Latest Achievements

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

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December, 2011

Kyle French, Geology

Geology professor Sue Cashman and Kyle French (’11, Geology) have received a mention in the third edition of Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, a collegiate, structural geology textbook. The text explores the on-the-ground research conducted by undergraduates in Cashman’s structural geology class, as they assess damage to Ferndale Cemetery caused by the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck off the North Coast in January, 2010. In his senior thesis, French took that research further by comparing the directions of the toppled grave-site monuments to the likely direction of the seismic waves that caused the damage.

Sheila Kelly, School of Applied Health

Sheila Kelly has been recognized for her work in sports psychology by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). Kelly, a lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation, is the recipient of this year’s Sport and Exercise Psychology Dissertation award for her student research on sports psychology. The award is granted to a researcher who has the greatest potential for making a significant contribution to the knowledge of sport psychology. Kelly will be honored at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s National Convention and Exposition in Boston, Mass. March 13-17.

Kim Hall, Veterans Affairs

Kim Hall, Director of Humboldt State’s Veterans and Enrollment Transition Services, has been elected to the 2012 Board of Directors of the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators (NAVPA). Hall will serve as a Veteran Service Organizations Liaison and Region VIII Representative. NAVPA President Dorothy Gillman said Hall’s service will include work on initiatives to help improve the GI Bill. Her service will help keep Humboldt State abreast of year-to-year changes at the U.S. Veterans Administration, Gillman added. As a board member, Hall will be in direct contact with major federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense and Education as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs. Founded in 1975, NAVPA collaborates with universities, colleges and trade schools nationwide to assist veterans with making full use of their GI Bill benefits, including access to higher education.

Jon Forrest Dohlin, Biological Sciences

Jon Forrest Dohlin ('92, Biology), is currently working on a new shark exhibit at the New York Aquariam. Dohlin was named director of the aquarium in 2008. He pursued a master's degree in architecture at Parson School for Design. There, he focused on sustainable and green building. Dohlin was able to combine his love for both fields working as a designer for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Read an "article":… on Dohlin in HSU's student newspaper, "The Lumberjack":

Sing C. Chew, Sociology

Professor Sing C. Chew was an invited panelist at the recent Annual Conference of the Social Science History Association held in Boston, Nov. 15-20, 2011. His talk was from his new book, The Southeast Asian Connection in the First Global Economy. He also chaired a panel on Macro Historical Dynamics: World History, World-System Analysis and Globalization.

KRFH, Journalism & Mass Communication, HSU's student-run radio station, recently picked up a $500 cash prize from for its outstanding performance during the first-ever College Radio Day, and was just extended an invitation to be a part of the College Radio Advisory Board, which aims to network stations that drive the RadioFlag platform and guide the resurrection of college radio in a time of budget cuts and economic hardship.

RadioFlag, an emerging social media platform that seeks to engage a new generation of internet radio listeners with a Twitter-like format, was a partner in the first-ever College Radio Day. The College Radio Day event sought to bring together over 300 college radio stations across the country, in part by utilizing the RadioFlag website and app.

Anthony Roman, founder of RadioFlag, says that "KRFH DJs consistently demonstrate the true essence of college radio with creative programming, listener engagement, unique promotions, and the courage to push the boundaries through innovation to reach new listeners, when challenged by shrinking budgets."

"I am proud that KRFH is heard on RadioFlag, and already considered one of RadioFlag's most popular stations," Roman adds.

November, 2011

Sheri Johnson & Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Social Work

For 16 years, Sheri Johnson, Director of Field Education, has co-hosted the KHUM Stop the Violence – Start the Healing radio education campaign occurring in the month of November.

Sheri helps identify guests for interviews, co-hosts the Friday “call in” radio panels and appears as the first guest to help launch the campaign.

Since 2009, Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, professor and global scholar, has been a guest, helping the listening audience understand how the brain works, how trauma affects the brain and how mindfulness can help survivors cope in powerful, healing ways.

All programs are recorded and posted on the KHUM "website":

Pamela Brown, Social Work

Professor Pamela Brown, Department of Social Work, and Colby Smart, College of Professional Studies, presented with colleagues from UC Berkeley, CSU Chico and CSU San Bernardino on the “Distributed Learning Program for Social Work Students” at the Fourth International Conference on Ubiquitous Learning held at UC Berkeley Nov. 11-12. The panel shared their experiences of designing and delivering technology-enhanced curriculum to serve county and Tribal staff working in remote regions. The forum explored new forms of learning using various computing and networking capacities with emphasis on critical intellectual human concern and the blurring of traditional institutional, spatial and temporal boundaries of education.

Scott Paynton, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Scott T. Paynton, associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, recently published an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education regarding the college's recent fundraising effort. Read the full text at this link:

Leah Sloan, Biological Sciences

Leah Sloan, graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences, recently tied for first place for the Best Student Poster Award at the recent Western Society of Naturalists meeting held in Vancouver, Washington. The title of her poster was: "The Bane of Bullfrogs: Population Structure of Western Pond Turtles (Emys marmorata) in Lentic Habitats Along the Trinity River."

Noah Zerbe, Politics

Noah Zerbe was elected co-chair of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS), the progressive caucus of the African Studies Association. ACAS was founded in 1977 as an organization of scholars and students of Africa dedicated to formulating alternative scholarly analysis of U.S. government policy, mobilizing support in the United States on critical current issues related to Africa, and developing communication and action networks among scholars in the United States and Africa. For more information, see "":

Morgan Varner, Kenneth Fulgham, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

The Northern California Prescribed Fire Council met in Humboldt County on Nov. 16 and 17. The first day was spent as a field tour looking at prescribed fire use in Redwood National Park for maintaining vegetation structure of grassland and oak woodland ecosystems. The second day was held at River Lodge in Fortuna where Drs. Morgan Varner and Kenneth Fulgham attended. Varner is the Council Chairman and provided the Opening Remarks to about 70 attendees. The mission of the NorCal Prescribed Fire Council is to provide a venue for practitioners, state and federal agencies, academic institutions, tribes, coalitions and interested individuals to work collaboratively to promote, protect, conserve and expand the responsible use of prescribed fire in Northern California’s fire-adapted landscapes. More information can be found at: "": and at "":

Phil Choan, Aaron Spidal, Sam Aguilar, Amy Trost and Brian Fagundas, Wildlife

HSU Wildlife students Phil Chaon, Aaron Spidal, Sam Aguilar, Amy Trost and Brian Fagundas have won the 2011 National Wildlife Quizbowl at the Annual Meeting of The Wildlife Society. Teams from across the nation competed, and the competition was fierce with several "down to the wire" matches. Second place went to Virginia Tech, Purdue captured third, and the University of Montana came in fourth.

HSU is unique at this meeting of 1300 wildlife professionals because it has such a large number of undergraduates attending the meeting.

Walter G. Duffy, Sharon N. Kahara and Rosemary Records, USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Dr. Walter Duffy, Dr. Sharon Kahara and Research Associate Rosemary Records co-edited a U.S. Geological Survey technical report titled "Conservation Effects Assessment Project—Wetlands Assessment in California’s Central Valley and Upper Klamath River Basin."

The report covers results of an empirical study of ecosystem services provided by restored wetlands under the Wetlands Reserve Program and was funded by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Ecosystem services assessed included soil and vegetation nutrient content, soil loss reduction, floodwater storage as well as avian, amphibian, fish and pollinator use and habitat availability.

October, 2011

Kenneth Fulgham, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

Humboldt State Professor of Rangeland Resources Kenneth Fulgham, chair of the Forestry & Wildland Resources Department, has been elected director of the board of directors of the Society for Range Management. Fulgham’s three-year term starts in February, 2012. The professional society supports conservation and sustainable management of rangelands, which comprise nearly half of all the lands on earth. Fulgham is also second vice-president of The Buckeye, a local advocacy organization for working landscape. Additional information about the Society for Range Management is posted at "":

Alicia Iverson, Geography

HSU Geography senior Alicia Iverson won top honors at the recent North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) conference in Madison, Wisc. Iverson’s map-rich poster titled “Insecure at Last: a Political Memoir. A novel by Eve Ensler,” won the NACIS Student Poster Competition.

In another nod to the Geography Department’s Kosmos Lab, the Student Dynamic Map award went to a student from the University of Montana—who studies under HSU geography alumnus Kevin McManigal. Iverson won $500 for her efforts and a permanent spot on the NACIS web site, where she joins a growing list of HSU cartographers tutored by HSU faculty Dennis Fitzsimons, Mary Beth Cunha and Margaret Pearce (1998-2001).

This year’s NACIS meeting drew over 350 cartography and GIS specialists from higher education, government and the private sector. The HSU contingent included Fitzsimons and Cunha, along with students Iverson, Kelly Muth and Aaron Taveras.

Han-Sup Han, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

Two research papers were recently published in Western Journal of Applied Forestry. One paper deals with utilization of small-diameter logs generated as a result of fuel reduction thinning treatments. This topic has been an issue for many rural towns in the US West. The title of this paper is “Financial Feasibility of a Log Sort Yard Handling Small-Diameter Logs: A Preliminary Study.” The other paper addresses a spreadsheet-based tool to estimate road construction costs. The software will be loaded onto the department web site. The title of this paper is “ACCEL: Spreadsheet-Based Cost Estimation for Forest Road Construction”.

William Wood, Chemistry

An article titled “The Triangle in Photographic Composition,” and four of his photographs were published in the October issue of Redwood Snapshots, a publication of the Redwood Camera Club.

The article explores the field of Gestalt psychology for possible reasons why the triangular form enhances photographic composition. Gestalt psychology explains why people perceive visual components as organized patterns or wholes, instead of many different parts. The generation of triangular images where none exist is a major illustration of the Gestalt theory. This helps explain why photographs that contain triangular forms can have higher impact than those that don’t.

Marcy Burstiner, Journalism & Mass Communication

Assoc. Professor Marcy Burstiner has been appointed to the 15-member Steering Committee of the Student Press Law Center. Founded in 1974, the SPLC is the nation's only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the student news media in their struggle to cover important issues free from censorship.

Elizabeth Lara-O'Rourke, Communication

Communication major Elizabeth Lara-O’Rourke was an invited presenter at the Creative Time Summit held at New York University on September 23, 2011. The Creative Time Summit is a forum to “share projects that expand our understanding of participatory arts practice” and to share interest in “the political implications of socially engaged art.” Ms. Lara-O’Rourke represented the United Indian Health Services, where she works as a Health Promotion and Education Manager while she pursues her degree at HSU.

See her speech at… and click on United Indian Health Services

Dr. Morgan Varner, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

Dr. Morgan Varner was nominated for and accepted an Associate Editor position with the journal, Forest Science. Forest Science is the premiere journal of The Society of American Foresters.

September, 2011

Carol Terry, Lynne Sandstrom, Ben Hylton, Emily Kupec, Mike Burghart, Cindi Hori, Sandy Wieckowski, and Tawny Fleming, Business Services

HSU’s financial services team lead by Carol Terry, Lynne Sandstrom, Ben Hylton, Emily Kupec, Mike Burghart, Cindi Hori, Sandy Wieckowski, and Tawny Fleming received an award for “Achieving Excellence in Financial Reporting” from the California State Controller’s Office. The award is presented for submitting accurate and timely year-end financial reports to the State. Congratulations to all staff involved in earning this achievement.

Dr. Eugene Novotney, Music

Eugene Novotney published two articles in the September issue of Percussive Notes, the professional journal of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). The first article, “Five Decades of New Music for Percussion: 1961-2011,” was written in tribute to the 50th anniversary of PAS. The second article is an interview with Stuart Smith, who is one of the most significant composers of our generation. Novotney is also the host of Focus Day at the PAS International Convention this November in Indianapolis, and will coordinate seven showcase concerts of new music performed by artists from Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Rosemary Sherriff, Geography

Rosemary Sherriff published two articles with co-authors over the summer months in the journals Ecology and Ecological Applications. These articles focused on the effects of disturbance-climate interactions in forest ecosystems in context of restoration and climate change concerns: spruce beetle and climate interactions in Alaska (Ecology), and fire history and restoration in mixed conifer forests of Colorado (Ecological Applications).

Alexis Ollar, Environmental Science & Management

Alexis Ollar was awarded the 2011-2012 Student Schloarship for applied research in the environmental sector, from the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) Bay Area Chapter. The scholarship was awarded for thesis work in the Environment & Community Program and Geospatial Science Graduate Certificate. The thesis was GIS work in sustainable foodsheds, food security analysis and participatory mapping exercises in Humboldt County. You can find Ollar's bio and scholarship information at