The Friends of Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences, an affiliate of the Mendocino College Foundation, recently received a $25,000 donation from local community member and retired geologist, Robert “Bob” Blanc, to relaunch the second half of its fundraising campaign to restore and refresh aging buildings at Coastal Field Station near Point Arena.
Through the leadership of Professor Steve Cardimona and his team of faculty members, Sue Blundell and Brianna Zuber, a campaign has been underway since 2019 to raise $250,000 to provide much needed funds for deferred maintenance and upgrades. at general college field station level. Thanks to the generosity of supporters and the community at large, the campaign recently reached its 50% goal. Now, the Branch Board is delighted to announce that Mr. Blanc’s very generous donation kicked off the second half of the fundraising campaign.
As the use of the Coastal Research Station has been reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is nice to celebrate the students that the Faculty of Science has been able to support by awarding scholarships. This spring, coastal community member Noble Davis donated the work of his company, Dirt Works, to fund financial scholarships for 6 natural science students. Thanks to the generosity of community donations to the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society, six more students have received substantial scholarships since 2019:
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society Brandon Pill Memorial Scholarship
- 2019 – Jasmine Martin
- 2020 – Woodruff Taylor
- 2021 – Missael Barosa
- 2022 – Shyann Rivera
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society Greg Grantham Memorial Scholarship
- 2021 – Erin Orth
- 2022 – Zacharia Linville
The Faculty of Science has also been pleased to award the Mary Lou Koeninger Memorial Scholarship in Earth Sciences to four students since 2019:
- 2019 – Courtney Wagner
- 2020 – Samantha French
- 2021 – Ana Delgado Mendoza
- 2022 – Jenevie Chan
The Natural Science Disciplines at Mendocino College is very pleased to announce new permanent faculty members, Dr. Brianna Zuber in Biology and Dr. Greg Allen in Chemistry. All natural science teachers continue to inspire students, including elementary, junior high, and high school students, as well as students in their college classes. For example, biology instructor Dr. Rachel Donham has helped organize the Potter Valley Elementary Science Fair for the past two years, and she was a county science fair judge this year.
Astronomy and physics professor Dr. Tim Beck is proud that two of his former physics students have started their PhDs. physics programs in fall 2021: Logan Knudson at UC Davis and Emerald Sherwood at Uppsala University in Sweden. In April 2021, Dr. Beck also published his first publication in the field of astronomy (as co-author): Peter Jenniskens, et al., “Rare 4,000-year comets can cause meteor showers on Earth”, 2021, Icarus (Elsevier). Meanwhile, the SETI Institute (www.seti.org) is in the process of donating some used cameras to Beck’s program, so Mendocino College students will soon have 16 cameras for Earth observation work. sky in every place. Additionally, one of Beck’s students is building the all-sky camera for the Taylor Observatory in Kelseyville.
In chemistry, Dr. Marcus Frederickson supplemented the laboratory of organic chemistry instruments with a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) apparatus. While Dr. Frederickson previously had to take students around Sonoma State to use an NMR, Mendocino College students now have access to their own instrument in the organic chemistry lab on the Ukiah campus.
After reaching the 40th anniversary of stewardship of the Coastal Research Station property in 2021, many maintenance and upgrade projects are required. Even though COVID 19 mitigation protocols have slowed repair and maintenance progress, some significant accomplishments have still been achieved, thanks to community donations and the help of volunteers:
- 2017-18: The 4 houses on the site had new roofing materials installed.
- 2020: Upgrades were made to the electrical systems in the education building and well.
- 2022: Upgrades/improvements are underway to the well water system.
The pandemic has changed a lot, but it hasn’t diminished the generosity of the local community donating to support the Mendocino College Coastal Research Station. In 2019 a special memorial was designed and commissioned, and in 2021 it was installed on site. Friends of the Faculty and Field Station would like to thank all donors who have supported the work, with a special note for recent donors whose names will be added to the memorial:
- Keystone Donor ($25,000 or more)
- Robert P. Blanc – with a gift of $25,000 to kick off the next half of our fundraising campaign
- Major Donor ($5,000 level)
- Supporting Donor ($2,500 level)
The $250,000 fundraising campaign goal is to increase facility utilization and improve student outcomes by upgrading Coastal Research Station buildings that include a student classroom, laboratory space and dormitories.
To add your support for the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Science Fundraising Campaign, you can submit a contribution via check made out to Mendocino College and sent to the attention of Earth Science Professor Steve Cardimona , 1000 Hensley Creek Rd, Ukiah, CA, 95482, or donate to the Friends of Coastal and Natural Science Research Station online at the Mendocino College Foundation webpage (http://foundation.mendocino.edu/ donated).
For more information about teaching natural sciences at Mendocino College, please contact Professor Steve Cardimona at (707)-468-3219.