Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU)

Heritage University

Kazuhiro Sonoda
Dean, Arts and Sciences
509 865.8584 ext 2354

Heritage University has hired Alex Alexiades; Alex’s background includes: PhD Natural Resources, Cornell University (advisor Cliff Kraft), December 2015; Fisheries Biologist, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010; Fulbright Fellow, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, September 2014 – May 2015.  His current tasks at Heritage University are to develop a new Aquatic and Fisheries Science program and curriculum, classroom and lab instruction, development of undergraduate research program, secure funding for curriculum design and implementation, undergraduate student mentoring and advising, incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge into Environmental Science Education, develop GIS and Program R courses, outreach with Yakama Nation Fisheries and area K-12 students, EnvironMentor for high school students on Yakama Indian Reservation and is interested in developing a local fisheries and aquatic research program (focusing on salmond population dynamics and ecosystem function) and continuing research in tropical Andean rivers . If any PNW CESU partners would like to collaborate with Alex, please contact him at

Key Research, Technical Assistance, and Education Strengths

  • Quality education: non-profit, independent, accredited institution of higher education offering undergraduate and graduate education; qualified and dedicated faculty and staff and unique educational programs tailored to the special needs of the multicultural, educationally isolated communities of south-central Washington
  • Multicultural: objective to reverse historical under-representation of some cultural groups in higher education, with a special commitment to bring higher educational opportunities to those who have been isolated or alienated from such chances in the past; commitment to build community in a deliberately pluralistic setting, viewing each student’s cultural background as an asset to the educational process
  • Recognition: recipient of regional and national recognition; designated a “National Center of Excellence” for rural community development activities by the USDA
  • Resources/research facilities: classroom buildings, biology, chemistry, and computer laboratories, library, and academic skills center; science and math faculty involved in cooperative research activities with Batelle Memorial Institute’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation
  • Technical assistance: main campus location on the 1.4 million-acre Yakama Reservation in south-central Washington; working relationships with tribal programs such as the Yakama Tribal School, Yakama Cultural Museum and Library, Tribal Administrator’s Office,Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Yakama Agency Branch of Forestry