ProjectTROUT - Department of Geological Sciences

In September 2006, fifteen geology and chemistry students from Fullerton College spent
two sunny Saturdays at Cal State Fullerton participating in a field- and lab-based research
project designed to expose them to the excitement of hands-on research. Students were
told that a government agency was considering using the Arboretum waterfall-creek-pond
system as a fish hatchery, and that trout fingerlings would later be transplanted to
Fullerton Creek. The students’ job was to determine various environmental parameters
for the two water systems (e.g. temperature, available oxygen, water speed, stream
substrate) then compare these parameters to the requirements for trout habitats. Following
student presentations, the group wrote a set of recommendations regarding how the two
water courses might be altered to more fully meet the fishes needs.
Project TROUT originated from a meeting between CNSM chairs and FC faculty
at which attendees brainstormed regarding creative ways to facilitate FC science students
transferring to CSUF. FC faculty made it known that their students would benefit by
experiencing research; the CSUF faculty realized that our expertise in facilitating
undergraduate research could be used to expose FC students to the opportunities,
facilities and personnel at CSUF. Drs. Fromson (CNSM Associate Dean), Filowitz (CoChair, Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Clemens-Knott (Chair, Geological Sciences)
secured funding from a University Mission and Goals grant and designed the activity.
Four FC faculty (geology faculty Sean Chamberlin and Rick Lozinsky; chemistry faculty
Asim Ansari and Ted Chan) joined the FC students who rotated between field and lab
stations manned by CSUF faculty: Mark Filowitz and Hal Rogers (in situ and laboratory
water chemistry analyses, including lead contents), Brandon Browne and Matt Kirby
(map reading and stream sediment analysis), and FC faculty member Marc Willis (stream
profile and flow rate). Diane Clemens-Knott served as schedule designer, campus tour
guide, and resident trout expert (thanks to Kathy Dickson of Biological Sciences for
providing a crash course in salmonids).
The majority of FC students reported an increased—and in two cases, a new—
interest in completing their studies at CSUF. The faculty agreed that Project TROUT
could serve as a model for future community college recruitment efforts.