Alumni Updates

A few words about alumni updates.

Benjamin J. Crain, 2008

Benjamin Crain, Biological Sciences, 2008, recently took a position as an Ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the North American Center for Orchid Conservation. With a diverse group of collaborators, he conducts research in the Republic of Palau where they study the diversity and distribution of orchids, monitors their dynamics in the Ngardok Nature Reserve, and studies the fundamental ecology of orchids by looking at their relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. The team’s goals are to improve knowledge and increase awareness of orchid diversity in Palau, understand the ecology of these plants, and develop strategic plans for conservation and restoration of orchid species and their habitats.


Todd M. Thompson, 1992

Todd M. Thompson, Environmental Resources Engineering, 1992, is an experienced Senior Water Resources Engineer with the Department of Water Resources. He’s currently, the DWR lead for validated water loss audit reporting.


Tai-Aqua Morgan-Marbet, 2010

Tai-Aqua Morgan-Marbet, Environmental Resources Engineering, 2010, started in 2012 working for Lincoln and Long Engineering in Grass Valley, CA. She still works for them here and there as they need help. She then worked for AM Baird Engineering and Surveying in Fortuna, CA from 2013 to 2014. She worked for LACO Associates in Eureka, CA from 2014 to 2016. Finally, she is currently working for Kolstad Land Surveying and has started her own firm, Lost Coast Engineering, with two other engineers (an HSU graduate and a UC Berkeley graduate).


Matthew K Pearson, 1994/5

Matthew K Pearson, 1994 Environmental Resources Engineering, is cofounder of DeeditForward, a smartphone app to inspire good deed exchanges between community members and revolutionize fundraising.  An app “helping people help others.”


Clark Alexander, 1983

Clark Alexander, 1983 Oceanography, was recently appointed Director of the University of Georgia (UGA) Skidaway Institute of Oceanography located in Savannah, GA.  He also holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at UGA.


Daniel Menten, 2006

Daniel Menten, 2006 Fisheries BIology, is an author and fisheries scientist. Menten recently published “The New School Guide to Northern California Whitewater,” which documents 135 river descriptions covering the Klamath Mountains Geologic Province.


Sanford Wilbur, 1963

Sanford “Sandy” Wilbur, 1963 Wildlife, has just completed his newest book, Government Biologist, detailing his HSU years (1957-1963) in wildlife, journalism, and drama, and his 34-year career with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A free PDF of the book can be obtained by contacting Sandy at symbios@condortales.com.


Damien Adams, 2010

Damien Adams, 2010 Mathematics, earned a master’s degree in Mathematics from San Jose State University and acquired a full-time teaching position at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, Calif. Adams has also started a podcast, Women in Math: The Limit Does Not Exist promoting women in mathematics, and founded the college’s Math Club.


Brett A. Budick, 1976

Brett A. Budick, 1976 Geology, was appointed to the position of Chief Deputy State Coordinator of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management in December, 2016 by Governor Terry McAuliffe. As the number two in the agency and a 26-year Virginia state employee, Budick is responsible for all disaster response and recovery activities throughout the Commonwealth, radiological emergency preparedness at nuclear power plants and with the nuclear Navy, and Virginia’s Homeland Security initiatives. He stays active in academia as an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University and remains active in sports with USA Rugby and World Rugby in their Coach Development Programs.


Braden Pitcher, 2013

Braden Pitcher, 2013 Forestry & Wildland Resources, finally landed a full-time, permanent career position with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Soil Scientist after three years of bouncing across the West between seasonal technician jobs for the Bureau of Land Management. Mapping different soil types and their management potential across Western lands gives Pitcher the opportunity to spend every day outside, often experiencing landscapes few in modern history have seen. Pitcher adds, “OH YEAH! I just recently married a fellow HSU Alumni and Natural Resources graduate!”


Danielle Cudahy (nee LeFever), 2005

Danielle Cudahy (née LeFever), 2005 Biological Sciences, recently became the full-time Optometrist at the local Eureka VA office. In 2010, Cuday graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in Elkins Park, PA. She is expecting her second child in late March.


Bob Lackey, 1967

Bob Lackey, 1967, Fisheries Biology, continues to teach part-time at Oregon State University in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. These days, he spends a good portion of his spare time training his young shetland sheepdog, Chandler. Lackey reports that “training progress has been painfully slow, but I think I see glimmers of progress. This little 23-pound dog definitely has a mind of his own and is rarely convinced that my training priorities are fully compatible with his priorities.”


Colin Brayton, 2004

Colin Brayton, 2004 Wildlife, recently started Alaska Fjord Charters, in Seward, Alaska, and takes guests to the Kenai Fjords National Park, based out of Seward, Alaska.


Leonard A Brennan, 1984

Leonard A Brennan, 1984 Wildlife, recently published his sixth book, “The Upland and Webless Migratory Game Birds of Texas” with the Texas A&M University Press. Brennan has been conducting quail research for the past 34 years, beginning with his graduate project that began at HSU back in 1982.


Don Rowan, 1992

Don Rowan, 1992 Fisheries Biology, is in his 17th year of science teaching. For the last three years, Rowan has been teaching Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, Biology, Biology 2, and AP Environmental Science at Bishop Union High School. He is also the Associated Student Body director and has recently been a peer reviewer for the “Journal of Fisheries and Wildlife Management.”


David W Heiser, 1963, 1965

David W Heiser, 1963 and 1965 Fisheries Biology, retired in 1997 from Washington State Parks. Prior to that he served with the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and the Idaho Dept. of Fish, Game and Wildlife. Since 2006, Heiser has lived in Arizona.


jeremyMmilana, 2015

Jeremy M. Milana, 2015 Forestry & Wildland Resources, is seeking opportunities within the environmental realm.


Mark Hudgens, 1999

Mark Hudgens, 1999 Fisheries Biology, was recently appointed the superintendent of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Hudgens spent the last 14 years in the Perris district, which measures roughly 8,800 acres compared to the 14,000 acres of the Mt. San Jacinto park.


Gage Dayton, 1996

Gage Dayton, 1996 Wildlife, was recently appointed to the Wilton W. Webster Jr. Presidential Chair for the UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves. Dayton has served as administrative director of the UCSC Natural Reserves since 2008.


Holly Leopardi, 2014

Holly Leopardi, 2014 Physics & Astronomy, recently won first place for her paper “Er:fiber frequency comb for synthesis of optical frequencies at the 10^-18 level,” at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photonics National Conference. Leopardi is currently a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, conducting research in optical frequency comb development at the Time and Frequency Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology with Scott Diddams. She is a student member of the IEEE, anda recipient of the 2016 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.