HSU Forestry Nets Hispanic-Serving Institution Grant

Oct 16, 2014

Humboldt State's Forestry and Wildland Resources Department has received a four-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of Hispanic and other underrepresented students in forestry, range and soils at HSU.

The grant will fund a multi-year partnership with Reedley College in Reedley, Calif. and Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, Calif., two Hispanic Serving Institutions that offer high-quality, affordable lower division core courses in natural resources.

“Partnering with these institutions will create an excellent opportunity to recruit underrepresented students into the Forestry and Wildland Resources program at HSU,” said Associate Forestry Professor Andrew Stubblefield, the project’s director.

The award will primarily fund scholarships for Hispanic and underrepresented students from Reedley and Bakersfield who transfer to HSU and graduate students who enroll at HSU.

In addition to financial support, the project will include mentoring, academic advising, co-curricular activities and two summer training experiences. The 8-week programs will match students with public and private agencies and non-profit organizations in the region. Students will gain real-world research experience and build a network of professional contacts, preparing them for successful careers in natural resources.

By the summer of 2015, students from Reedley and Bakersfield will visit HSU to learn about college and career options in the natural resources. Students will spend a week on campus, where they will visit private and public forests and rangelands, attend presentations, and meet with local natural resource professionals.

“This is a great opportunity for both students, professors and natural resource professionals to interact on campus and in the field,” said David Greene, chair of the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources.

The project is called “CAMBIO: Climate-change Adaptation and Management for Biodiversity to Promote Inclusion and Opportunities for Hispanic Students.” The grant is offered through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program. For more information, visit csrees.usda.gov.

Humboldt State has a strong tradition of serving underrepresented students and training students for careers in natural resource management. The university recently released the HSU Campus Diversity Plan 2013+, a comprehensive tool for increasing and monitoring diversity and student success on campus. Since 2009, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion has produced the annual Campus Diversity Report, an ongoing assessment of campus diversity initiatives.