Latest Achievements

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

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September, 2022

Student Alumna Kathleen Brewer and Faculty Emerita Dr. Mary Gruber, Psychology
Student Alumna Kathleen Brewer and Faculty Emerita Dr. Mary Gruber published their peer-reviewed Professional manual for the Parent Reaction to Autism Diagnosis Scales (PRADS-2) with guidance for tailoring parent supports.  It is available 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.   
Alison O'Dowd, Environmental Science & Management
ESM Professor Alison O'Dowd received >$800,000 in grants and matching funds to do a 5-year food web study related to the removal of 4 large dams on the Klamath River.  The study includes collaborators at the Karuk Tribe and UC Davis to look at food resources and diet of salmonids in tributary and mainstem sites on the Klamath River before, during and after dam removal.  This research will explore the resiliency of culturally-important salmonids during high sediment loads released during dam removal.
Alison Holmes, World Languages and Cultures
Alison Holmes, leader of the International Studies Program, spent the summer on a Fellowship at the University of London. While in the UK, she presented papers at two conferences: the Transatlantic Studies Association and HOTCUS (Historians of the Twentieth Century United States).
Alfredo Calderon, Kevin Chung, Steven Gracy, and Taylor Juchau, Physics & Astronomy
Four Physics & Astronomy majors were selected to be Cal-Bridge Scholars for the upcoming academic years. The Cal-Bridge program creates opportunities for historically underrepresented groups and first-generation students to participate and advance in STEM fields including physics, astronomy, computer science, and computer engineering, in order to increase their representation in PhD programs. Each scholar is provided a CSU as well as a UC mentor to help prepare them for graduate school applications and secure research opportunities. Students are awarded a scholarship up to $10,000 per year on a need-based assessment. Congratulations to all!
Nievita Bueno Watts, Indian Natural Resources, Science & Engineering Program
Dr. Nievita Bueno Watts received a $120,000 grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to support the Natural Resource Career Development Program, an initiative that will help foster and cultivate Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students as future leaders interested in agricultural careers in public service. Students interested in learning more about agricultural careers in public service can contact Students from Hispanic/Latinx backgrounds majoring in Rangeland, Soils, Botany, Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science & Management are especially encouraged to apply.
Lisa Tremain and Beth Eschenbach, Department of English & Department of Environmental Resources Engineering
Drs. Lisa Tremain and Beth Eschenbach received $98,000 from the National Science Foundation to support a new program that will develop, support and measure STEM instructor understanding and application of antiracist approaches to writing pedagogy and assessment in STEM disciplines. This project integrates cultural foundations to learning, antiracist writing assessment, and culturally sustaining pedagogies. Activities include a year-long Faculty Learning Community (FLC) of Engineering faculty and a spring semester series of workshops. The project will involve approximately 100 STEM faculty, and result in foundational data that will benchmark the impacts of the model on teacher learning and curricular designs.
Tara S. Caso and Robert W. Zoellner, Chemistry
Professor Emeritus Robert W. Zoellner and his former student, Tara S. Caso, have published a peer-reviewed article entitled "Thioacetone analogs of cyclic diacetone diperoxide (DADP), triacetone triperoxide (TATP), and tetraacetone tetraperoxide (4A4P):  Structures and properties from density functional calculations" in the Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research 202221, 54-59.
Cyndy Phillips, Kyle Morgan, Jessica Welch, James Woglom, English
On September 3, Humboldt County will finally have its first published anthology of painters, Looking for Beauty: Humboldt’s Plein Air Community Shows Why Art Matters, designed and compiled by former associate faculty of English, Cyndy Phillips. Phillips' indie press, SequoiaSong Publications, worked with Cal Poly Press as an advisor over the span of the three and a half year project and community minded art professor, James Woglom, wrote the foreword. The opening reception for this historic publication is at the Redwood Art Association (603 F St, Eureka), 6-9pm, where the remaining 80 limited edition hardbacks will be for sale.
Catherine LeDesma, Michael Ross, Benjamin Daly, C.D. Hoyle, and Monty Mola, Physics & Astronomy
Together with faculty members, a group of Cal Poly Humboldt Physics and Astronomy students (now all alumni) recently published a peer-reviewed article in the journal AIP Advances published by the American Institute of Physics. The work, titled "A modified Michelson interferometer to measure sub-milliradian changes in angle," that describes technical advances in measuring miniscule angular deflections for use in fundamental physics experiments, can be found in open-access format at the following link:
C.D. Hoyle, Physics & Astronomy
Professor C.D. Hoyle of the Department of Physics and Astronomy was awarded a National Science Foundation Collaborative Research Grant to continue the development of an experiment in conjunction with Professor Ricardo Decca of Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) that seeks to perform the world's most precise measurement of Newton's gravitational constant, G. In addition to technical R&D, this 3-year grant in the amount of $127,923 will support Cal Poly Humboldt student involvement through summer research opportunities and funded conference travel.
Alison O'Dowd, Environmental Science & Management
Dr. Alison O’Dowd received a grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board to support research into salmonid food webs in the Klamath River. The project seeks to understand the food webs dynamics associated with Klamath Dam removal by examining the water quality, salmonid food resources and diet in the mainstem Klamath River and associated tributaries before, during, and after Klamath dam removal. Findings will inform management of fisheries and fish food resources associated with future dam removal projects. It will also advance the field of disturbance ecology by documenting the effects of a large-scale ‘planned’ disturbance.
Robert Gearhart, Environmental Resources Engineering
Dr. Robert Gearheart received a grant from the City of Arcata to continue the implementation of a wastewater engineering project. The project focuses on the ongoing effort to ensure that the upgrade of the City of Arcata’s Wastewater Treatment maintains the use of constructed wetland as the principle treatment process, supplies critical habitat for wildlife, and supports environmental education. Cal Poly Humboldt students from the Environmental Resources Engineering Department will get hands-on experience working with City staff at the Arcata Marsh Research Institute. Results from the studies will be shared with City staff and their consultants.
Mark Wicklund, Office of Assessment
Mark Wicklund co-authored a paper recently published in English Language and Linguistics entitled, “Is there a new which in town?” The paper offers an exhaustive account of English speakers’ evolving use of which, positing that a syntactic reanalysis has occurred, resulting in a new, increasingly popular coordinating-conjunction use alongside its traditional relative-pronoun use. Dr. Sara S. Loss, Oklahoma State University, shares authorship.
Jeffrey Dunk, Environmental Science & Management
Jeffrey Dunk received a continuing grant from the Teton Raptor Center to support a collaborative project with scientists from Teton Raptor Center, University of Wyoming, and a consulting firm. The project is focused on developing an eagle conservation prioritization tool for the entire state of Wyoming that integrates eagle habitat, risks, protected areas, and other species values. The end-product will be a web-based decision support tool for managers, industry, conservationists, and others.
Sara Sterner, Amy Conley, Education
Dr. Sara Sterner and Amy Conley received a grant from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to support a dyslexia awareness program. The program will provide professional development for literacy educators, program leads, and supervisors, and will shape curriculum/assignment redesign of literacy coursework in the School of Education to include: 1) Dyslexia awareness, 2) Research-based screening procedures, and 3) multisensory phonics instruction. The program will be implemented with the help of various School of Education faculty, program leads, and supervisors.
Robert Freiberger (HSU class '20) and Associate Professor Claire Till (Chemistry), Chemistry
Robert Freiberger (HSU class '20) and Associate Professor Claire Till (Chemistry) are co-authors on a recent publication in the AGU journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles for their work measuring trace metal concentrations in the surface Pacific Ocean. Freiberger analyzed the samples as an undergraduate while doing summer research in the Till lab. The article is titled, "Does sea-spray aerosol contribute significantly to aerosol trace element loading? A case study from the U.S. GEOTRACES Pacific Meridional Transect (GP15)" and is available open access here:
Claire Till, Chemistry
Associate Professor of Chemistry Claire Till is a co-author on the recent article entitled "Diminished carbon and nitrate assimilation drive changes in diatom elemental stoichiometry independent of silicification in an iron-limited assemblage", which is published in the Springer Nature journal ISME communications. The open access article is available here:
Timothy Mulligan / Andre Buchheister, Fisheries Biology
Dr. Timothy Mulligan and Dr. Andre Buchheister received a $122,000 grant from the San Jose State University Moss Landing Marine Lab to continue an ongoing, collaborative off-shore reef monitoring program.The study collects data on the diversity, abundance, size structure, and movement of rocky reef fishes in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and associated reference sites. The project is part of the state-wide California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP), which is funded by the Ocean Protection Council. This program is evaluating the effectiveness of California MPAs and providing valuable data for the sustainable management of rockfish and other fish species.
Rose Francia, TRIO Educational Talent Search
Rose Francia (Director, TRIO Educational Talent Search) received a continuing grant from the Blue Lake Rancheria to support the TRIO Talent Search program. Funding will provide educational support to Hoopa Elementary and Hoopa High School students through group STEM activities, individual mentoring or tutoring based on students’ desire, need and efficacy levels, and classroom support.  With an additional award from Sponsored Programs Foundation to expand the 2022 CSU Summer Algebra Institute, twenty-five BIPOC youth who didn’t pass math have access to a math enrichment program, progressing towards graduation with confidence. Collaborators include the Hoopa and Round Valley summer school programs. 

August, 2022

Nick Angeloff & Dr. Marisol Cortes-Rincon, Anthropology
The Cultural Resources Facility (CRF) received a $500,000 grant to survey and document historic and pre-contact resources within approximately 10,000 acres in the Six Rivers National Forest. The project will offer paid internships and student employment through CRF, and is therefore able to provide Cal Poly Humboldt and College of the Redwoods students with applied experience within the field of Anthropology, Geospatial, Geology, and other departments within the university. If a faculty member is interested in having their students participate in these surveys, or if students want to apply for a position, please email
Frank Fogarty, Wildlife
Frank Fogarty (Wildlife) and colleagues developed a novel community model to examine how habitat area and its fragmentation affect breeding bird communities in the Great Basin desert. Their work was publish in Ecological Applications and can be accessed with the following citation: Fogarty, Frank A., Yen, Jian D. L., Fleishman, Erica, Sollmann, Rahel, and Ke, Alison. 2022. “ Multiple-Region, N-Mixture Community Model to Assess Associations of Riparian Area, Fragmentation, and Species Richness.” Ecological Applications e2698.
Matthew D Johnson, Amy Sprowles, Steven Margel, Kat Goldenberg, Raven Palomera, Biological Sciences
Matt Johnson, Amy Sprowles, Steven Margell, Kat Goldenberg, and Raven Palomera recently published a paper entitled, “Impact of a first‑year place‑based learning community on STEM students’ academic achievement in their second, third, and fourth years” in the journal Innovative Higher EducationThe paper reports the effects of the first three cohorts of the Klamath Connection PBLC made possible by contributions from all across the university and funding from the campus’s HSI STEM grant from the US Dept of Education. 
Frank Fogarty and Ho Yi Wan, Wildlife
Dr. Frank Fogarty and Dr. Ho Yi Wan received a $89,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to support research into the habitat requirements of Lewis’s Woodpecker, a woodpecker species that are the top priority Oregon Conservation Strategy species for the East Cascades. The project will examine the relationship of habitat variables, including wildfire and vegetation, on Lewis's Woodpecker populations in the Oregon East Cascades. Findings will help managers better understand the declining species, and inform efforts to maintain or restore suitable habitat. Collaborators will include ODFW biologist Kalysta Adkins and the East Cascades Audubon Society.
Melody Tew, Nicole Rahman-Garnier, Jordyn Neal, Biological Sciences
Several Cal Poly Humboldt students were recognized at the annual conference for the American Society of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists. Biology Graduate Student Melody Tew received the Raney and Hubbs awards and presented her research on the developmental origins of White Sturgeon scales. Biology Graduate Student Nicole Rahman-Garnier received the Cashner and Raney awards and presented her research on the olfactory (scent-sensing) anatomy of local Rainbow Trout. Recent Marine Biology graduate Jordyn Neal received the Clark Hubbs award and presented her research on the comparative anatomy of the skulls and inner ears of sharks, using high-resolution CT scanning.

June, 2022

Andre Buchheister, Rafael Cuevas Uribe, Fisheries Biology
Dr. Andre Buchheister and Dr. Rafael Cuevas Uribe have been awarded a $150,000 grant from CalTrout to support their research on Sacramento Pikeminnow, an invasive fish species in the Eel River. The project will assess how a novel method (the Trojan Y Chromosome Strategy) could be used to eradicate the species, because pikeminnow are hindering recovery of several threatened salmonid species. Insights from the study will provide fisheries managers and scientists with innovative, tactical advice on how to regulate invasive Pikeminnow to enhance recovery of threatened California salmonids. Project collaborators include Stillwater Sciences, the Wiyot Tribe, and agency scientists.