About the Center

Introductory Video: Growing an Environmentally Ready Society (3 min)

Environmentally Ready?

The Center's mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where everyone has the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing the earth.

With the complex issues before us, such as climate change, overuse of resources, and declining biodiversity, we need to be awake, prepared and engaged. We need to know how to work across sectors and find innovative ways forward.  

There is good evidence that we are not ready. Intuitive understanding of ecosystem processes is at an all-time low, and many professionals entering the workforce are not prepared to problem-solve or aware of the impact of ecosystems on economy and culture.

How We Work

The Center empowers students of all ages and disciplines to solve the environmental challenges of the North Bay.

  • Outdoor Learning -  We give students an intuitive understanding of human-environment interactions at 4200 acres of natural lands at SSU preserves: Fairfield Osborn Preserve, Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, and the Los Guillicos Preserve. We provide classes, workshops, and tours that focus on experiential learning and skill building. Additionally, we make the SSU preserves open to anyone interested in education, research or creative inquiry. 
  • Real-World Projects - We work with faculty, community and students across all disciplines to develop projects focused on finding solutions to North Bay environmental challenges.
  • Partnerships - We create long-term multi-organizational partnerships that generate the resources and funding needed to chip away at complex issues surrounding water, fire, technology, and other topics.

With one foot in academia and one in community, Center staff are experienced bringing people together, scoping projects, and delivering results   


The Center was founded in 2017 to bring together the exceptional outdoor learning experiences at the SSU Preserves and the real-world project experiences for SSU students. Since then, the Center has expanded its programs to K-12 and community members.

Today, over 3000 students of all ages learn about human-environment interactions at SSU preserves each year. An additional 700 students in 26 disciplines work on over 120 sustainability projects in the North Bay with community members.

Annual Reports