Latest Achievements

Updates about the latest accomplishments—including latest research, publications, and awards—by students, faculty, and staff

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November, 2022

Alison Ruth Holmes, International Studies
Professor Alison Holmes (Chair International Studies and Politics) presented to the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies hosted by Sonoma State University. She was attending the conference to promote the new online interdisciplinary journal, csuglobal. With a launch set for 2023, the journal will highlight the global work of faculty, students and staff of the CSU system. The goal is to better connect our campuses while showcasing the research, curricular and co-curricular work we do that connects California to the world. If you would like to know more about the journal or to submit your work email Dr Alison Holmes:
Alison Holmes (Chair, Politics and International Studies), Richard Marcus (Global Studies Institute, CSULB), International Studies
Professor Alison Holmes and Professor Richard Marcus (CSU Long Beach) made a brief presentation via zoom to the CSU's Academic Council of International Programs enlisting their help to get the word out about the new online journal, csuglobal. This interdisciplinary journal will launch in 2023 and is designed to showcase the work of faculty, staff and students of the CSU as they connect California to the world.  If you are interested in learning about the journal or submitting work email Dr Holmes:
Johnathon A. Macias, Environmental Science & Management
Johnathon A. Macias published the peer-reviewed paper “Highlighting the Disconnect Between Legislation and Sustainable Cannabis” in the newly released ideaFest Journal.
Erin J. Hanson and Dr. Jose R. Marin Jarrin, Fisheries Biology
Erin J. Hanson and Dr. Jose R. Marin Jarrin published the peer-reviewed paper “List of Fish Species Present in Galápagos, Ecuador, and California, U.S.A., With Notes on Their Commercial Importance and Conservation Status” in the newly released ideaFest Journal.
Louis Antonelli, Alexandra Winkler, Theron Taylow, and Natalie Greenleaf, Fisheries Biology
Louis Antonelli, Alexandra Winkler, Theron Taylow, and Natalie Greenleaf published the peer-reviewed paper ”Variation in Coastal Macroinvertebrate Species Diversity on Intertidal Boulders in Trinidad, California” in the newly released ideaFest Journal.
Jasmine Williamshen, Alison O'Dowd, Kyle De Juilio, Nicholas Som, Darren Ward, Brian Williamshen, Environmental Science & Management
Former ESM graduate student Jasmine Williamshen and co-authors Alison O'Dowd (ESM professor), Kyle De Juilio (Yurok Tribe Fisheries Program), Nicholas Som (USFWS), Darren Ward (Fisheries professor) and Brian Williamshen (UC Davis) published a paper entitled, "Restoration pulse flows from a California dam temporarily increase drifting invertebrate biomass concentration" in the Journal of Environmental Management (
Micaela Szykman Gunther, Ho Yi Wan, Wildlife
Drs. Micaela Szykman Gunther and Ho Yi Wan received a $170,000 grant from the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) to support a distribution study on the marten and fisher, two closely related members of the weasel family that are both species of special concern. The project aims to assess potential shifts in the species’ distributions after wildfires in Lassen County, and will support two Department of Wildlife graduate students. Findings will determine if certain management strategies or habitat types are more resilient to fire, potentially serving as refugia for martens and fishers.
Pedro Peloso, Biological Sciences
Research Associate Dr. Pedro Peloso and collaborators have discovered and described a new species of frog from South America (Brazil and French Guiana). They revealed this discovery in a paper titled "A new Chiasmocleis (Anura: Microhylidae) from the eastern Guiana Shield with an amended definition of C. haddadi", published in the Journal Zootaxa.
Laura Johnson, Geography
Dr. Laura Johnson, a lecturer in departments of Geography and Environmental Studies, was interviewed on the Sacred Community Project Podcast. Her conversation with host Sitaram Dass, MSW, revolved around ecological grief, rest as radical practice, embodied activism, and postcapitalist futures, among other related topics. Feel free to listen or share here: 
Bonnie Ludka, Adam Young, Robert Guza, William O’Reilly, Mark Merrifield, Environmental Resources Engineering
Dr. Bonnie Ludka and colleagues have published a paper in Coastal Engineering titled "Alongshore variability of a southern California beach, before and after nourishment." Their work investigates the link between wave-driven alongshore currents and hotspots of beach erosion and accretion on a southern California beach. Additionally, they analyze the effectiveness (both positive and negative impacts) of beach nourishment as a coastal management technique to manage the hotspots. The influence of alongshore sand transport on the migration and closure of a nearby river mouth is also discussed.
Frank Juma Ong'ondo, Frank Fogarty III, Peter Njoroge, and Matt Johnson, Wildlife
Wildlife graduate student Frank Juma Ong'ondo and his collaborators Drs. Frank Fogarty and Matt Johnson from Humboldt Wildlife, and Dr. Peter Njoroge from the National Museums of Kenya published a paper entitled "Bird abundance and diversity in shade coffee and natural forest in Kenya" in the journal Global Ecology & Conservation. Open access link here.
Dr. Oscar M. Vargas-Hernandez, Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor Dr. Oscar Vargas and collaborators published a paper titled "Evolutionary history constrains heat tolerance of native and exotic tropical Zingiberales." The paper studies the thermal tolerance of native and wild gingers in Costa Rica, discussing its implications to conservation and the biology of invasive species. 
Matt Johnson, Wildlife
Wildlife faculty member Matt Johnson has secured a new grant ($659,987) from the Agricultural Research Institute to investigate the use of nest boxes for bluebirds and swallows for insect pest control in winegrape vineyards. The 3-year project is in collaboration with researchers at UC Davis (Dr. Daniel Karp) and UC Riverside (Drs. Erin Wilson-Rankin and S. Houston Wilson), and it will fund a post-doctoral researcher and multiple undergraduate students from Cal Poly Humboldt, along with a PhD student at UC Davis. The research will occur in Napa Valley.
Brittany D. Light and Robert W. Zoellner, Chemistry
Professor Emeritus Robert W. Zoellner and his former student, Brittany D. Light, have published a "mini-review" entitled "Chemistry with a capital Z:  The superheavy elements, Flerovium" in the Summer 2022 issue of The Hexagon of Alpha Chi Sigma:  B. D. Light and R. W. Zoellner, The Hexagon of Alpha Chi Sigma2022113(2), 20-24.
Tara S. Caso, Robert W. Zoellner, Chemistry
Professor Emeritus Robert W. Zoellner and his former student, Tara S. Caso, have published a peer-reviewed article entitled "The effect of substituents on the hypothetical decomposition energies of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) derivatives:  Structures and properties from density functional calculations":  T. S Caso, R. W. Zoellner, Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research 202221, 106-110.

October, 2022

Alison O'Dowd, Environmental Science & Management
Dr. Alison O'Dowd, with collaborators in the Yurok Tribe and Hoopa Valley Tribe, was awarded $123,000 by the Trinity River Restoration Program to explore the effects of scour and marginal inundation on Trinity River invertebrate communities. River invertebrates are an important food resource for salmonids and this study will investigate if longer periods of winter inundation can bolster invertebrate populations.  The other aspect of the study will use monthly invertebrate sampling to see if high-flow winter scouring events can 're-set' the system and increase fish food later in the season (as has been shown in other research).
Pedro Peloso and Brandice Guerra, Biological Sciences
Dr. Pedro Peloso and Brandice Guerra, M.F.A., received a $10,000 grant from the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation to support a scientific illustration residency program at Cal Poly Humboldt. The program will recruit a student or recent graduate from anywhere in the world to work with faculty from the departments of Art+Film and Biology. The intern will create a series of illustrations of recently extinct Brazilian frogs, and share their work and artistic process through a lecture or exhibition on campus.
Linda Kuckuk, English
Linda J. Kuckuk (graduate student, M.A. English, Applied English Studies) is presenting a paper titled "Interwoven Stories/Embroidered Identity" at the 119th Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference in November 2022. The conference theme is "Geographies of the Fantastic and the Quotidian." Linda's presentation will be part of a session on ideas about "Auto/biography."     
Alexandra Papesh and Tanner Hooven, Physics & Astronomy
Congratulations to Physics & Astronomy majors Alexandra Papesh and Tanner Hooven who presented Cal Poly Humboldt gravitational physics research at the 2022 Far West Section Meeting of the American Physical Society. This year around 100 researchers were welcomed by the University of Hawai'i, Manoa in Honolulu to share knowledge, network, and learn about recent groundbreaking results. Great work!!
Dr. Christopher Hopper (KINS), Dr. Sheila Rocker Heppe (CEEGE), Joy Hermsen (LDRS), and Betsy Rogers (LDRS), Kinesiology & Recreation Administration
Dr. Christopher Hopper, Program Director; Dr. Sheila Rocker Heppe, Director of Extended Education; Joy Hermsen, faculty; and Betsy Rogers, Academic Advisor, presented at the California Community College Association for Occupational Education Conference (CCCAOE) to an audience of faculty and administrators representing vocational/technical degrees throughout the CCC system. The presentation highlighted transfer pathways for members of the vocational and technical workforce to earn their bachelor’s degree in Leadership Studies, a fully online major at Cal Poly Humboldt, and shared how California community college programs can build transfer agreements that cater to working adults.
Molly Parren, Daniel Barton, and Barbara Clucas, Wildlife
Molly Parren, MS graduate in Wildlife, published results from her MS thesis research, "Drought and coyotes mediate mesopredator response to human disturbance" in the ESA open-access journal Ecosphere, co-authored with Cal Poly Humboldt faculty Drs. Daniel Barton and Barbara Clucas and CDFW scientists Dr. Brett Furnas and Misty Nelson. This work addressed how California's extreme drought and coyotes in 2013-16 influenced interactions between bobcats, kit foxes, raccoons, and human disturbance at 585 study sites throught California's Central Valley and Mojave Deserts.
Alan Tepley, Forestry & Wildland Resources
Alan Tepley was the lead author on a paper that evaluates trends in wildfire evacuations across Canada's forested regions over the last four decades. The study summarizes spatial variation in the characteristics of the fires that led to evacuations (e.g., the size, seasonality, and ignition sources) and the communities exposed (e.g., population, access to the road network, and trends in evacuations on First Nations reserves vs. non-reserves). Understanding the key risk factors and how they vary spatially across Canada and temporally over the fire season will aid in planning for future fire seasons.    
Hunter Harrill, Will Goldenberg, Forestry & Wildland Resources
Dr. Hunter Harrill (Forestry, Fire, and Rangeland Management) was invited to deliver a presentation titled, "Creating Immersive Field Trips and Assignments During COVID" for a panel session on Forest Operations Education at the COFE-FORMEC-IUFRO Division 3 International Conference of Forest Engineering, in Corvallis, Oregon, October 4-7th, 2022. His presentation featured the high quality virtual field trips that were filmed and produced by Humboldt alumni Will Goldenberg, that are now helping professors from other universities around the world, to educate their students. Dr. Harrill also served as a moderator for a panel session on Forest Operations Planning Issues and Opportunities. 
Dennis Lindelof, Lisa Elconin, Huntington Paulson, Amanda Admire, Geology
On Saturday October 1st, the Geology Club officers, Dennis Lindelof, Lisa Elconin and Huntington Paulson, joined the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group and Humboldt Earthquake Education Center to participate in Pastels on the Plaza. Their design promoted the Great ShakeOut happening on October 20th at 10:20 am, and it highlighted the importance of earthquake and tsunami awareness and preparedness. Check out their design on the Arcata Plaza! We encourage everyone to sign up and participate in ShakeOut during Safety Week so you too can practice your earthquake and tsunami drill. Preparedness makes a difference! 
Karolyn Fagundes, Hunter Harrill, Susan Marshall, Andrew Stubblefield, Han-Sup Han, Forestry & Wildland Resources
Karolyn Fagundes (Forestry, Fire, and Rangeland Management) was invited to deliver a presentation highlighting her Master's thesis research, titled, "Assessing Soil Disturbance from a Tethered Feller Buncher on Steep Slopes in Northern California." The presentation was part of a panel session on Environmental Impacts at the COFE-FORMEC-IUFRO Division 3 International Conference of Forest Engineering, in Corvallis, Oregon, October 4-7th, 2022.