claudia luke and group in ecuadorian rain forestClaudia Luke, director of the Center for Environmental Inquiry at Sonoma State University returned last month from Ecuador, where she spent a few days working with the Ecuadorian government giving recommendations on how to integrate national park land into a public university.

The land in question is a wide swath stretching from the Andes to the Amazon Basin. Luke was part of a group of international experts who spent a day in the rain forest and spoke with native people on the edge of the forest as part of their research.

vineyards Residents in five wine-producing areas in the North Bay view the wine industry in highly positive terms, according to a new study by Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute.

The preliminary results come from a study designed to examine Californians' perceptions of the wine industry and its impact on quality of life. The survey was conducted as part of ongoing research to establish baseline data that informs industry, communities and future policy decisions in the state of California.

peter singerThe Center for Ethics, Law, and Society (CELS) at Sonoma State University presents "Global Poverty and What We Ought to be Doing About It," a talk by professor Peter Singer, one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, on September 9 in Weill Hall.

"It's a chance for our students to hear from a high-profile speaker who challenges us to think about altruism in new ways." says Joshua Glassgow, Sonoma State philosophy professor and director of CELS.

Carlos AyalaThe Better Together California Teachers Summit gathered 20,000 K-12 educators for a one-day collaborative conference at universities across the state last week, with 200 teachers meeting at Sonoma State University to watch simulcast keynote sessions and participate in localized "Ed Talks" on classroom and curriculum innovation.

"The value of something like this is really bringing experienced and new teachers together," said Pam Van Halsema, dean's strategist for the School of Education at Sonoma State and organizer of the on-campus event. "Teachers are isolated in their profession. This event was set up to get them to talk together, plan together and collaborate."

still from film guerosThe fall 2015 slate of screenings by the Sonoma Film Institute at Sonoma State University celebrates local documentaries, international feature films, and rare revivals.

The season kicks off with the award-winning documentary "On Her Own," about Sonoma County farmer Nancy Prebilich and her family as they struggle to keep their fifth generation farm afloat during the recent recession. Prebilich will be present at both screenings to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.

outside panorama of housing villageSonoma State University is listed in the top 20 "Best College Dorms" by the Princeton Review. The university is ranked at No. 12, and is the only California State University to make the list, which includes just four West Coast schools. Sonoma State is also ranked No. 63 in the Western Region by the Princeton Review.

flying dinosaur illustrationSonoma State University biology professor Nick Geist published his work on the lung structure and functioning of the flying reptile Pterosaurs in an article entitled "Breathing in a Box" in the journal Anatomical Record. The research was also recently profiled in Brian Switek's' National Geographic blog Phenomena.

Janet HessThough the topics and approach are vastly different, Sonoma State University professor Janet Hess finds similarities in the sense of place and culture in the two books she released this year.

Hess, who counts a Ph.D. from Harvard amongst her numerous degrees, is a professor of art history and African studies in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies. Her new books, "The Art of Richard Mayhew," and "Osage and Settler: Reconstructing Shared History Through an Oklahoma Family Archive," weave touches of personal narrative with historical perspective.

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