Find an Expert

The Sonoma State University faculty and staff listed below have fire-related expertise, research interests, and/or projects. Contact them via email.

Center for Community Engagement

Center for Environmental Inquiry

School of Arts and Humanities

School of Business and Economics

School of Education

School of Science and Technology

School of Social Sciences


Other Departments


Center for Community Engagement:


Melissa Garvin, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Project: As CCE Faculty Fellow, Missy is coordinating the development of a campus clearinghouse for fire-related projects.


Center for Environmental Inquiry:

Claudia Luke, Director, Center for Environmental Inquiry
Expertise: Development of environmental projects and programs


Suzanne DeCoursey, Education & Reservations Manager

Expertise: Fairfield Osborn Preserve

School of Arts and Humanities:

Justine Law, Assistant Professor, Hutchins School of Liberal Studies
Research and project: Human-environment geography, ecological management practices; human performance in post-fire landscapes


Alexis Mcnab, Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts and Dance
Expertise and project: Directing, acting, multidisciplinary performance; human performance in post-fire landscapes


Gregory Roberts, Professor, Studio Arts
Expertise and project: Ceramics and clay sculpture; creating the Sonoma Ash Project, a collection of ceramic objects offering a physical remembrance for those who lost homes in the fires


School of Business and Economics:

Honore Comfort, Executive in Residence, Wine Business Institute
Research and project: Impacts of the wildfires on the North Coast wine industry


Judith Ford, LecturerContact:
Research and project: Director of Bio-Regional Development for Sustainable North Bay, working on North Bay Forward Initiative, a place-based community development plan


School of Education:

Kristina De Korsak, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Studies
Research and project: Developing a database of resources for children and families in times of trauma

Elizabeth Ducy, Lecturer, Special Education
Research and project: Disaster preparedness for students with disabilities; impacts of the wildfires on children with developmental disabilities and their families


School of Science and Technology:

Lisa Bently
Expertise and research: Genetic & phenotypic diversity of oak seedlings for post-fire re-planting; sudden oak death, fire intensity and post-fire vegetation recovery

Farid Farahmand, Associate Professor, Engineering Science
Expertise and research: Optical networks, sensors, and communications; developing fire sensors with power harvesting capability


Derek Girman, Professor, Biology
Expertise and research: Conservation biology and genetics; fire impact on wildlife


Melina Kozanitas, Lecturer, Biology
Expertise and research: Plant biology; phytopathology; sudden oak death.


Nathan Rank, Professor, Biology
Expertise and research: Evolutionary ecology; fire impact on sudden oak death

Martha Shott, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Expertise and research: Applied mathematics; interdisciplinary research; First Year Experience; supervising freshmen on fire studies


School of Social Sciences:

Maureen Buckley, Professor, Counseling
Expertise and research: School counseling, emotional competency; post-fire survey of area school counselors


Matthew Clark, Professor, Geography
Expertise and research: Director of Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis; GIS, remote sensing, and biogeography.


Michelle Goman, Associate Professor, Geography Contact: Expertise and research: detection of historic fires using dendochronology and soil analysis


Jacquelyn Guilford, Lecturer, Geography, Environment, & Planning Contact:
Expertise and research: Molecular mechanisms of toxicity; monitoring creek sediment downstream of fires in Mark West Creek, Piner Creek, Paulin Creek, and Brush Creek for hazardous levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and metals.


margie purser Margaret Purser, Professor, Anthropology
Expertise and research: GIS applications in cultural landscapes; Santa Rosa neighborhood heritage mapping project 2018 post-fire


Thomas Whitley, Associate Professor, Anthropology Contact: Expertise: Director of Anthropological Studies Center; archaeological applications of GIS and spatial analysis, interpreting cognitive landscapes, remote sensing, human ecology, complex socio-economic simulations, and predictive modeling



Mary Wegmann, Collection Development Librarian
Project: Coordinating the North Bay Fires Anniversary exhibit in the University Library Galleries


Other Departments:


Becky Cale, Board Relations Coordinator, Green Music Center
Project: Working with the Community Healing Task Force of the GMC Board of Advisors to produce a large benefit concert and storytelling event at the GMC in summer 2018, proceeds to charity

Christopher Dinno, Chief Planning Officer
Project: Developing post-fire options and opportunities for on- and off-campus student housing and off-campus faculty and staff housing in Sonoma County