News @ the Beach

Cal State Long Beach Faculty Member Studying Area Port Noise Pollution

Because area ports are essential to the regional economy, I-Hung Khoo, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), feels it was very important to map the area ports for noise pollution.

Noise from various transportation modes including sea ports has become a major concern for environmental and government agencies in recent years, especially since the LA-Long Beach port complex is the gateway to the Pacific Rim which makes them the nation’s largest ocean freight hub and its busiest container port complex.


“All kinds of places are measured for noise such as airports and freeways but no one measured noise levels at the Port of Long Beach extensively, let alone map them, until we did,” said Khoo. “Our goal is to understand the impact of noise on the Port of Long Beach. Up to now, pollution concerns at the port have focused on exhaust but noise is as much a pollutant as truck emissions. Since the campus is so close to the Port of Long Beach, it seemed urgent to begin.”

Khoo received funding to work with Tang-Hung Nguyen, a member of the civil engineering and construction engineering department at CSULB, to create an automated port noise and activity monitoring system. This is an extension of the research Khoo and Nguyen have been working on to create noise maps for the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. They have received a total of $180,000 in funding from METRANS for the research.

“As the container sector of the Port of Long Beach has the highest potential for growth, the levels of noise generated by cargo transportation and handling activities are especially of interest,” explained Khoo. “The objective of our research, therefore, is to determine, using noise mapping, the level of noise generated by the cargo handling and transport activities at the container terminals of the Port of Long Beach. The benefits of noise mapping include the evaluation of noise impacts, the identification of noise hot spots, the development of noise reduction measures and the prediction of what noise impact there will be on new and future development.”

The key to noise mapping is its visual display of noise levels. To generate the noise map a computer noise model of the port was created that included the terrain and all pertinent sources of noise.

“In this way, it is possible to see the exact location of noise pollution,” said Khoo. “We wanted data about trucks, trains and cargo handling equipment activity. The result was not only a noise map of the Port of Long Beach but a map of specific sources of noise and an analysis of noise variations.”

The study concludes that the highest contributions of noise comes from trucks followed by cargo-handling activities. The contribution of railroads is not considered to be significant. The noise of container trucks traffic on the roads was deemed to be within the Caltrans/FHWA limit for developed land 500 feet from the roads and not counting the freeways. Noise from cargo-handling activities was well below the accepted level at a distance of 50 feet as stipulated by the L.A. Municipal Code for industrial equipment.

Sensitive areas include the non-industrial area east of the L.A. River and the Queen Mary, both of which were found to be within the Community Noise Exposure guidelines of the L.A. Municipal Code. The noise variation was at its highest at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. but lowest at noon. The noise was higher on the weekdays than on the weekends. As far as monthly noise, it peaked in January and dropped to a minimum in March before rising steadily again.

“One look and the user sees the major noise contribution comes from the trucks. They have so many going in and out. The trains may be noisy but they don’t operate all the time. If they want to reduce noise, they should focus on the trucks.” said Khoo. “It can be used to predict changes in the future. Say you want to pave a new road or build a new container terminal. They can be drawn into the noise model with a description of the amount of traffic to see the effect it would have. How will these changes affect the overall noise? Say noise screening is planned. A noise wall can be drawn on the map and the effect is seen. That is the most powerful part of noise modeling. You can see noise distribution clearly on a noise map. It is both prediction and prevention.”

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Cal State Long Beach Student Teacher Receives 2014 Future Science Teacher Award

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) has honored Cal State Long Beach’s Laurie Gillis with its Future Science Teacher Award. She will receive the award at the annual meeting of members in December in the Long Beach Convention Center during the National Science Teachers Association Long Beach Area Conference on Science Education, which is held in collaboration with the CSTA.


Laurie Gillis

Gillis is the ninth CSULB student to receive the award and it marks the eighth straight year the recipient has come from the campus.

“Laurie Gillis is one of the best student teachers I have had from CSULB,” said Stephanie Bauer, Odyssey Academy Lead Teacher at Lakewood High School. “She is thoughtful in her lesson design and reflective with every aspect of teaching her students.”

The CSTA Future Science Teacher Award recognizes college students who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to science education through volunteer, teaching and professional organization activities, and who show promise to become outstanding science educators. The CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, kindergarten through university.

“She is open to critical feedback – she solicits it, wants to do well, recognizes herself as a new teacher and never reacts defensively,” said Alan Colburn, a professor in the CSULB Science Education Department. “She is motivated to take advantage of every growth opportunity that comes her way and has already taken advantage of multiple opportunities for professional development. Finally, she is reflective, plans carefully, and tries to think through her lessons and their effects on students.”

As a teaching credential student at CSULB, Gillis proved eager to be involved in activities that supported her growth as a teacher, going above and beyond the credential program’s expectations. And looking forward, she has plans of her own.

“I think the fact that we keep winning this award is because we have strong students who have taken advantage of multiple opportunities to grow and thrive as future teachers,” said CSULB science education professor Laura Henriques. “We strongly encourage professional involvement early on in their careers.”

Gillis, who earned her B.A. degree from Northwestern University, received a single subject credential from CSULB in June.

“Once I am in my own classroom, one of my main goals is to become involved with or establish a program that assists and encourages young women to pursue science careers,” said Gillis. “I was well into my post-baccalaureate courses when a female professor was the first person to tell me I was a ‘natural’ at science and encouraged me to pursue it as a career. It practically changed my identity. It helped me see potential in myself that I had never considered and it opened my mind up to career choices I had never entertained before. I want to give that experience to other young ladies. I want to help young women recognize their own potential in science and feel empowered to pursue it beyond high school.”

Previous recipients of the award from CSULB include Genevieve Finch (2005), William M. Berkstresser and Padma Haldar (2007), Caroline Potter (2008), Bernice “Jeanne” Lepowsky (2009), Angela Lewis (2010), Guadalupe de la O (2011), Josiah Jones (2012) and Tania Hughes (2013).

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CSU Candlelight of Hope Vigil to Raise Suicide Awareness

Twenty-three California State University campuses have been invited to join together on Tuesday, Oct. 21, to host a CSU-wide Candlelight of Hope vigil to raise awareness around a heavily stigmatized topic—college student suicide—which is the second leading cause of death among this age group. The CSULB event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. near the Maxson Plaza fountain in front of Brotman Hall.

Approximately 1,100 college students die each year by suicide and many more think about it. The candlelight event will offer campus communities an opportunity to show unity and give hope to those who may be struggling through a hard time and susceptible to depression or suicidal thoughts.

Participants will be provided with a candle to turn an ordinary paper bag into an extraordinary luminaria and have the opportunity to write a message or decorate bags to remember someone affected by suicide.

First hosted by San Jose State University in fall 2012, other institutions are continuing to bring it back on campus for a third year and a couple of UCs also will be involved this year.

“This will be the second year that we participate in the CSU Candlelight of Hope. Last year, we had over 600 students, staff, faculty and administrators stop by to create their own messages of hope,” said Jane Duong, the coordinator of Project OCEAN (On Campus Emergency Assistance Network) at Counseling and Psychological Services. “There was a strong sense of community as we witnessed many students and other staff members who were once strangers come together to share conversations of similar experiences on the struggles of having a mental illness or knowing a loved one who has been impacted by suicide. The event provided a safe space for diverse members of our campus community to express support and encouragement to one another in hope for healing.

“Whether students are participating in or passing by our event, we want students to know there is hope for those who may be struggling with different forms of hardship and that there is help available on our campus,” she added. “Project OCEAN is here to support our students, staff and faculty by providing resources and increasing knowledge of issues related to mental health.”

Along with CSULB, participating universities include CSU San Bernardino, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Maritime, San Diego State, San Jose State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Santa Cruz and UCLA.

The campuses were grantees of the 2012-14 California Mental Health Services Act (CalMHSA), Prop. 63. It is one of several Prevention and Early Intervention initiatives implemented by CalMHSA, an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA operates services and education programs on a statewide, regional and local basis.

The Candlelight of Hope vigil on campus will be hosted by CSULB’s Project OCEAN, which was established in September 2008 and funded by a three-year federal grant with the mission of encouraging help-seeking behaviors and suicide prevention. Through the two-year CalMHSA Grant, Project OCEAN returned to CSULB from July 2012-June 2014. Based on the impact of OCEAN’s work on campus and student voices in supporting the continuation of Project OCEAN, CSULB has made the decision to institutionalize and fund OCEAN as a permanent program through Student Services as of July. Project OCEAN activities are designed to educate the campus on suicide prevention and promote a climate that reduces stigma associated with mental health and encourages students to seek help when needed.

For more information, visit the Project OCEAN website.

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Mandela Event Focuses On 60th Anniversary Key Court Decision

The 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that ordered the desegregation of American schools will be the focus of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Event on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the University Student Union (USU). The event will examine the question “Are We Still Fighting Separate and Unequal?”

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Cheryl Brown-Henderson and her sister Linda, daughters of the suit’s namesake Oliver Brown, will be on hand for the 11 a.m. event to discuss the context of the Supreme Court decision and the current state of our educational system, according to event organizer Mary Anne Rose, director of Graduate Studies in the College of Education.

The second event will begin at 5 p.m. with a panel of educational experts, including College of Education Dean Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, who will discuss the case’s impact on 21st century schools. Also participating will be CSULB’s Executive Director of Educational Partnerships Linda Tiggs-Taylor, Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling’s Lindsay Perez-Huber and Educational Leadership’s Angela Locks, as well as Brown-Henderson, founding president of the Brown Foundation. The discussion will be preceded by a reception from 4-5 p.m. on the second floor of the University Student Union.

“One goal of this event is to discuss what the decision meant to the field of education,” said Rose. “What has happened during the last 60 years? And what hasn’t happened? This event will offer the chance to discuss such topics as school resegregation, the overrepresentation of minorities among student expulsions, as well as English learners and students with disabilities not receiving the same opportunities.”

A special guest will be Joseph White, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry at UC Irvine and “godfather” of Black Psychology. White was also a founding member of CSULB’s Educational Opportunity Program which is committed to providing access to historically low-income and first- generation college students.

The main goal of the event is to advance a critical understanding of Brown v. Board of Education, said event organizer and Student Life and Development Coordinator Maggie Munoz Perez.

“We want the event grounded in a balance between theory and practice,” said Perez, noting the audience will be mainly students. “We want them to learn about important issues and how to apply what they learn to their everyday lives.

“This event represents an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet extraordinary legends from American history,” she added. “It is a chance to interact with Linda and Cheryl Brown as well as Joseph White. Each one of these people owns a special piece of American history.”

Perez believes CSULB offers an excellent setting for a discussion of civil rights because its enrollment is so diverse.

“We have a lot of first-generation students who see themselves in the role of community activists,” she said. “We definitely want to empower our youth. We want to help them connect their present with America’s history.”

According to Rose, the series demonstrates CSULB’s commitment and gives the campus the forum and opportunity to examine the past and inform the present.

“Events like these show CSULB is not a collection of academic silos, but a university that looks critically at what happened in the past and what we want to happen in the future. Events like these give CSULB the forum and opportunity to do just that,” she said.

The CSULB Multicultural Center and the Office of Student Life and Development, in collaboration with the College of Education, the USU Program Council, the College of Liberal Arts, the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership, the university Honors Program Student Association and the College of Education Student Assembly are hosting the events.

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