News Release| sustainability; Cal State L.A.

April 21, 2011

Note to editor and news directors: To interview Kate Sullivan or other CSULA faculty experts on sustainability and environmental issues (see listing below) to enhance your Earth Day-related stories, call the CSULA Public Affairs office at (323) 343-3050.

Renowned photographer, professors to spotlight how media can help sustain the environment

Cal State L.A.’s American Communities Program to present panel April 27

Los Angeles, CA –  A panel of professors and a photographer will examine the role of media in contemporary environmental relations at Cal State L.A. Wednesday, April 27.

The free public presentation, “Mediating Environments, will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Los Angeles Room of the University-Student Union. A reception will follow.

The panel will focus on how the environment is represented in different media; how such representations contribute to changes in built and wild environments; the uses of such representations in sustaining communities; and how they enable and/or hinder the spatial practices that may occur within them.

The speakers includes Rick Nahmias, award-winning photographer; Steven Rousso-Schlinder, assistant professor of anthropology, CSU Long Beach; Sharon Sharp, assistant professor of communications, CSU Dominguez Hills; and Kate Sullivan, assistant professor of anthropology, CSULA. Sullivan’s research is focused on “Reconfiguring Marine Environments.”

The event is presented by the American Communities Program (ACP) at Cal State L.A. and is co-sponsored by the University’s Cross Cultural Centers, College of Arts and Letters, and University-Student Union.

For details, contact ACP Director Maria Karafilis at (323) 343-5823 or


Alternative fuel technology:

David Blekhman, associate professor of technology, is an expert in alternative and renewable energy, fuel cells, automotive applications, thermal and fluid systems, and combustion. A director of the Power, Energy and Transportation Lab at CSULA, Blekhman is also a principal investigator of the University’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Education project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Climate and weather:

Steve LaDochy, associate professor of geography, is a climatologist and meteorologist, with special interests in thunderstorm phenomena and synoptic climatology. He also conducts research in air pollution, weather forecasting, lightning and urban climates. An expert on the West Coast climatic phenomenon known as “June Gloom,” his collaborative work with NASA/JPL on the Pacific Ocean’s effect on West Coast climate uses 50 years of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Climate and weather:

Hengchun Ye, associate professor of geography, is a climatologist with specialization in hydroclimatology, synoptic climatology, and climate change. Her recent research focuses on regional climate variability and change in high latitude regions. She has been working on snow accumulation and river discharges over Siberia, and their connections to sea surface temperatures and regional climate in the middle and low latitudes.

Energy and sustainability:

Crist Khachikian, professor of civil engineering, is an expert in contaminant and particulate formation in combustion; combustion of renewable fuels; carbon sequestration geochemistry; water quality; and contaminant fate and transport. He currently directs the University’s Center for Energy and Sustainability, which addresses issues critical to the advancement of alternative energy technologies and the resolution of issues that affect the well-being of the nation and the world.

Coastal environment:

Carlos Robles—professor of biology—is an intertidal community ecologist, with an expertise in ecology and coastal marine populations. He is currently conducting research for one component of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded program, entitled the Cooperative Institute on Marine Ecosystems and Climate. His team is exploring how predicted changes in sea surface salinity might affect latitudinal species distributions and alter the behavior of key predators in coastal communities.

Hydrology and water issues:

Barry Hibbs, professor of geology, is an expert in hydrogeology, contaminant waste hydrogeology, and groundwater modeling. He co-directs the Hydrology and Water Policy Program at Cal State L.A. The program, funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant, is focused on ensuring the sustainability of water supplies for a growing population and protecting our water resources from contamination (natural and anthropogenic). 

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.