Latest Achievements

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

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October, 2022

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, Fire, & Rangeland Management
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, Fire, & Rangeland Management
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, Fire, & Rangeland Management
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. 
Logan Hysen, Wildlife
Logan Hysen, M.S. student from the Department of Wildlife, was selected to be the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship given by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the California Association of Environmental Professionals. The scholarship supports students pursuing a career in the environmental field. Logan is conducting research on environmental impacts on northern spotted owl for his thesis.
Hunter Harrill, Forestry, Fire, & Rangeland Management
Dr. Hunter Harrill received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a study that will determine the size, scale, and capabilities of the logging industry in California. The main objective of the project is to survey the industry to quantify the number of crews that exist and their characteristics (e.g. capacity, employment, equipment, capabilities), and improve our understanding of their challenges, opinions, business outlook, and vision for the future. Findings will inform land managers about the potential for types of forest operations and available capacity in their respective area.
David Adams, Kinesiology & Recreation Administration
David Adams published the following article. Adams, D., Bittner, M., Lavay, B., & Silliman-French, L. (2022). Adapted Physical Education Teachers Prior Training and Current use of Action Research to Monitor Student Progress. PALAESTRA, 36(3) 35-43.    
Logan Hysen, Danial Nayeri, Ho Yi Wan, Wildlife
In Summer 2022, Logan Hysen and Danial Nayeri, graduate students of the Wildlife Department, were awarded a $1,000 research grant from the California North Coast Chapter of the Wildlife Society. This grant will be used to conduct a pilot research on northern spotted owl prey species in recently burned forest landscapes. They will be conducting the research under the supervision of Dr. Ho Yi Wan.
Jen Maguire, Centers for Equitable Higher Education
Dr. Jen Maguire received a $150,000 grant from the College Futures Foundation to support strategic planning for the Centers for Equitable Higher Education (CEHE) at CSU Long Beach and Cal Poly Humboldt. The initiative will allow CEHE to define an expanded effort to generate research that advances policy and practice changes to better meet student basic needs in California.
Nievita Bueno Watts, Indian Natural Resources, Science & Engineering Program
Dr. Nievita Bueno Watts received a $1.3 million Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Program grant from the US Department of Education. McNair is a prestigious national program that prepares selected first generation college students from low income backgrounds for doctoral studies by providing opportunities for research and other scholarly activities, summer research institute, seminars, and academic counseling. This includes assistance to students in securing admission to graduate programs. The McNair Scholars program is the latest in a suite of TRiO programs available at Cal Poly Humboldt which include EOP/Student Support Services, Educational Talent Search, and Upward Bound.
Sara L. Chase Merrick, Child Development
Dr. Sara L. Chase Merrick received an $18,000 grant from the Yurok Tribe to instruct an asynchronous, 3-unit American Indian Education course designed for local Native American high school students through the College of Extended Education. The course will use relevant theories to study contemporary and historical experiences of Indigenous youth, their families, and their communities. Course topics will be guided by student interest and include: History of education from an Indigenous Perspective, Relationships to Land, Language Revitalization, Stories, Health, and Decolonization. Students will participate in a variety activities, including field trips and tribal expert guest presentations.

September, 2022

Kathleen Brewer, Dr. Mary Gruber, Psychology
Kathleen Brewer (M.A., 2013) and Dr. Mary Gruber (Emerita Professor) published their peer-reviewed Professional manual for the Parent Reaction to Autism Diagnosis Scales (PRADS-2) with guidance for tailoring parent supports, in May 2022.  It is available through open source at and also as a book through Amazon.  The manual describes their research, development, and validation of the scales, along with instructions for using them accurately, ethically, and beneficially in tailoring supports for parents.  Their manual also cites nine Humboldt graduate student thesis research studies on supports for caregivers of children with developmental disabilities.
Brandilynn Villarreal, Kimberly Vincent-Layton, Edelmira Reynoso, Kayla Begay and Kimberly N. White, Native American Studies
Despite having expertise, student voices have typically been left out of faculty professional development literature. The purpose of this study was to center college student voices around perceptions of equitable learning environments for use in faculty professional development programs.  Results revealed students and faculty had similar perceptions and both endorsed the importance of equitable classroom practices. Using content analysis to generate themes, students identified instructor responsibilities to promote learning environments that are: (1) caring and supportive, (2) safe and equitable, (3) individualized, (4) student-centered, and (5) active and collaborative.
Mary Lipiec, English
Mary Lipiec, graduate M.A. student in English, presented at the SPARK conference in New York City. Mary is researching representations of  autism in literature for the culminating M.A. project in English. As part of the SPARK conference, Mary was part of a panel discussion on disability justice.
L. Rae Robison, Theatre, Film & Dance
Theatre Professor L. Rae Robison is a contributor to the new Routledge publication of Masking in Pandemic U.S.: Beliefs and Practices of Containment and Connection by Urmila Mohan. This anthropological study explores the beliefs and practices that emerged around masking in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeffrey Kane, Forestry, Fire, & Rangeland Management
In an effort to address California's daunting wildfire challenges, Dr. Jeffrey Kane and the Humboldt Fire Resilience Institute recently acquired a $500,000 Cal Fire Workforce Development Grant. Through these funds, the institute, in partnership with local agencies and organizations, will work to develop and better integrate education, training, experience, and outreach opportunities for fire students, professionals, and community members within northwestern California. The major aim of this work is to enhance the qualified fire and fuels management workforce to help reach the ambitious but necessary fuel reduction targets for California in the coming years.
Sara L. Chase Merrick, Child Development
Dr. Sara L. Chase Merrick received a $400,000 grant from the Spencer Foundation to build on her previous research-practice collaborations with the Hoopa Tribal Education Association, and expand the resurgence of Na:tinixwe Mixine:whe (Hupa Language) and Na:tinixwe approaches to education. The project will utilize Na:tinixwe methodologies to investigate how current short-term language and education resurgence efforts can be developed into an effective long-term program.  Research will be grounded in the specificity of the Na:tinixwe (people) and Na:tinixw’ (place), yet have implications for Indigenous contexts across the world, endangered language communities, and Education research-practice.
Matthew Dean, World Languages and Cultures
Dr. Matthew (Mateo) Dean's latest book, Beginning Spanish Language and Culture, which was published in August of 2020, reached over 30,000 downloads worldwide last month, just two years after publication. This peer-reviewed OER textbook has consistently been the #1 most popular download on Humboldt Digital Commons.  
Rosemary Sherriff, Geography
Rosemary Sherriff (Professor, GESA) co-authored (85 authors) a recent paper in the journal Ecosphere on a newly compiled North American tree-ring fire-scar network (NAFSN), which contains 2562 sites, >37,000 fire-scarred trees, and covers large parts of North America. The study explores  the NAFSN in terms of geography, sample depth, vegetation, topography, climate, and human land use. Fire scars are found in most ecoregions, from boreal forests in northern Alaska and Canada to subtropical forests in southern Florida and Mexico. The network includes 91 tree species, but is dominated by gymnosperms in the genus Pinus
Zachary Wenderott, Rosemary Sherriff, Geography
Humboldt graduate Zachary Wenderott (MS, Forestry, Watershed and Wildland Sciences), Rosemary Sherriff (Professor, GESA), and colleagues at the U.S.G.S and National Park Service recently published a paper in the journal Forest Ecology and Management on prescribed fire effects in mixed-conifer forests in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The findings suggest that forest management, such as prescribed fire, may be beneficial in terms of maintaining or improving tree growth among large residual trees. However, managers may want to balance the benefits of these treatments against inadvertent injury and mortality of large trees.
Sarah Jaquette Ray, Environmental Studies
Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray published a short essay, "Doing Nothing for the Planet," on One Earth Sangha. Read it here: