern to the San Diego region, including the border region with Mexico. The Center provides a forum for faculty, students and researchers from different disciplines to cooperate in the study of matters relating to the technical, economic and environmental aspects of energy use.

The Center for Hydro-Optics and Remote Sensing (CHORS) carries out interdisciplinary research on bio-optical properties and remote sensing of the ocean environment. To support its projects, it maintains staff expertise, equipment inventories, and laboratory facilities for shipboard measurements of bio-optical variables (spectral radiometric quantities, beam attenuation, and absorption), analyses of HPLC pigment concentrations, and laboratory characterization and calibration of instruments for spectral radiometric measurements in both underwater and remote sensing applications, and computer processing of remotely sensed satellite imagery.

The Coastal and Marine Institute (CMI) is a multi-disciplinary consortium of faculty members interested in coastal and marine issues and environmental research. The mission of CMI is to provide undergraduate and graduate education in marine science and to conduct research leading to the wise management of coastal marine resources.

The Ecology Program, a subunit of the Department of Biology, represents one of the core SDSU programs in the environmental sciences, offers courses and research opportunities in terrestrial, marine, and inland water systems and in subdisciplines ranging from environmental physiology to population biology to global change. Masters degree and doctoral degree programs are offered, the latter in conjunction with the University of California at Davis.

The Electron Microscope Facility at SDSU is fully equipped to prepare and examine specimens using a transmission electron microscope, a scanning electron microscope, or a research light microscope equipped with fluorescence, Nomarski, brightfield, darkfield or phase optics. Recording and imaging devices permit acquisition and manipulation of analog or digital images. Dr. Steven Barlow is the Associate Director and day-to-day administrator (619-594-4523;

The Global Change Research Group (GCRG) conducts research to elucidate the responses of plants and ecosystems to elevated carbon dioxide levels to assist understanding of potential changes at the global scale, so that politicians can make informed policy decisions that affect the world's biological future.

The Hydrogeology Labs Research Group (HLRG) conducts research in the fate and transport of organic contaminants in the subsurface environment. Laboratory studies evaluate contaminant sorption onto aquifer solids, dissolution of hydrocarbonresiduals into infiltrating water and the transport of organic vapors. Field research is being conducted in the characterization of aquifer permeabilities and heterogeneities.

The Institute for International Security and Conflict Resolution (IISCOR) encourages and facilitates teaching and research in the multidisciplinary area of international security and conflict resolution, including topics such as nuclear armaments, international and intranational conflict, sociopolitical violence, and global environmental issues as they relate to security.

The Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias (IRSC) is a multidisciplinary research and outreach unit at SDSU that addresses issues of importance in the U.S.-Mexican border region and elsewhere around the world. A central focus of IRSC's programs over the past decade has been on environmental issues of the U.S.-Mexican border region. Current efforts continue in this vein with specific projects on the state of the environment in the transborder Tijuana Watershed and sustainable development in the U.S.-Mexican border region. IRSC is the SDSU contact for the Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP). IRSC is currently developing BorderEcoWeb ( to facilitate public access to border environmental information.

The International Population Center (InterPop) promotes applied demographic research and the provision of technical assistance and consulting, especially focusing on population issues and policy with the San Diego/Tijuana region.

The San Diego Economic Information and Modeling Project develops regional economic models and databases for SanDiego, Southern California and Northern Mexico, and conductspolicy related research on regional economic issues.

The Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory (PERL) conducts research on and monitoring of southern California coastal wetlands, focusing on habitat restoration. Current projects include evaluations of plant species diversity and ecosystem functioning, plant propogation methods, food web dynamics, and habitat heterogeneity. PERL's research is conducted at Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Los Penasquitos Lagoon, and San Quintin Bay (Baja California).

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