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Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

  —Our Mission

Faculty & Staff Directory

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Gregory G Brown

Dr. Gregory G Brown   (Department Head)

Phone: 756-6391
Office: 180-209
See Schedule
Note: Office hours by appointment; email
Google Scholar Research Gate Teaching quality ratingHighly Cited Researcher


Areas of Focus

- Environmental Planning and Policy

- Natural Resource Management

- Public Participation

- Ecosystem Services

About Dr. Gregory G Brown

Greg joins Cal Poly as NRES Department Head in 2016 after serving in multiple academic leadership positions at the University of Queensland, Central Washington University, University of South Australia, Alaska Pacific University, and Green Mountain College. He has also held teaching and research positions in Idaho, Illinois, California, and Arizona.

Greg has taught and conducted research in the areas of environmental planning and policy, natural resource management, ecosystem services, parks and protected areas management, socio-economic assessment of rural communities, and public participation methods.  His current research involves methods to enhance and expand public involvement in environmental planning/management by integrating social spatial information using "Public Participation Geographic Information Systems" (PPGIS). His applications of PPGIS methods include forest planning, national park planning, assessment of ecosystem services, coastal areas planning, and urban parks and open space planning. Greg founded the Landscape Values and PPGIS Institute to facilitate global research and communication about participatory spatial planning methods. To learn more about PPGIS and landscape values mapping.

Chip  Appel

Dr. Chip Appel   (Coordinator for EESS Major)

Phone: 756-1691
Office: 180-515
See Schedule
Note: Office hours also available by appointment.
Google Scholar Teaching quality rating


Areas of Focus

- Soil and Water Chemistry

- Tropical Soils

About Dr. Chip Appel

I earned a B.S. in Biochemistry (Cal Poly, 1995), an M.S. in Soil Science (Cal Poly, 1998), and a Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry (University of Florida, 2001). In between these degrees I lived in France for two years in order to learn and perfect my French language skills. I am a member of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy and am a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS). My favorite parts of working at Cal Poly are teaching and teaching related activities. I perform research in soil chemistry, tropical soil chemistry/management, trace element biogeochemistry, vineyard soil management/fertility, environmental soil management, and soil nutrition. I consult regularly on vineyard soil fertility for Kesselring Vineyard Consulting Services, Inc. When I am not at Cal Poly, I really enjoy being with my family and surfing. 

Doug  Aversano

Mr. Doug Aversano  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-6096
Office: 074M-A120


Areas of Focus

- Fire Management

Gregory S. Bohr

Dr. Gregory S. Bohr - Social Science  - Affiliate Faculty

Phone: 756-1322
Office: 47-12C
See Schedule
Note: See Social Science Department for Office Hours


Areas of Focus

- Climatology

- Geographical Information Systems

- Geography

Yi-Wen  Chiu

Dr. Yi-Wen Chiu

Phone: (805) 756-2972
Office: 180-504
See Schedule
Google Scholar


Areas of Focus

- Environmental Management

- Application of GIS

- Life Cycle Analysis

- Quantitative Simulation

About Dr. Yi-Wen Chiu

After serving at the Argonne National Lab as a postdoctoral appointee for three years, I decided to change my career track and accepted the assistant professor position at the Department of Natrual Resources Management and Environmental Science, Cal Poly. With a PhD degree in water resources science from the University of Minnesota, my main research interests are to understand the coupling and interaction of human and natural systems by applying integrated tools including system dynamics models, geographical information system (GIS), and life-cycle analysis (LCA). 

The realm of environmental management deeply involves community engagement. Therefore, I am also interest in promoting public participation and international collaboration. I have four years of experience to teach and promote ecological integrity and public engagement at Taiwan prior to attending UMN. During the same period of time, I was in charge of establishing the standard operation procedure in addition to initiate massive research projects for a newly established research center. I am also the co-author of the first introductory textbook of ecological engineering at Taiwan. 

My current on-going research effort aims to incorporate quantitative sustainability as a tool for supporting small business to meet their environmental goals.

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Richard  Cobb

Dr. Richard Cobb

Phone: (805) 756-6333
Office: 074M-A121


Areas of Focus

- Forest Pathology

- Forest Entomology

- Ecosystem Ecology

- Epidemiology

About Dr. Richard Cobb

Dr. Cobb competed a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis in 2010 with research focus on sudden oak death, a damaging disease of California coastal forests. His research interests focus on understanding the underlying drivers, ecological impacts, and potential responses to insect and disease outbreak. Past and current projects aim to improve prediction of when, where, and why outbreaks occur as well as forest-level experimentation to change the course of outbreaks and reduce their economic and ecological costs. His teaching interests combine an interest in ecological science with the strong personal desire to improve forest management at regional and national levels. At Cal Poly, he teaches forest health (insects and pathogens), dendrology, ecology, as well as supporting many aspects of education in forest management.  Dr Cobb encourages inquiries into undergraduate and graduate research projects particularly related to forest management and forest conservation issues in California Native American communities.

Charlotte  Decock

Dr. Charlotte Decock

Phone: (805) 756-6360
Office: 180-415


Areas of Focus

About Dr. Charlotte Decock

Chris  Dicus

Dr. Chris Dicus

Phone: (805) 756-5104
Office: 180-506
See Schedule
Note: Office hours also available by appointment.
Teaching quality rating


Areas of Focus

- Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

About Dr. Chris Dicus

Dr. Dicus, our resident fire guru, comes to Cal Poly from down on the bayou in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he received a Ph.D. in Forestry at Louisiana State University. He also holds an M.S. in Forest Resources from Utah State University and a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife from Louisiana Tech University.

Dr. Dicus heads the Wildland-Urban Interface Module of the California Fire Science Consortium and sits on the Board of Directors of The Association for Fire Ecology and also the San Luis Obispo County FireSafe Council. He is a Certified Senior Fire Ecologist and also a California Registered Professional Forester.

Away from Cal Poly, he enjoys spending time with his family and church activities, backpacking, surfing, and writing music.

Brian  Dietterick

Dr. Brian Dietterick

Phone: (805) 756-6155
Office: 11-255


Areas of Focus

- Director Swanton Pacific Ranch

- Watershed Management

- Watershed management and rehabilitation, channel restoration and forest hydrology

About Dr. Brian Dietterick

Dr. Dietterick spent his first 10 years with Cal Poly as a professor of hydrology, watershed management and GIS.  He conducted long-term watershed and water quality studies in the Morro Bay watershed and in the Scotts Creek watershed at Swanton Pacific Ranch.  Much of his work has included hillslope and channel studies using field-measured and remotely-sensed data, including LiDAR.  He led pre- and post-harvest studies that evolved into pre- and post-fire studies after the 2009 Lockheed Fire.  This work evaluated land management- induced change, and subsequently, fire-induced change in water quality, channels, and hydrologic and erosional processes.

As Director of Swanton Pacific Ranch he coordinates education and research programs developing and fostering coursework and professional seminars as well as student and faculty research opportunities.  He also works with the Swanton Pacific staff to supervise the internship and apprentice programs.  He oversees forestry, livestock, and crop operations that actively provide products that employ sustainable and responsible land management practices.  He also maintains active roles in water quality, aquatic macroinvertebrate, and channel and habitat restoration projects mentoring over 18 graduate students throughout his 13 years as Director.  Under his leadership and working with Swanton's management and professional staff have permitted the planned Swanton Pacific Education Center and Field Camp.  The team is actively raising the funded necessary to build and maintain the facility that will increase educational and research opportunities for students, faculty, and professionals.  See 

Dr. Dietterick attended Bloomsburg University where his father worked and in 1980 earned his bachelor's degree in Earth Science. In 1982, he completed his masters program in watershed management and hydrology at the University of Arizona. He earned his doctorate in forest hydrology at Penn State University in 1994. He holds a Professional Hydrology certification since 2000.  He has served on numerous technical advisory committees and contributes regularly to the hydrologic and forestry professions.  He has published over 30 articles for peer-reviewed journals and proceedings, industry publications, and technical reports. 

Dr. Dietterick and his wife, Pam spend half of each year at Swanton Pacific Ranch and the other half at their home in rural Templeton. 

Antonio  Garcia

Dr. Antonio Garcia - Physics  - Affiliate Faculty

Phone: 756-2430
Office: 180-607
See Schedule
Note: See Physics Department for Office Hours


Areas of Focus

- Geomorphology

- Geology

Samantha  Gill

Dr. Samantha Gill   (Coordinator for FNR Major)

Phone: (805) 756-6205
Office: 180-507
See Schedule


Areas of Focus

- Forest Biometrics

- Forest Mensuration

- Geographic Information Systems

About Dr. Samantha Gill

Dr. Gill has a joint appointment between the Natural Resources Management and BioResource and Agricultural Engineering departments. She teaches Forest Resources, Forest Mensuration, Applications of GIS in Natural Resources, Computers and Surveying. Dr. Gill is currently working on research projects which include model application involving the modeling of tree crown profiles, models of crown radii and crown cover, a comparison of various growth and yield models for California, and accuracy assessments of vegetation maps.

Meagan  Groom

Meagan Groom - Academic Advisor

Phone: 756-7574
Office: 74M-A


Areas of Focus

- Academic Advising

John  Jasbinsek

Dr. John Jasbinsek - Physics  - Affiliate Faculty

Phone: 756-2013
Office: 180-520
See Schedule


Areas of Focus

- Seismology

Michael  Jencks

Mr. Michael Jencks  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-1183
Office: 074M-A120
See Schedule
Note: Office hours by appointment; email


Areas of Focus

- Water Law

- Environmental Law

Environmental Impact Reports

Daniel  Johnson

Dr. Daniel Johnson  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-6064
Office: 180-260


Areas of Focus

- Soil Science

Scott  Johnston

Dr. Scott Johnston - Physics  - Affiliate Faculty

Phone: 756-1650
Office: 180-521
See Schedule
Note: See Physics Department for Office Hours


Areas of Focus

- Geology

- Geochronology

- Petrology

- Regional Tectonics and Structure

Trevor  Keith

Mr. Trevor Keith  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-2702
See Schedule
Note: Office Hours by Appointment - Please Email to Schedule


Areas of Focus

- Environmental Planning

Cristina  Lazcano

Dr. Cristina Lazcano

Phone: 756-2059
Office: 180-514
See Schedule
Google Scholar Research Gate Teaching quality rating


Areas of Focus

- Sustainable Soil Management

- Belowground ecological interactions and their effect in biogeochemical cycles 

- Carbon and nitrogen cycling in soils 

- Use of organic waste materials as fertilizers in agriculture 

- Environmental impacts of different fertilization strategies

About Dr. Cristina Lazcano

Cristina Lazcano joined the NRES department in 2016 as our Soil Ecologist. She completed her PhD at the Soil Ecology research group from the University of Vigo (Spain). Afterwards, she acquired extensive international experience in top research institutions, including the Technical University of Denmark, the University of California Davis and the University of Calgary (Canada) where she holds an adjunct assistant professor position.

Through her teaching and research, Cristina aims at understanding the role of belowground biological interactions and management strategies in soil nutrient cycling and the consequences for plant productivity and environmental quality across natural and managed soil systems. In particular, her research focuses on the interactions between plants and microorganisms, and their role in N and C cycling across different soil moisture conditions and management strategies. She has experience in a wide range of agricultural systems together with natural systems such as grasslands, forests and peatlands. In addressing her research questions, Cristina combines a variety of methods, including soil physical, biological and chemical assays, as well as a range of techniques used to investigate the interaction of soils with other ecological compartments such as analysis of trace gas emissions, plant physiological measures, and stable isotopes. 

Visit Cristina's website

Bwalya  Malama

Dr. Bwalya Malama   (Soil Science Graduate Coordinator)

Phone: (805) 756-2971
Office: 180-516
See Schedule
Google Scholar Research Gate Teaching quality rating


Areas of Focus

- Soil biophysics

- Groundwater hydrogeology

- Hydrogeophysics

- Contaminant transport

About Dr. Bwalya Malama

Dr. Bwalya Malama holds a PhD in Hydrology, an MS in Geological Engineering, and a BS in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona. Before joining Cal Poly, he was a senior member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico where he investigated groundwater flow and contaminant transport related to geologic disposal of nuclear waste. He also conducted research in innovative methods for characterizing near-surface fluid flow and solute transport systems. Prior to his work at Sandia, he held an Assistant Professor position in Geological Engineering at Montana Tech and a research position at Boise State University. Dr. Malama's research interests are in quantitative (analytical and numerical) modeling of groundwater flow and transport of contaminants in the subsurface, lab- and field-scale investigation of innovative physics based methods for characterizing flow in the near-surface and very low permeability environments, and development of empirical models for soil moisture.

See Web Page...

William  Preston

Dr. William Preston  - Affiliate Faculty

Phone: 756-2210
Office: 26-115


Areas of Focus

- Geography

- Social/Earth Sciences

- Climate Studies

Gordon  Rees

Dr. Gordon Rees

Phone: 756-6346
Office: 180-517
See Schedule
Teaching quality rating


Areas of Focus

- Pedology

- Soil Mineralogy

- Forest and Range Soils

About Dr. Gordon Rees

Gordon received his B.S. in Environmental Soil Science from Brigham Young University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Soils and Biogeochemistry from UC Davis. His doctoral research focused on the effect of soil mineralogy on the plant-availability of soil potassium. His experience also includes morphological characterization and land use evaluation of soils across California forest and range ecosystems, soil carbon isotope analysis for archaeological applications around ancient Mayan sites in Guatemala, digital soil mapping, and analysis of soil micromorphology using atomic force microscopy.

Gordon's teaching includes courses on introductory soils, soil morphology, forest and range soils, and soil judging.

Jeff  Reimer

Mr. Jeff Reimer - Technician

Phone: (805) 756-1541
Office: 11-301


Areas of Focus

- Technical Support

- Urban Forestry

Sarah E. Spann

Ms. Sarah E. Spann  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-2420
Office: 74M-A123
See Schedule


Areas of Focus

- Environmental Impact Analysis
- Environmental Regulations and Permitting
- Environmental Planning

Craig  Stubler

Mr. Craig Stubler - Technician

Phone: (805) 756-2188
Office: 180-252A


Areas of Focus

- Technical Support

- Soil Science

Chris  Surfleet

Dr. Chris Surfleet   (Forestry Sciences Graduate Coordinator)

Phone: (805) 756-2743
Office: 180-518
See Schedule
Research Gate Teaching quality rating


Areas of Focus

- Hydrologic Change due to Land Management

- Water Quality

- Watershed Assessment and Monitoring

- Hydrologic modeling

- Hydrologic Effects due to Climate Change

About Dr. Chris Surfleet

Dr. Chris Surfleet is a Cal Poly graduate in Forestry and Natural Resources, with a Master of Science and PhD in Forest Hydrology from Oregon State University. He has considerable experience in watershed management and research. His career as a hydrologist has spanned academic, research, private land management, and federal forest land management. His research has emphasized the hydrologic, soil erosion, and water quality effects of land management activities as well as hydrologic responses to climate change.

Currently Dr. Surfleet and Cal Poly students are studying the hydrologic response of meadow restoration, the influences of groundwater hydrology on streamflow, and hydrologic and sediment effects from forest practices through hydrologic modelling. 

Richard  Thompson

Dr. Richard Thompson

Phone: (805) 756-2898
Office: 74M-A118
See Schedule
Note: Office hours also available by appointment.


Areas of Focus

- Natural Resource / Environmental Economics

- Natural Resources Policy

- Urban and Community Forestry

About Dr. Richard Thompson

Rich Thompson is our resident economist. He attended Oklahoma State University where he earned his B.S. in Forest Management and M.S. in forest economics. While working at Texas A&M he earned his Ph.D. in natural resources economics.  Rich joined the NRES department in 1990 and served as Department Head in 2016.

Priya  Verma

Dr. Priya Verma   (Coordinator for ENVM Major)

Phone: 756-2773
Office: 180-505
See Schedule


Areas of Focus

- Environmental Studies

- Estuary Management

About Dr. Priya Verma

Priya O. Verma specializes in the fields of social science and natural resource management. She received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology with a focus in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She moved to California to attend the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara earning a Master’s Degree and Doctoral Degree in Environmental Science and Management. Professor Verma worked for five years as the Science and Policy Analyst for "Heal the Ocean," a Santa Barbara, California based non-profit organization.

Lisa  Wallravin

Lisa Wallravin - Admin. Supp. Coord.

Phone: 756-6390
Office: 180-209


Areas of Focus

- Administrative Support Coordinator

Espie  Wilkinson

Espie Wilkinson - Admin. Supp. Coord.

Phone: (805) 756-6392
Office: 180-209


Areas of Focus

- Administrative Support Coordinator
- Change of Major Coordinator
- Academic Coach (Mustang Success Center Volunteer)


Elizabeth  Will

Dr. Elizabeth Will  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-1160
Office: 180-260
See Schedule


Areas of Focus

- Soil Microbiology

Aleksandra  Wydzga

Ms. Aleksandra Wydzga - Physics  - Affiliate Faculty



Areas of Focus

David  Yun

Mr. David Yun  - Lecturer

Phone: 805-781-7189
Office: 180-209
See Schedule
Note: Office Hours by Appointment - Please email


Areas of Focus

- Certified GIS Professional (GISP)

- Geographic Information Systems

- Global Positioning System


Maurica  Zimmerman

Ms. Maurica Zimmerman  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-2420
Office: 74M-A123
See Schedule


Areas of Focus

Geographic Information Systems

Emeritus Faculty

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Brent  Hallock

Dr. Brent Hallock - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Rangeland Resources

- Erosion Control

John  Harris

Dr. John Harris - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Applied communication interpretation

- Community development and leisure resources

- Human resource management and conflict resolution

- Recreation management, user behavior, recreation planning

Walter  Mark

Dr. Walter Mark - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Forest Entomology and Pathology

- Forest Protection

- Integrated Pest Management

Lynn  Moody

Dr. Lynn Moody - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Earth Sciences

- Mineralogy, Petrology and Pedology

Douglas D. Piirto

Dr. Douglas D. Piirto - Emeritus

Douglas D. Piirto, Ph.D., RPF, Professor Emeritus
D. D. Piirto, Consulting Forester dba Crestline Forestry
Phone: 805-234-8543 (cell) or 805-461-0642 (Home)
E-mail: or
Web Site:


Areas of Focus

- Silviculture

- Forest Management

- Forest Harvesting and Utilization

- Forest Health

Norman  Pillsbury

Dr. Norman Pillsbury - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Forest Hydrology

- Forest Mensuration

Thomas J. Rice

Dr. Thomas J. Rice - Emeritus

Mailing address:
5127 E. Silver Lake Rd.
Laona, WI 54541

Cell phone: (715) 889-9401


Areas of Focus

- Soil Science

- Soil Survey and Mapping

- Soils and Land Use Interpretations

- Wetland Assessment



Terry  Smith

Dr. Terry Smith - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Soil Fertility

- Plant Nutrition

Ron  Taskey

Dr. Ron Taskey - Emeritus  - Lecturer

Phone: 756-2702
Office: 074M-B102


Areas of Focus

- Certified Professional Soil Scientist

- Certified Soil Classifier

- Forest Soils

- Geology

James R. Vilkitis

Dr. James R. Vilkitis - Emeritus


Areas of Focus

- Applied Ecology in Landuse Management / Planning

- Applied Interdisciplinary Resource Management of Sustainable Systems

- Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology / Planning

- Coastal Resources (Anadromous Fisheries)