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Wendy St. John


Wendy St. John
Wendy St. John


(707) 664-2320


Darwin 239


As a ecologist who teaches in both the Department of Biology, and the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning at Sonoma State University, I'm particularly interested in engaging students through active learning, and inspiring a love of science that will allow them to become more informed citizens in all aspects of their lives. I also coordinate environmental projects funded by the Center for Environmental Inquiry, particularly those that connect SSU faculty and students with community partners in the areas of water systems, fire resilience, use of technology, and field research. In 2016, I began managing the ecological restoration and monitoring of the riparian habitat along Copeland Creek on the SSU campus, working with students across multiple departments and disciplines, as well as local organizations and community volunteers. I am currently serving on the School of Science and Technology’s Strategic Plan Task-forces and Implementation Team. I previously served on the Sustainability Executive Committee, and helped to plan the Sustainable Enterprise Conference held at SSU on April 5th, 2019.

Course Offerings     

BIOL 110 - Biological Inquiry 
BIOL 115 - Introduction to Biology
BIOL 131 - Biological Diversity and Ecology
BIOL 224 - Human Physiology
BIOL 314 - Field Biology
BIOL 320 - Ecology and Evolution: An Integrated Perspective, discussion coordinator
BIOL 333 - Ecology, lab instructor
SCI 120 - Watershed Year - Freshman Experience Course

For a list of Course Offerings in the GEP Department, please visit the GEP Department Website.


M.S. Biology, Sonoma State University, 2015
B.A. Biology, minor in Paleontology. Sonoma State University, 2011


Academic Interests

Restoration of riparian habitats, including Copeland Creek on the SSU campus
Benthic macroinvertebrates in freshwater streams
Assessing biodiversity with wildlife cameras
Reproductive behavior and nest-site selection of reptilian vertebrates


Selected Publications & Presentations

Moderator: “Fire Resilience” panel. Sustainable Enterprise Conference, Rohnert Park, CA, 2019.

Moderator: “Women in Sustainability” panel. Hosted SSU Students for Sustainability, Rohnert Park, CA, 2019

Presentation. ”Increasing Student Agency and Engagement.” Teaching for Sustainable Communities program, Rohnert Park, CA, 2018 

Presentation. “The Western Pond Turtle.” Safari West Conservation Speaker Series, Santa Rosa, CA., 2017

Presentation. “Restoration Ecology: Copeland Creek as a Living Lab.” Integrating Projects into Coursework networking session, Princeton University, NJ., 2017

Presentation. “Animals of Our Creeks, Rivers, and Marshes.” May, 2016. Sonoma Land Trust 40th Anniversary Speaker Series, Petaluma, CA., 2016

Master’s Thesis. Drivers of Non-Random Nest-Site Selection in an Oviparous Vertebrate. May, 2015.

Presentation. Drivers of Nest-Site Selection and Fidelity in an Egg-laying Vertebrate. May, 2015, Sonoma State University Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park, CA.

Presentation. Patterns of Nesting Behavior in a Northern California Population of Western Pond Turtles. January, 2014, Annual Meeting of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Reno, NV.

Poster. Spaciotemporal Patterns of Nesting Behavior in a Northern California Population of Western Pond Turtles, Wendy St. John, Nicole Christie, Nick Geist, Zannie Dallara. Presented August, 2012, World Congress of Herpetology, Vancouver, B.C.