Field biology group explores nature

Rian Edignton

There are many interesting organizations at Sacramento State but one group, Field Biology Group, stands out as an outdoorsy and adventurous group.

The FBG is a student run organization that plans trips and activities based on the students’ interest in science.

This group may be more appealing to those who study science, but they gladly welcome any student that has an interest in outdoor activities and science.

Biology major Natalie Flores,23, and the secretary of the FBG said the trips they plan are focused on gaining scientific knowledge and experiencing biology first hand.

“The Field Biology Group has a very warm welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is incredibly friendly, helpful, and accommodating,” said Alyssa Harmon, a 25-year-old biology major and member of FBG. “It is not only for biology majors because the main focus of the group just seems to be expressing love for various organisms and the outdoors and then making group activities and volunteer opportunities revolving around that.”

The group also plans community service projects such as The Great American River Clean Up,in which they volunteer to pick up trash and litter that could negatively impact the ecology of the American River.

“We have previously collaborated and participated with Save the Frogs, Sacramento Tree Foundation, American River Cleanup, Cosumnes River Preserve, Asian Culture Club, Tree Campus USA and Expanding Your Horizons Conference,” said Gina Rodriguez, a 23-year old biology major and treasurer of the FBG.

The FBG focuses on spreading awareness on issues such as environmental awareness and conservation.

“As an EEC major, I try and communicate to non-EEC majors and the general population why it is important to understand the complexity of how humans impact every inch of this planet,” Rodriguez said. “This becomes extremely difficult as we are living in a growing technologically dependent society, where less and less people step outside and actually appreciate their natural surroundings for what they are–that is living, breathing organisms, just like us!”

On one expedition, the FBG went cave exploring at Hat Creek and they ended up discovering a new Taracus species of cave spider.

Students can view a picture of the newly discovered species in the hallway of Humboldt Hall.

The faculty facilitator of the group is Ron Coleman a biology professor at Sac State. Coleman is an advocate for the experience students get with hands-on activities, such as the ones provided by the FBG.

“No video, or movie or book can replace seeing the real thing,” Coleman said. “It exposes you to things that other people haven’t gotten the chance to see.”

Coleman encourages students to explore what California has to offer, as well as worldwide travel.

Each year in January, Coleman takes students to see elephant seals breed off the shores of Northern California in a place called Año Nuevo.

Spectators can view large amounts of these enormous creatures fighting, breeding and lounging on the beach. This is one of the only places on Earth where this spectacle occurs.

Coleman points out elephant seals were almost extinct due to over-hunting, and numbers got to the single digits (seven to be exact).

“It’s an example of humans stepping back and saying, ‘we are having a negative effect on nature, we should do something,’ and then letting the seals repopulate so that they are anything but endangered,” Coleman said.

Coleman also takes students on camping trips such as a trip to Yosemite this year, cave expeditions and even to Costa Rica.

Local field trips usually cost students around $15 to $30 while field study expeditions to Costa Rica are more expensive so some students fundraise to afford the cost.

Unfortunately, many students do not have the opportunity to go on field trips such as the ones provided by Coleman and the FBG.

Not only are field trips hard to orchestrate, but they usually have to be held during class time. Most classes are 75 minutes long, too short for an actual field trip.

Upcoming events include an invasive tree removal community service opportunity on Oct. 18 as well as bat watching with the Effie Yeaw Nature Center on Oct. 12.

The FBG is also hosting an event on Thursday, Nov. 6th in collaboration with the PRIDE Center, Multi-Cultural Center and Women’s Resource Center, in the Multi-Cultural Center (Library 1010) called “No Trees in the Concrete Jungle: A Discussion on Nature Deficit Disorder”.

It will be held during scheduled meeting time at 5:30pm.