California State University (CSU) Lab Sites

California State University (CSU) Lab Sites

A large number of CSU campus laboratories statewide are conducting leading-edge research. The available research projects vary greatly from year to year and campus to campus. Our top CSU labs provide a vibrant research environment often with fewer practical access barriers than national laboratories. 

What type of projects are available on each campus?

Our projects move at the speed of research! For that reason many labs do not know what problems they will be tackling several months in advance. Project details will be posted as they become available. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to sites and discuss project specifics as details become available. 

2017 Cal Poly Projects include:

Kellet's Whelk Fishery Assessment - Dr. Crow White's lab will build upon previous STAR research (see projects below) assessing the range-wide distribution, population density, recruitment, and dispersal patterns of the marine subtidal gastrobpod Kelletia kelletii (Kellet's Whelk) and testing distribution hypotheses. This species biogeographic boundary is moving northward, possibly in relation to El Ninos and Climate Change. Summer field work will consiste of SCUBA diving to conduct population surveys and collect tissue samples at many kelp forest study sites across central and southern California, the Channel Islands, and possibly into Mexico. Please note that scientific diving (AAUS) certification is required.

Community Ecology and Conservation - Dr. Clinton Francis' lab group will pursue several different research projects in 2017 and will host a STAR Fellow with skills and interests as appropriate. 

  • Natural sounds - how ocean sounds may structure coastal bird, bat, and insect communities
  • Environmental acoustics - how changes in the sound environment influence human experiences in nature
  • Cricket-fly host-parasitoid interactions
  • Mapping and modeling the evolution of deceptive behavior across bird species

Past Cal Poly San Luis Obispo projects included

Past Fresno Summer Projects Included


Sacramento State Summer Projects Included


Past Channel Islands Summer projects included

USGS LogoCSU Channel Islands proudly partners with the US Geological Survey to conduct work on Santa Rosa Island. Fellows working on island projects will participate both on the island, staying at the CSU Channel Islands field biology station, and the main campus as the project needs require. Transportation to and from the island is coordinated by the Channel Islands staff.


2017 Channel Island Projects

The USGS lab works on a variety of rare plant ecology and restoration projects in Channel Islands National Park. Before ranching ended, Santa Rosa Island had extensive shrublands and woodlands with plants that captured summer fog water to survive a time of year that would otherwise be dry. We are engaged in a three year project on the crucial high point of the island to restore the vegetation by slowing erosion and rebuilding soil, replanting shrubs and trees, and using artificial structures and the plantings to capture fog and enhance the self-sustainability of the vegetation.

Channel-island Fellows will engage in restoration research in the island interior on three or four 7-10 day island rotations during the summer. The work is physically demanding and remote, working in a National Park few people get to visit. Island accommodations are bunkhouse-style with a shared kitchen (Fellows pack-in their own food). 

San Francisco State University 

SFSU has two distinct STAR Research sites. The Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (see RTC page) does work related to marine and estuarine environments. Additional projects will be available on the SFSU main campus including:

2DSemiconductor2017 Nanoscale Devices Project: Our research focuses on the electronic, optical and electro-optical properties of nanoscale devices made from two dimensional and zero dimensional systems. These devices are made from a recently discovered family of materials which are only a few atoms thick. These materials include graphene, one atom thick carbon membrane, and transition metal dichalcogenides (MoS2, MoSe2, WS2 and WSe2). The zero dimensional materials include quantum dots and different metal nano-particles. STAR Fellow projects are likely to involve studying the photoluminescence properties, micro-Raman spectroscopy, photocurrent spectroscopy and growth of these nanoscale materials. More info on this research group can be found on their webpage.(Image Caption: Photoluminescence image of atom thick MoS2 semiconductor.The size of the butterfly flake is 25 micrometers in length. Colors represent fluorescent-photons energy.)

Examine a 2016 project with this lab group:



WHERE is Cal Poly San Luis Obispo?

WHERE is CSU Fresno?

WHERE is CSU Sacramento State?


WHERE is CSU Channel Islands?

And where is Santa Rosa Island?

And where is the SFSU Main Campus?