BY ANDREW DORAN
This year, CI welcomed it’s second director for the Santa Rosa Island Research Station.
Russell Bradley, has an extensive history of conservation research on islands off the coast of California. Prior to coming to CI, Russ was in the bay area, working for a nonprofit called Point Blue Conservation Science. He was with the non-profit for 17 years, primarily as a biologist and managing a program on the Farallon Islands, located 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco.
Bradley was really excited about joining CI for a multitude of reasons. “The nature of the research station as being a part of the University. I had an experience like[this] on Vancouver Island in college and it kept me as a biology student. The fact that the University supports students to go out to the Santa Rosa Station for research and class programs was a huge draw.”
It would be remiss to not remember Cause Hanna, who was the first director and founder of the Santa Rosa Research Station. Hanna passed away last year after a year-long battle with cancer. Bradley knows that he is going to have big shoes to fill, especially since Hanna created the program from nothing.
“He was incredibility passionate and did an amazing job, said Bradley. “He really inspired and empowered so many people. We want to build on that legacy and honor it.”
For the upcoming year, Bradley’s main goal is going to stabilize and grow the program. For the last year, they only had one staff member, who was just trying to stay afloat. Now they have three staff members, allowing for less stress and more planning.
Bradley also wants to continue the class programs. Currently, students are able to go with their class to Santa Rosa Island. The fall is already booked out, but they are looking to continue getting students out there for the Spring and Summer sessions. Bradley is really going to be pushing to have interdisciplinary students go.
“We have Art students, Business students, English students, across the board, going to Santa Rosa…” said Bradley. “We still want all of those students to go out and enjoy the island.”
He also wants more students to do their capstone projects centered around Santa Rosa, regardless of their major. Continuing to grow the relationship between CI and the National Park is another one of Bradley’s priorities.
“Only 8 University research stations in the United States are in National Parks,” said Bradley. “This CSU is one, which is incredible!”
With the National Parks overlooking five of the Channel Islands, it’s important to keep up and helping out one another, especially since Santa Rosa Island is about 53,000 acres.
Bradley is passionate about Santa Rosa, CI and bringing the best to the students of this University. He knows the history and understands that he is going to be adding to a previous legacy left by Hanna as well as trying to create his own.
“You have this amazing piece of wilderness, and that blows my mind”.