Student and faculty researchers at CSU Bakersfield are investigating critical environmental issues that have widespread public benefit to the San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Research topics include the anticipated effects of climate change on water resources; the annual timing of snow accumulation and melt in the Sierra Nevada; and enhanced oil recovery and potential use of oilfield reservoirs. In addition, these sophisticated research opportunities provide the experience and mentoring that graduates need to continue on to a Ph.D. program or become industry and government leaders.

These efforts exemplify how research can directly contribute to important social decisions, while also creating pathways for students from communities who have been historically underrepresented in the sciences. These opportunities are supported by one of the few National Science Foundation (NSF) Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) awards in the geosciences—alongside internal funds and grants from the California Department of Conservation and Chevron USA.

“California State University, Bakersfield has long been a widely respected source of students and scholarship for the California oil industry, and they are now playing a similar role for the developing carbon capture and storage industry,” notes Doug Rotman, energy program manager for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “CSUB has played an important role in educating the public about this important mission. With the potential growth of carbon capture and storage applications in California, we anticipate there will be strong demand for students trained in this area.”