College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS)

  • Agua Hedionda Lagoon Study

Environmental Studies and Biology Lecturer Christina Simokat and students from her Into to Ecology class (BIOL 105) gather plant, animal, soil and water data at the Kelly Trail in Carlsbad's Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Students are assessing a trail extension proposed by Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation to provide more information about the state of the native habitats there.

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  • Agua Hedionda Lagoon Study

Environmental Studies and Biology Lecturer Christina Simokat

Christina teaches various courses including Intro to Environmental Studies and Research Methods, and spends a lot of time hanging around wetlands.  She is a native of San Diego and her research interests include citizen science and science communication, and increasing diversity and inclusivity among environmentalists. 

Joan Didion wrote in 1968, “All that is constant about the California of my childhood is the rate at which it disappears.”  A lot more has disappeared since then.  Christina hopes to entice students to explore and enjoy what is left of the precious, unique habitats of Southern California.  “We have some astounding natural jewels still, and if we understand them better, we may value them more and hang on to them.”

The College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS) offers an exciting variety of degrees and programs that make up the core of a liberal arts education at CSUSM. Students in CHABSS courses master skills and technologies essential for professional success in a 21st century interdependent global society. The College provides a supportive learning atmosphere with rich opportunities for close interaction and collaboration with peers, faculty, and community partners. CHABSS graduates are well prepared to enter the world of work in a variety of careers or to pursue post-baccalaureate study leading to advanced academic and professional degrees. Come explore with us:

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Pollinator Garden Sparks Metamorphosis in Downtown Escondido

By San Diego Union Tribune Reporter Deborah Sullivan Brennan

In downtown Escondido, between Evan’s Tires and the concrete banks of the Escondido Creek, a transformation was in progress.

A gold and black Monarch caterpillar inched up the stem of a milkweed plant in Plaza Del Arroyo last week, seeking leaves that would fuel its conversion to a vivid orange butterfly.

The garden, on North Broadway near Grape Day Park, could be mistaken for a patch of decorative landscaping on the commercial corridor. But it’s more functional than that. Along with the milkweed are other native plants that form a buffet for pollinators, including Monarchs, other butterflies and bees, as well as birds and bats.