Latest Achievements

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

Submit an Achievement

June, 2023

Rosemary Sherriff, Lucy Kerhoulas and Kerry Byrne,
Drs. Rosemary Sherriff, Lucy Kerhoulas and Kerry Byrne received a grant from PG&E to study tree health, vegetation, and fuel characteristics in five dominant forest types throughout five counties in Northern California. Research findings will identify conditions that are commonly associated with tree mortality and breakage, which will help PG&E prioritize vegetation management efforts to vulnerable areas. Sara Hanna (Forestry) is also a key collaborator for GIS analysis, as well as two graduate and five undergraduate students.

May, 2023

Alison Holmes, Kyle Morgan, Casey Vaughn , Politics
Cal Poly Humboldt is helping the CSU connect California to the world through a new online journal - csuglobal. Professor Alison Holmes (PSCI), Kyle Morgan (Library) and Casey Vaughn (Art) worked behind the scenes to prepare the new interdisciplinary journal's first issue (launched May 5th) as part of a system-wide initiative. With editors from 13 campuses and the Chancellor's Office, csuglobal will highlight the expertise of faculty, staff and students through a discussion 'zine and two specific journals one focusing on issues relevant to CA as an increasingly important international actor and one to promote global pedagogy. Submissions welcome: 
Professor Alison Holmes, Politics
Prof Alison Holmes (Politics) will be an invited speaker at Cal Poly Pomona's Faculty and Staff professional development Conference: "Pathways to the Future: Exploring the Intersection of Learning, Work, and the Community" (May 31- June 2). Holmes will be part of the Mentoring Track and talking about ways to scaffold career development across the curriculum as part of an overall mentoring strategy. This presentation is based on her nearly ten years as a member of Cal Poly Humboldt's career curriculum committee. 
Alexandra Gonzalez, Sheila Rocker-Heppe, Jamie Jensen, School of Applied Health
Alexandra Gonzalez, Sheila Rocker-Heppe, and Jamie Jensen have been awarded $50,000 of grant funding through the 2022-23 CPaCE Accelerator Grants program. This will be used for funding the development of the college's new stackable certificate model in gerontology with an emphasis in rural communities. The goal is to design a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares students to serve a diverse older adult population. Future development of this program will allow students to apply units earned through the completion of these certificates toward a baccalaureate degree completion program launching at Cal Poly Humboldt in Fall 2025. 
Jacob Aguilera, Elizabeth Aparicio, Lisa Elconin, Dennis Lindelof, Jane Martinez, Emily Shiver, Jacky Baughman, Melanie Michalak, Geology
Jacob Aguilera, Elizabeth Aparicio, Lisa Elconin, Dennis Lindelof, Jane Martinez, and Emily Shiver presented their original research in Reno, NV at the Geological Society of America Section Meeting. They participated in a pilot one-year long program integrating quantitative, field and lab-based geologic research into the Geology curriculum, led by faculty mentors Jacky Baughman and Melanie Michalak, funded by an NSF AGeS-DiG grant. They presented two posters; i) on their investigation of the effects of a 52 million year old tectonic plate shift on the northern Klamath Mountains, and ii) what the research cohort collaboration was like from their experience.
Daniel Abel, Osvaldo Bustos-Perez, Derek Cohen, Regina Khoury, Jane Martinez, Rebecca Reibel, Giorgio Vitti, Melanie Michalak, Geology
Daniel Abel, Osvaldo Bustos-Perez, Derek Cohen, Regina Khoury, Jane Martinez, Rebecca Reibel, and Giorgio Vitti co-authored and presented their original research in Reno, NV on May 17th at the Geological Society of American Cordilleran Section Meeting. Their research used statistical approaches from geochemical data to reconstruct the geologic and tectonic history of the Montgomery Creek Formation, an ancient river system that is found today in the eastern Klamath Mountains Province. The original work was incorporated into a Methods in Geochronology course taught by Melanie Michalak (Geology); students travel was supported by the Geology Moory Opportunities Fund. 
Dr. Nievita Bueno Watts, INRSEP
Dr. Nievita Bueno Watts, in conjunction with researchers from the Ecological Forecasting Initiative (EFI), , recently published an article "Assessing opportunities and inequities in undergraduate ecological forecasting education" in Ecology and Evolution. With lead author Alyssa M Willson of the University of Notre Dame, the project brought together co-authors from Cal Poly Humboldt, Salish Kootenai College, U New Mexico Gallup, U Notre Dame, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University College Cork to investigate patterns of ecological forecasting education available to students at the undergraduate level, disparities which exist, and possible solutions.
Taylor Bell, Cortland Navarette and Jacob J Taylor, Environmental Resources Engineering
For over two decades, School of Engineering students have competed in the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) annual Mathematical Modeling Contest (MCM) and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM).  Over 11,000 teams from thousands of universities and 21 different countries participate in the 4-day competition and produced a report summarizing their solution to one of six possible problems. The team consisting of Taylor Bell, Cortland Navarette, and Jacob J Taylor, selected a problem focused WORDLE. The team was awarded the score of Honorable Mention, with only 10% of the teams receiving a higher score. Photos  
Dr. Humnath Panta, Business
Recently, Dr. Panta published a research article exploring the relationship between organizational capital and the readability of financial reports. Recently, his findings were published in the esteemed Finance Research Letters journal, which is ranked A by the ABDC. According to Dr. Panta's research, financial reports become more readable with increased levels of organizational capital, a crucial factor for investors. This research emphasizes the significance of intangible assets and offers valuable guidance for companies looking to enhance their financial reporting practices. The article can be accessed through this link: (
Armeda C. Reitzel, Communication
Armeda Reitzel, Professor Emerita of Communication, was invited to give a presentation as a featured speaker by LibreTexts at the Open Education Week 2023 Conference. Open Education Week is an annual celebration of the people and activities that apply open practices to education around the world. Her presentation, "Engaging three student populations with a LibreTexts OER," focused on her use of an OER that she helped co-author.      
Aaron Gregory, Karley Rojas, Aubrey Pongluelert, Native American Studies
Dr. Aaron Gregory (Native American Studies, Science & Technology Studies) assisted in the organization of the 4th Annual Post-Capitalism Conference and Decolonizing Economies Summit as a member of the Steering Committee, opening speaker, and co-organizer of a panel on Food & Seed Sovereignty highlighting the Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab (FSL) and Traditional Ecological Knowledges Institute at Cal Poly Humboldt, with contributions from Karley Rojas (FSL) and global panelists including Rowen White (Sierra Seeds; Indigenous Seedkeepers Network) Jon Jandai (Seeds for the People; Thamurakit) Alejandro Argumendo (Swift Foundation), Alfie Pulumbarit (MASIPAG; Seeds of Resistance) and Aubrey Pongluelert (Fulbright Scholar). 
Enoch Hale, Center for Teaching and Learning
On Friday, April 28th, over 100 educators and students across the university came together for the 4th Annual Teaching Excellence Symposium to reimagine what it means to be a polytechnic. A panel of educators, Heather Madar (AHSS), César Abarca (SW), and Catalina Cuellar Gempeler (BIOL), described their perspectives and experiences on how they are thinking differently about applied learning. Following, a Digital Interactive session hosted over 40 educators and students sharing their innovative, inspiring, and impactful approaches and research to participants. Enjoy the anytime/anywhere version of the Digital Interactive session on the Center for Teaching & Learning website.
Dr. Jose Marin Jarrin, Dr. Andrew Kinziger, and Michelle Schuiteman, Fisheries Biology
Dr. Jose Marin Jarrin, Michelle Schuiteman, and Dr. Andrew Kinziger received a grant to develop a population baseline of fish communities in the lower estuary of the Klamath River. The study will ensure that changes in the Klamath River estuary due to climate change and dam removal will be measurable, and will also develop a working group that can continue to tackle coastal marine issues in Northern California, including Klamath estuary monitoring. The project will be led by the Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department, with support from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and US Fish and Wildlife Service staff.

April, 2023

Abby Keltz, Alexandra Papesh, Physics & Astronomy
Physics & Astronomy majors Abby Keltz and Alexandra Papesh presented research at the 2023 April Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), held in Minneapolis, MN from April 15th - 18th. Keltz presented the talk "Testing Gravitational Interactions Below 50 Microns," while Papesh presented a poster describing a collaborative project with Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) entitled "Improved Measurement of the Newtonian Gravitational Constant G." Keltz was recognized as one of the "Outstanding Undergraduate Presenters" by the conference organizers. Both projects are supported by the National Science Foundation.
Gordon Ulmer, Anthropology
Dr. Gordon Ulmer has been awarded a prestigious $25,000 Wenner-Gren Post PhD Research and Dissertation Fieldwork Grant. His research project is titled, “Multispecies Encounters on the Gahwtco’ (Redwood) Coast: Landscapes of Precarity and Survivance in Times of Change”.
Kamila Larripa, Mathematics
Kamila Larripa has been awarded a 3 year National Science Foundation Division of Mathematical Sciences grant for $307,661 to study immune cell activation using multi-scale mathematical models.  The project includes collaborating biologists at other institutions and will incorporate and train undergraduate students in interdisciplinary research techniques.
Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Dr. Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, assistant professor of Asian American Studies with Dr. Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez, assistant professor of History at UC Santa Cruz co-edited a special issue of Philippine Studies: Historical & Ethnographic Viewpoints (PSHEV). Guided by the Global Asias framework, they curated nine essays that introduce one way science and technology, most especially in the Philippine postwar period, may be investigated, critiqued, and reimagined. PSHEV is an internationally refereed journal that publishes on the history of the Philippines and its people, both in the homeland and overseas.
Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
In collaboration with his drag collaborator Maria Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino or Ma. Arte for short, Dr. Atienza performed a work-in-progress piece Binyag (Dousing with Water) as part of the 25th anniversary show of Tuesday Night Cafe in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California. Tuesday Night Cafe is an Asian American free summer public arts and performance series founded in 1999. It is the flagship of Tuesday Night Project, an Asian American grassroots organization devoted to bridging communities through artistic expression and community partnerships. Learn more at FOLLOW Ma. Arte on Instagram and Facebook @dragMaArte
Dr Peter Goetz, Mathematics
Will give a talk titled "Frobenius extensions, Artin-Schelter regular algebras and Azumaya loci" at the Spring Western Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society at CSU, Fresno on Sunday, May 7, 2023. The Azumaya locus of a polynomial identity algebra is an algebraic variety that parametrizes the irreducible modules of maximal dimension. Typically the Azumaya locus is very hard to determine. Dr. Goetz will describe results from his current research project on using Frobenius extensions to compute Azumaya loci.
Julie Van Sickle, Natural History Museum
Julie Van Sickle received a grant to implement several projects through the Natural History Museum (NHM) that will help educate the local community and visitors on marine science and stewardship, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. This includes the addition of two new exhibits, expanding current exhibits with additional information, and building marine science teaching boxes for teachers to use in their classrooms and to be used at outreach events. These projects will be developed through the collaborative work of faculty and students, local agencies, local teacher leaders, and NHM staff.
Dr. Oscar Vargas, Biological Sciences
Dr. Oscar Vargas collaborated in the assemblage and annotation of a spiral ginger genome. Authors sequenced the nuclear genome of two species of plants in the family Costaceae. The study provides a draft annotation for the genome by mapping the transcriptome (RNA, expressed DNA) of one species to its draft genome. This study provides useful genetic resources for the study of non-model organisms.
Lucy Kerhoulas, Erin Kelly, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management
Drs. Lucy Kerhoulas and Erin Kelly were awarded a $299,000 grant to support the ongoing Redwoods Rising student apprenticeship program. The program places students within resource teams to perform seasonal tasks associated with restoration activities throughout the Redwood National and State Parks, where they develop field experience, network with resource management specialists, and contribute to ongoing land management efforts. This summer they hired 12 apprentices to work on projects related to forestry, roads, watersheds, and outreach and interpretation.This project is in collaboration with Redwood National and State Parks and the Save the Redwoods League, which also provides funding.
Dr. Oscar Vargas, Biological Sciences
Dr. Oscar Vargas collaborated in the description of a new species of spiral gingers from the mountains of Costa Rica. The paper examines the possible causes of speciation by comparing the genetics and climate preference of the new species to its closest relative. 
Leslie Keig, Theatre, Film & Dance
Leslie Keig's one minute play "The Tides of Janus" was selected for inclusion in Et tu, Brute? An Anthology of One Minute Plays (Volume 2) from Fresh Words: An International Literary Magazine.
Chris Hopper, Sheila Rocker Heppe, Betsy Rogers, College of Extended Education and Global Engagement (CEEGE)
California Community College students have achieved educational and professional success at Cal Poly Humboldt’s online Bachelors Degree in Leadership Studies which is designed to accommodate students from many industry sectors. Since 2021, LDRS students have transferred from 46 different community colleges across a variety of Certificate and Associate pathways, building on their technical training and work experience. Non-traditional students can continue to work while accessing a CSU through this flexible, adult-friendly degree program as well as access financial aid (Cal Grant, Pell Grant, and federal loans). LDRS students have a 78% retention rate and 75% graduation rate! Go Lumberjacks!