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Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Landscape view from Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Sonoma State's Fairfield Osborn Preserve is located on Sonoma Mountain, about 15 miles from campus. It hosts eight plant communities including oak woodland, chaparral, freshwater marsh, native and non-native grasslands, Douglas-fir woodland, and riparian woodland.

The Center for Environmental Inquiry (CEI) manages the Preserve. CEI runs several different programs on the site, including outdoor educational programs for elementary schools, and several training programs for SSU students and the larger community.

SSU faculty use the preserve regularly for research and classroom activities. 

The Center for Environmental Inquiry


Many GEP students participate in internships at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve, working with the Center for Environmental Inquiry.

Student intern teaching a group of students

Naturalist Training and Internship

Students learn the natural history of the preserve and receive training in pedagogical techniques for environmental education. Then, students practice these skills leading tours of the preserve for children and adults as an Osborn Naturalists.

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Group of students working in a grassland

Land Management Training and Internship

Students learn techniques and strategies for restoring creeks, woodlands and grasslands, including species identification, ecology, use of restoration tools, and management plan design. They then apply those skills working on long-term restoration projects with experts from local non-profits partners.

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Group of students weeding
Student teacher pointing to a log while explaining an ecological concept
Group of students holding their training certificates