Publications and achievements submitted by our faculty, staff, and students. 


Faculty Melanie Michalak Geology

Melanie Michalak was awarded a American Chemical Society- Petroleum Research Fund grant toward her proposed research, "Reconstructing Neogene Paleogeography and Forearc Basin Evolution of Southern Cascadia using Detrital Mineral Geochronology." The grant of $55,000 is awarded over a two year period and will support original research by PI Michalak, a MSc student and a team of undergraduates. Their work in the coastal deposits along the north coast seeks to characterize paleogeography and forearc development over the past several million years using quantitative dating techniques.

Submitted: August 12, 2017

Faculty Mark Colwell, Lizzie Feucht, Sean McAllister, Amber Transou Wildlife

Mark Colwell and former students Lizzie Feucht, Sean McAllister, and Amber Transou published a paper in the August issue of Wader Study, an international journal dedicated to understanding the ecology and promoting the conservation of shorebirds. Their paper details the longevity record for a Snowy Plover that they've studied for the past 16 years! Mark will present this story in an EcoSeries lecture on August 31 in the Wildlife Department.

Submitted: July 27, 2017

Faculty Brandon Browne, Raul Becerra Geology

Dr. Brandon Browne, Associate Professor of Geology, and four undergraduate thesis students, including Raul Becerra ('16), recently published their study titled "Quaternary basaltic volcanism in the Golden Trout Volcanic Field, southern Sierra Nevada, California" in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. The study uses results from geologic mapping and geochemical analyses of rocks and minerals to interpret the eruption styles and geologic evolution of the volcanic field - the only one of its age in the High Sierra.

Submitted: July 21, 2017

Student Irene Vasquez Environmental Science & Management

Graduate student Irene Vasquez was chosen as a Switzer Environmental Fellow for the 2017-18 academic year. The national fellowships are highly competitive. Each year, 20 promising environmental leaders are awarded $15,000 each to complete master’s and doctoral degrees in New England and California to advance their skills and develop their expertise to address critical environmental challenges.Vasquez's research seeks to implement a management regime for restoring plants important for cultural preservation in Yosemite National Park. More details are available "here":….

Submitted: May 11, 2017

Faculty William F. Wood Chemistry

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, William Wood, was a co-author of an article on medicinal aspects of matsutake mushrooms (Tricholoma magnivelare). Wood identified and synthesized a new compound from mycelium of this mushroom, which was used in the current study – “Effects of matsutake mushroom scent compounds on tyrosinase and murine B16-F10 melanoma cells.” It was published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

Submitted: May 1, 2017

Student Yaad Rana, Josh Martinez, Toni Castillo, Karen Duarte, Peter Duin, Fernando Flores, Tanya Garcia, Jacob Hurd, Jackson Ingram, Amanda ‘the Destroyer’ Lagasca, Tony Mitchell III, David Rivera, Raymond Rios, Kelly Rodman, and Eunice Romero Environmental Resources Engineering

Humboldt State University's Environmental Resources Engineering students retain their trophy for the American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Pacific Water Treatment Competition (MidPac), for the second year in a row, and fourth time overall, leading HSU to have the most wins in this competition. In addition, HSU took Second Place Overall in MidPac, even though the environmental engineering students did not complete in the Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge or Geowall competitions! Tongji University (Shanghai, China) was awarded first place overall due to their first place finishes in the other competitions that HSU did not compete in. The HSU team formed a great sense of camaraderie with the Tongji team, as they supported and cheered each other on throughout the three day conference.

MidPac was hosted by Chico State this year, and was attended by most of the UCs and CSUs in California, along with other international competitors. The competition was extremely close this year, with the ERE's toughest competitors being Tongji (China), Laval (Canada), University of the Pacific, UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

Midpac consists of four main competitions: Concrete Canoe, Water Treatment, Geowall, and Steel Bridge. There are also three report competitions: Transportation, Ethics, and Water Research, each offering a cash prize. Each competition victory earns the winning school conference points, which are summed at the end and used to declare overall Mid-Pac winners.

HSU has historically competed only in the wastewater treatment competition. This year, HSU also competed in the water research paper category and mini-games. For water treatment competition, the team dedicated an enormous amount of effort into each of the scored categories to earn First Place in Water Treatment:
Construction (Second Place)
Poster Presentation (Tie for First Place)
Powerpoint Presentation (First Place)
Design Report (First Place)
Water Quality (First place).

For the Water Research Report competition, ERE student Peter Duin received a unanimous first place finish in both design report and oral presentation. HSU also won the Scavenger Hunt.

ERE students Yaad Rana and Josh Martinez co-chaired the preparation for Mid-Pac. Other participants were Toni Castillo, Karen Duarte, Peter Duin, Fernando Flores, Tanya Garcia, Jacob Hurd, Jackson Ingram, Amanda ‘the Destroyer’ Lagasca, Tony Mitchell III, David Rivera, Raymond Rios, Kelly Rodman, and Eunice Romero. The students are especially grateful the guidance and feedback from Professors Brad Finney and Margaret Lang.

Submitted: April 28, 2017

Student Brent Henry, Andrew Mueller, Kaelie Pena, and Mariah Aguilar Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

The Forestry and Wildland Resources Department celebrated its students during the annual Awards Banquet on April 18. This year, the department awarded over $68,000 in scholarships to 56 deserving students. Many scholarships were established by alumnae or in honor of alumnae; the Forestry Pathfinders scholarship was created by the founding forestry class at Humboldt State; and the Gayleen Smith scholarship was created in honor of the “office mom” for the department from 2005 through 2013.

The department also honored outstanding students: Brent Henry (Academic Excellence award in Forestry), Andrew Mueller (Professional Promise award in Forestry), Kaelie Pena (Rangeland Resource Outstanding Student), and Mariah Aguilar (Rangeland Resource Outstanding Student). And the students voted to award three separate honors: to Maurine Nicholson (Administrative Support Coordinator) and George Pease (Stockroom Manager) in recognition of their contributions to the department, and to Dr. Pascal Berrill for Outstanding Faculty member.

Submitted: April 27, 2017

Faculty Dr. Kerri Hickenbottom and Dr. Leslie Miller-Robbie Environmental Resources Engineering

Assistant professor Kerri Hickenbottom and visiting professor Leslie Miller-Robbie co-authored an article on a techno-economic assessment of a closed-loop osmotic heat engine published in the Journal of Membrane Science.
Full article:

Submitted: April 22, 2017

Student Yaad Rana, Marcela Jimenez, and Joshua Martinez Environmental Resources Engineering

For the last 16 years, student teams from the HSU Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) department have participated in a four day long math modeling competition. The competition consists of the Mathematical Modeling Contest (MCM) and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM) sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP). Competing against nearly 17,000 teams from thousands of universities, each team produced a report summarizing their solution to one of six possible problems.

This year, a record six ERE student teams entered in the competition that began on Thursday evening, January 19 and ended on Monday evening, January 23. Four of the six ERE teams were awarded the score of Honorable Mention, with fewer than 12% of the other teams scoring higher, and approximately 50% of the other teams scoring lower. One team received a ranking of Meritorious Winners, with fewer than 1% of the teams scoring higher. Finally, the team of Yaad Rana, Marcela Jimenez, and Joshua Martinez received the highest ranking possible, Outstanding Winner. This team also received the Rachel Carson award and the Sigma Scholarship award which provides a $3,000 prize to each team member.

Submitted: April 11, 2017

Student Gabriela Martinez, Jeremy Johnson, Charlotte Olsen, Catie Ledesma, Katie Fasbender, Troy Maloney, Caleb Hill, Alden Bradley, Erik Knutsen, Karlie Elliott, Kylie Reich, and Mario Sanchez Mathematics

The Math Department had twelve students in four teams compete in the International Mathematical Contest in Modeling this January. Teams are challenged to analyze an open applied problem and to propose a solution using mathematical modeling over an intense four-day competition. All four of our teams were recognized by the judges as either Honorable Mention or Successful Participant for their papers.

The students were advised by Dr. Kamila Larripa (Math) and are listed below.

Gabriela Martinez
Jeremy Johnson
Charlotte Olsen

Catie Ledesma
Katie Fasbender
Troy Maloney

Caleb Hill
Alden Bradley
Erik Knutsen

Karlie Elliott
Kylie Reich
Mario Sanchez

Submitted: April 11, 2017

Faculty C.D. Hoyle Physics & Astronomy

Prof. C.D. Hoyle was awarded $55,000 as part of a larger $600,000 collaborative National Science Foundation grant in conjunction with Syracuse University and IUPUI. The project will establish a new experiment that will measure the gravitational constant, G, with unprecedented precision and will attempt to resolve the discrepancies between recent measurements. The funds will mainly support HSU students who will do research during the summer at IUPUI and play a substantial role in establishing the new experiment. More information can be found here:

Submitted: April 6, 2017

Faculty Bill Trush Environmental Science & Management

Congratulations to Bill Trush, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental Science & Management and Co-Director of the HSU River Institute for receiving the “Golden Pipe” award from the Salmonid Restoration Federation at their recent annual meeting in Davis, CA. The Golden Pipe is an award for innovators in the salmon restoration field.

Submitted: April 6, 2017

Student Mindi Curran, Tim Bailey Geology

MSc (Environmental Systems-Geology) students Mindi Curran and Tim Bailey presented their work at the annual Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference in Davis, CA on March 30-April 2. This year's theme was "Restoring Watersheds and Rebuilding Salmon Runs." Both Curran and Bailey were invited to give oral presentations in the "Using Photogrammetric and Aerial Vehicle Technology to Support Salmonid Restoration Planning and Engineering" topical session, which was aimed to teach specific tools to researchers using high resolution imagery to quantify aspects of stream habitat.

Submitted: April 3, 2017

Faculty Erin Kelly Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

Erin Kelly, Assistant Professor in Forestry, was awarded the Educator of the Year by the California Forestry Association. She received the award at the annual CFA gathering in Napa, California on March 2.

Dr. Kelly also joined the Forest Policy Committee for the Society of American Foresters (SAF), the largest professional society for foresters in the United States. The Forest Policy Committee has 10 members representing academia, industry, and non-profit organizations; members met in Washington, DC from March 6-7 to recommend federal policy priorities for SAF staff and board members to relay to federal legislators and agencies.

Submitted: March 27, 2017

Faculty Steve Martin Environmental Science & Management

Steve Martin had a peer-reviewed article titled 'Real and Potential Influences of Information Technology on Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Experiences and Management' published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

Submitted: March 22, 2017

Student Keith Parker Fisheries Biology

The Switzer Foundation Environmental Fellowship flew HSU graduate researcher Keith Parker to Washington DC where he met with Senator Kamala Harris’ staff (Mar 13) and Congressman Jared Huffman’s staff (Mar 14). The subjects were Klamath River restoration and the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement dam removal timeline. Keith spoke from the perspective of a Yurok tribal member living on the river merged with his thesis work in the Klamath basin. Klamath River environmental justice issues of blue-green algae blooms, health quarantines, fish kills, low water flows, and other issues disproportionately impact California’s three largest tribes in the basin.

Submitted: March 21, 2017

Faculty Mark Colwell, Lizzie Feucht, Matt Lau, David Orluck, Sean McAllister, Amber Transou Wildlife

Mark Colwell and current and former students (Lizzie Feucht, Matt Lau, David Orluck, Sean McAllister, Amber Transou) published a paper in Wader Study, an international journal dedicated to shorebird ecology and conservation. The work summarizes 16 years of monitoring to show that immigration is vital to recent population growth of Snowy Plovers in coastal northern California.

Submitted: March 14, 2017

Faculty Adam Carter Computer Science

Adam Carter will present his paper, "Using Programming Process Data to Detect Differences in Students' Patterns of Programming" at this year's ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) in Seattle, WA.

Submitted: March 6, 2017

Student Sean Haas Physics & Astronomy

Physics student Sean Haas recently had his first peer reviewed article published in National Conference on Undergraduate Research Proceedings. Haas' paper is titled, "Searching for a Connection Between Radio Emission and UV/Optical Absorption in Quasars," the abstract for which can be viewed online here:

Submitted: March 2, 2017

Faculty Walt Duffy and Sharon Kahara Wildlife

"Ecosystems of California" won two 2017 PROSE awards, which are given by the Association of American Publishers. It won the award for environmental science, and the overall award for excellence in physical sciences and mathematics.For more information on AAP 2017 awardees visit:

Submitted: February 28, 2017