Latest Achievements

Updates about the latest publications and other achievements by our faculty, staff and students

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Week of: May 24, 2015

Student Crystal Welch, Andrew Longman, Tyler Hanson and Robin Halloran, Forestry & Wildland Resources

Three Humboldt State University students passed the rigorous “Fundamentals of Soil Science” exam offered April 17, 2015 becoming Associate Professional Soil Scientists, according to test results from the Council of Soil Science Examiners. Crystal Welch, Andrew Longman and Tyler Hanson were among five individuals in California who attempted the exam this spring and were the only California examinees to pass the exam. Nationally, 61 individuals took the exam with a pass rate of 59% overall according to Michele Lovejoy, Program Manager for Professional Development of the Soil Science Society of America.

Crystal Welch graduated in Fall 2014 with a degree in Rangeland Resource Science (Wildland Soils option). After performing lab analysis of soils for Dirty Business Consulting in Arcata, Crystal starting working as a field scientist for the Great Basin Institute in Reno, Nevada. Andrew Longman graduated Spring 2014 with a degree in Rangeland Resource Science (Wildland Soils option) and will soon begin a position as Junior Specialist for Organic/Conventional Farming Project with Dr. Louise Jackson at U.C. Davis. Andy will help study the effects of water deficits on crop physiology, biology and pests. Tyler Hanson has completed his minor in Wildland Soil Science, and will graduate in Fall 2015 with a degree in Botany. Robin Halloran, another Wildland Soils option graduate (Spring 2015), passed the same exam November 21, 2014. In summary, 16 out of 23 HSU students who have attempted the exam have passed (70%) since 2011, well above the national average pass maximum of 63% for the same time period.

Those who pass the fundamentals exam will be eligible to take the Professional Practice exam after five years of professional experience, an additional step in becoming a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Recent Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) discussions about program self-certification have included the fundamentals exam as one indicator of program quality. Given that the exam is multiple choice, it does not evaluate students’ field skills per se, but is an exam that is offered nationwide and is therefore ‘portable.’ Humboldt State University Wildland Soils students (an option under the Rangeland Resource Science major) spend more than 200 hours in field or laboratory learning experiences, honing hands-on skills and field judgment of soil properties, limitations, and capabilities.

Faculty Dr. Michael S. Bruner, Communication

Communication Professor Michael S. Bruner’s article, “Labeling: Organic, Local, Genetically Modified,” appears in the new SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues. See Vol. 2: 877-882. The article arose from previous work in the HSU Communication Department on California Prop 37 and on the organic food movement. The three volume encyclopedia was released in hardcover this month, Ken Albala, Ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2015).

Week of: May 10, 2015

Faculty Sarah Jaquette Ray, Environmental Studies

Sarah Jaquette Ray attended the “Rethinking Race in the Anthropocene” symposium at the University of Oregon May 7-9.

Faculty Selma Sonntag, Politics

Politics Professor Selma Sonntag is one of two editors of State Traditions and Language Regimes, recently published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, in which scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America shift focus from the consequences of language policies to how and why states make language policy choices.

Faculty Cesar Abarca, Social Work

For the past four years, Social Work Faculty Member César Abarca has helped plan, coordinate, and implement a community-based, grassroots organization, Los Jardines Institute’s 4 Direction Intergenerational Youth Exchange, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two videos produced by youth who attended the summer institute are now available to view.

Video One – Four Directions Youth Exchange 2012

Video Two – Four Directions Youth Exchange 2013

The institute is organized with assistance from community organizations including PODER San Francisco, TEJAS Houston, TX, New Mexico Acequia Association, TEWA Women United NM, El Chante Casa de Cultura, and ABQ NM, among others.

Faculty Sarah Fay Philips, Library

Sarah Fay Philips has successfully completed the Cascadia Center for Leadership’s 2015 Leadership Training Program, demonstrating exceptional leadership skills, vision, and commitment to action.

Faculty Marcy Burstiner, Journalism & Mass Communication

The California Newspaper Publishers Association awarded Professor Marcy Burstiner first place for best column in the weekly newspaper division in its 2014 Better Newspapers Contest. The CNPA presented Burstiner with the award May 9 in a ceremony in San Diego for two columns published in the North Coast Journal: “What’s Not to Know,” published Feb. 27, 2014 and “The Big Chill,” published March 27, 2014. Burstiner has written a monthly column on local media, the public’s right to know and First Amendment issues for the Journal since 2006.

Student Diover Duario, Israel LeFrak, Rebecca Gallegos, Ian Bradley, John Ferrara, Journalism & Mass Communication

The California Newspaper Publishers Association awarded The Lumberjack newspaper first place for general excellence in the 4-year college newspaper category in its 2014 Better Newspapers Contest, deeming it the top student newspaper in the state for 4-year colleges. The judges said: “The paper has a professional look. Excellent layout and design throughout. Stories were tight and well-written. Headlines are clean and crisp. News reporting was balanced and covered all sides well. Overall, a great college newspaper executed with flair and authority.” The 2014 Lumberjack teams were lead by students Diover Duario, Rebecca Gallegos, Israel LeFrak and Ian Bradley.

Week of: May 03, 2015

Faculty California Environmental Legacy Project,

The California Environmental Legacy Project’s 2-hour program, “Becoming California” was recently nominated for four EMMY Awards, including Best Documentary Program by the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It also received nominations for the 44th Annual Northern California Emmy Awards in the categories of writing, photography and editing. The California Environmental Legacy Project is a multimedia initiative that aims to raise public understanding of environmental change and stimulate a new culture of stewardship. The project was led by Sacramento State and Humboldt State and HSU students were key contributors.

Student Bobbie Good, Social Work

Social Work student Bobbie Good co-facilitated with Byrd Lochtie May 4 at a session for board members and those working with boards on behalf of NorCAN, which promotes connections between people and organizations that work make the community healthy and strong.

The monthly presentations focus on keeping local organizations fresh through learning, sharing, and networking with the premise that local boards lead, delegate and inspire.

Good presented her masters project, which includes templates, tools and tips for local nonprofit boards to create and modify board manuals, bylaws, and orientations. Good was formerly a board president and is currently the secretary of the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR) board.

“It was such a wonderful experience,” says Bobbie. “The board round table was attended by almost twice as many people as usual. I was presented with a gift from HACHR at the event as a thank you for my consulting for their agency related to my project. It was a magical day in my world.”

Good’s guide is available at the Humboldt Area Foundation resource library or can be requested in PDF.

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