Californian Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit at CSUN

California State University, Northridge, is a member of the Californian Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit. CESUs are consortia whereby federal agencies (e.g. National Park Service) and state institutions (e.g. CSUN) work together on research, technical assistance and education to address the management of cultural and natural resources. Typically a staff member in an agency and a faculty member collaborate on a project that is of interest to both parties. The agency must contribute more than financial support, and the university must benefit in a manner that is not merely financial. The purpose of this website is to allow agency staff to identify faculty members with complementary interests.


CSUN administrative contact: Scott Perez, director of research. scott.perez@csun.edu

Selected Faculty with Coincident Interests


Larry Allen (Department of Biology) – (1) the community ecology of California coastal marine fishes particularly those that occur in the bays, estuaries and harbors of Southern California and with fish assemblages in kelp bed and rock reef areas in southern California; (2) the population ecology of commercial species of fishes including white seabass, California halibut, kelp bass, barred sand bass, and spotted sand bass. larry.allen@csun.edu.

Joyce Broussard (Department of History) – Nineteenth Century U.S. history with particular reference to the American South and California, Women and Gender, Public History, Documentary Film. joyce.broussard@csun.edu

Ronald L. F. Davis
(Department of History) – U.S. Economic and Labor history; Civil War history; head of Natchez Project on southern history. ronald.davis@csun.edu

Thomas W. Devine
(Department of History) – History of 20th Century U.S., Cold War thought and culture, Youth Culture tom.devine@csun.edu

Robert Carpenter (Department of Biology) – (1) the ecology of marine benthic communities, such as kelp forests and urchin barrens; (2) the mechanisms by which physical parameters affect physiology and ecology of those communities using a combined laboratory and field approach to test hypotheses about mass-transfer limitation of reef algae. rcarpenter@csun.edu.

Helen Cox (Department of Geography) - atmospheric composition, ozone depletion, air pollution; (2) remote sensing of the atmosphere and the earth’s surface; (2) climate change; (3) hydrological modeling and issues relating to increased runoff and water pollution from the increased imperviousness of the surface resulting from urban sprawl; (4) water supply. helen.m.cox@csun.edu.

Steve Dudgeon (Department of Biology) – the ecological states of communities on rocky shores, particularly how disturbances and invasive species result in alternative communities. steve.dudgeon@csun.edu.

Shawna Dark (Department of Geography) – (1) the distribution of biodiversity and the spatial aspects of human impact on our natural environment; currently, documenting the distribution and type of wetlands in southern California, using GIS and color infra-red aerial photography to map and classify wetlands; (2) the invasion of non-native species (both plants and animals) into the Mediterranean ecosystems of California from a spatial perspective; currently, the use of vegetation indices derived from satellite imagery for identifying the distribution of invasive plants in natural ecosystems. shawna.dark@csun.edu.

Matthew Des Lauriers (Department of Anthropology) – models of ecological shifts over the course of the holocene, as well as shorter duration resiliency and stability in the face of both human and climate induced change. amalgua@yahoo.com.

Robert E. Espinoza (Department of Biology) – The biology of amphibians and reptiles, with emphases on adaptations to their abiotic environment (e.g., temperature) and how the abiotic environment influences where they live and how they interact with each other and other organisms. One application of this line of research would be to establish habitat-protection plans based on the abiotic niche defined for a given species. robert.e.espinoza@csun.edu.

Doug Fischer (Department of Geography) – Biogeography and environmental geography in general with specific interests in (1) fog, overcast, and other microclimate factors that affect plant species range limits, (2) climate change impacts on species distributions and range limits, (3) biodiversity conservation and reserve management planning. dougfischer@cox.net.

David A. Gray (Department of Biology) – Behavior, coevolution, and speciation, especially of insects; molecular ecology.  Students have studied a diversity of organisms (crickets, flies, crayfish, bobcats). dave.gray@csun.edu.

Jim Hayes (Department of Geography) – biogeography and vegetation dynamics, the landscape ecology of fire/distrubance ecology. james.hayes@csun.edu.

Fritz Hertel (Department of Biology) – the functional morphology of birds and mammals and its relationship to ecological segregation among species; students have worked on management plans for endangered mammals and reintroduced birds. fritz.hertel@csun.edu.

Cheryl Hogue (Department of Biology) – the effects of pollution and other environmental conditions on the rates of parasitism and the species diversity of parasites of fishes. cheryl.hogue@csun.edu.

Tim Karels (Department of Biology) – (1) Identifying processes that influence population growth or decline in terrestrial vertebrates, primarily small mammals; (2) development and evaluation of statistical and field methods for monitoring wildlife health and abundance; (3) assessing impact of climate and climate variability on northern and alpine vertebrate demography and population dynamics.  karels@csun.edu.

Julie Laity (Department of Geography) – aeolian, fluvial, and groundwater systems in deserts: (1) wind erosion, rock abrasion, and the human impact on deserts, including problems of dune encroachment and dust generation; (2) wind erosion and climate change during the past 10,000 years in the southwestern United States; (3) environmental degradation and groundwater overdraft in the Lower Mojave Valley, resulting in the death of native vegetation, the reactivation of ancient dune systems, and problems associated with blowing sand. julie.laity@csun.edu.

Michael Love (Department of Anthropology) – early complex societies, archaeological method and theory, ceramic analysis. michael.love@csun.edu.

Kathie Marsaglia (Department of Geological Sciences) – sandstone petrology, sedimentation. kathie.marsaglia@csun.edu.

Jennifer A. Matos (Department of Biology) – population genetics of rare, isolated populations, and hybridizing species of plants and vertebrate animals. jmatos@csun.edu.

Vicki Pedone (Department of Geological Sciences) – Carbonate petrology, for example of dried lake beds. vicki.pedone@csun.edu.

Suzanne Scheld (Department of Anthropology) – urban contemporary anthropology with applications for cultural diversity/cultural preservation in public spaces. suzanne.scheld@csun.edu.

Paula Schiffman (Department of Biology) – (1) the ecology of plants and the animals that disturb them; (2) California “grasslands” (which in some places were not dominated by grasses before European alien species arrived); (3) how the ecological community works at Carrizo Plain National Monument. pschiffman@csun.edu.

Josh Sides (Department of History) – California history; African-Americans in California and the West; urban history in twentieth-century Los Angeles and San Francisco. jsides@csun.edu

Paul Wilson (Department of Biology) – (1) inventories of mosses from various locations in California to study geographic changes/stasis in the niche relations of the species; (2) pollination biology particularly of Penstemon species and relatives; (3) student studies of why rare species are rare. paul.wilson@csun.edu.

Ali Tabidian (Department of Geological Sciences) – stream/aquifer hydraulics, nonpoint-source water pollution, perchlorate, and arsenic hydrogeochemistry. ali.tabidian@csun.edu.

Eugene Turner (Department of Geography) – cartography and American demography. GIS techniques and application of spatial analysis. Co-author of: We the People: An Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity (1988) and The Ethnic Quilt: Population Diversity in Southern California (1997). eugene.turner@csun.edu.

Jorge Vazquez (Department of Geology) – (1) quantification of magma residence at Yellowstone and Toba calderas using uranium-series geochronology and trace-element diffusion, (2) cosmogenic chlorine-36 dating of basaltic volcanism in eastern California, (3) generation of trachytic magmas in Hawaii. jvazquez@csun.edu

Scott Williams (Department of Leisure Studies and Recreation) – ecotourism; tourism in the outdoor recreation context; visitor impacts in natural areas; past work includes collaborations with the US Forest Service on the National Visitor Use Monitoring Survey (NVUM) in Oregon and Washington and is a "Master Educator" with Leave No Trace. sdwilliams@csun.edu.

Douglas Yule (Department of Geological Sciences) - geological mapping, active faults, and paleoseismology. j.d.yule@csun.edu.