Alumni Updates

GARY NEWMAN, Environmental Resources Engineering , 1977
Submitted: December 20, 2019
After graduation, Gary Newman, Environmental Resources Engineering, 1977, went to Utah State University and earned a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Upon graduation from USU, he was hired by Brown and Caldwell Consulting Engineers (BC), in their Pasadena, California office. Newman has continued working with BC for the past 41 years saying “they have treated me well and provided some wonderful professional opportunities.” His specialty has been wastewater treatment. Besides, Pasadena, he has lived and worked in Salt Lake City, Dallas, Seattle, and now Phoenix. He has also worked on projects in Vancouver, B.C., Washington D.C, New York, Nashville and San Francisco. Newman says he will be mostly retiring in the next year or so but will continue working part-time.
Drew Coe, Forestry & Wildland Resources , 1996
Submitted: December 20, 2019
Drew Coe, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1996, began working in the forest industry following graduation.  After several years he returned to school, graduating with a MS in Watershed Science from Colorado State University.  Coe currently works as the Forest Practice Monitoring Coordinator/Hydrologist in CALFIRE’s Watershed Protection Program.  He lives with his wife and two children in Redding, California.
Cristine Gilliland, Natural Resources Minor: Recreation Administration, 1989
Submitted: December 20, 2019
Cristine Gilliland, Natural Resources, 1989, moved to New York City and worked as the Adult Development & Training Administrator for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York. She left to become a Senior Administrator for a private independent camp in the Adirondacks. During that time, she worked on her Master of Arts in teaching and biology 7-12 credential.  Gilliland spent the last 20 years in New York teaching science and ecology, in middle schools . She has now retired to Western Washington, where she has been working with the local college in their fish lab. Gilliland says she has mostly been enjoying retirement and exploring her new environment with her adventure cat and kayak.
Kaelie Pena, Forestry & Wildland Resources Rangeland Resource Science, 2017
Submitted: December 20, 2019
Kaelie Pena, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 2017, converted to a full-time permanent position with the Forest Service upon graduating and is coming up on her two year anniversary as a Rangeland Management Specialist with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in the Bridgeport Ranger District.
Mike Santuccio, Other- Forest Resource Management, 1983
Submitted: December 8, 2019
Mike Santuccio, Forestry, 1983, retired from CAL FIRE after about 30 years of public service. Santuccio began his career as a Seasonal Firefighter while a student at HSU and rose through the ranks to Deputy Chief at retirement. He is a Registered Professional Forester and currently works part time as a consulting forester. He met his wife, Lora while at HSU and they return to Humboldt County as often as they can where it all began. Two of their three children are also HSU grads.
Garrett John Costello, Environmental Science & Management , 2014
Submitted: November 17, 2019
Over the last two years Garrett Costello, Environmental Science & Management, 2014, and his wife (fellow alumni) got married and started an environmental consulting business. As the business has grown they have turned their attention to constructing low-tech beaver dam analogs to help restore critical stream and meadow ecosystems. This year Symbiotic Restoration installed over 100 beaver dams across north-eastern California. As the business expands they hope to be able to employ and incorporate Humboldt State students in to these programs. Their current plans include looking for land so that they can move back to Humboldt County and build their home back where their journey began.
Thomas Cappiello, Fisheries Biology , 1986
Submitted: November 11, 2019
Thomas Cappiello, Fisheries Biology, 1986, has retired from Alaska Department of Fish and Game after 21 years of service. Cappiello has been working in fisheries in Alaska for over 30 years. He still lives in Alaska and says he probably won’t leave. Cappiello is a steering committee member of the Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, president of the MatSu Birders Club, and home baker of Artisan sourdough breads and pizza.
Sylvia Lynn van Royen, Environmental Science & Management Ecological Restoration Emphasis, minor in GIS, 2019
Submitted: October 31, 2019
After graduating from HSU Sylvia Lynn van Royen, Environmental Science & Management, 2019, was hired by the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources based out of Orleans, California. The Tribe’s DNR has ground breaking management goals that she feels honored and blessed to be learning from. Van Royen was originally hired to supervise the summer youth crew working on manual fuels reduction units, but is now working as a GIS Technician making maps and other spatially-oriented technology to support field crews.
Lucas Allen-Custodio, Other- Zoology, 2018
Submitted: October 22, 2019
Lucas Allen-Custodio, Zoology, 2018, began a job as a laboratory technician at a local soil lab within two months of graduating. He is now the lead lab tech, and is using his zoology degree as the agricultural pest management advisor in the company. Through this, he specializes in providing the agricultural industry with environmentally conscious biological control remedies, that reduce the use of pesticides, as well as provide technical information to farmers on how to take care of and love their soil, based on laboratory results.
Ernest Casperson, Fisheries Biology , 1956
Submitted: October 14, 2019
Ernest Casperson, a Fisheries Biology, 1956, passed away March 5, 2019, in Helena, Montana. He was a teacher in several small California communities. He later started his career with the Bureau of Reclamation on what was then the Auburn Dam and Reservoir project. When the project ran into some structural and political hurdles, it failed to get the needed funding, he retired to Montana where he could spend his leisure time fishing for trout.
David J. Lenhart, Wildlife , 1956
Submitted: October 14, 2019
David J. Lenhart, Wildlife Management, 56, passed away on February 7, 2019 at the age of 88 in Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating Lenhart started his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Umatilla, Oregon working with waterfowl. He later transferred to the Division of River Basin Studies, in Portland, Oregon. During his career he worked on projects in Washington, Oregon and California. He later served as Branch Chief of Environmental Contaminants in the USFWS’ Regional Office in Portland. He retired after 33 years of dedicated service.
Carla Fisher, Environmental Resources Engineering , 1985
Submitted: October 8, 2019
Carla Fisher, Environmental Resources Engineering, 1985, retired in 2014 after 29 years at the Environmental Protection Agency and became a part-time technical writer/editor for Akana, an environmental consulting firm in Bellevue, Washington.
Julie Marie Stewart, Other- Environmental Management and Protection, 2013
Submitted: October 7, 2019
Julie Marie Stewart, Environmental Management & Protection, 2013, worked for several years as an outdoor educator in various amazing outdoor-school settings across California. She returned to HSU in 2018 to complete her teaching credential and was hired at Zane Middle School in Eureka as a science teacher in fall of 2019.
Capt. Wayne S. Salmon, Fisheries Biology , 1958
Submitted: October 5, 2019
After working for four summers with the CF&G plus the ADFWG it became obvious to Capt Wayne S. Salmon, 1958 Fisheries Biology, that the wages paid were not sufficient to raise a family.  He then entered into the US Navy flight program, where he became an aerial navigator.  A beautiful young lady he met on active duty brought him back to Indianapolis where he entered into the Naval Air Reserve program, and got his teaching credentials, and an MS plus 33 semester hours.  He then went into Biology/Science teaching which he thoroughly enjoyed.  Several of his Humboldt teachers greatly influenced his teaching. He retired as a Navy O-6.  He is the former commanding officer of VR-51 at NAS Glenview near Chicago. Want to go fishing? Give him a call.
Charles Acosta, Biological Sciences , 1985
Submitted: October 2, 2019
Charles Acosta, Biological Sciences, 1985, is retiring in 2021 after spending 34 rewarding years serving high school students. His oldest daughter, Krista (HSU Alum 2012), arranged with the dean to allow him to walk across the stage at her commencement ceremony since he was unable to attend his own. While having breakfast in Eureka the following morning, his photo was captured on the front page of the Times Standard newspaper. After HSU, Charles and his daughter both served in the Peace Corps (Dominican Republic and Honduras) where they both married the love of their lives. Krista married Ekow Edzie and Charles married Leyla Turcios. “Thank you HSU, redwoods, sunsets and APD for the great memories”.
Jeff Oliveira, Natural Resources Minor, Native American Studies, 2001
Submitted: September 26, 2019
After graduation, Jeff Oliveira, Natural Resources, 2001, began working as a California Environmental Quality Act specialist for a consulting firm. He then became an environmental resource specialist with the County of San Luis Obispo managing projects with complex environmental concerns.  Eight years ago he started his own consulting firm, Oliveira Environmental Consulting LLC, providing environmental review and permitting support for private and local government clients.  Today he is working on a wide range of projects, including mine permitting, CEQA/NEPA review, permitting for local infrastructure improvement projects, permitting for affordable housing projects, construction monitoring, wildlife/botanical surveys, pest species (feral pig) removal, etc.
Robert vanCreveld, Other- Forestry, 1978
Submitted: September 25, 2019
Robert vanCreveld, Forestry, 1978, spent a short time as a forester before becoming a photogrammetrist and aerial mapping photographer. He attended post grad studies in forest survey at the International Institute for Geo Information Science and Earth Observation in the Netherlands. Following a short stint in the Marine Corps, he was recruited as a special operations officer at the CIA. Thereafter, he moved to Oregon, working as a soils consultant.
Benjamin Woodruff, Biological Sciences , 2017
Submitted: September 24, 2019
After graduating from HSU, Benjamin Woodruff, Biological Sciences, 2017, became a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges 2.0 scholar through Humboldt State and began his career as a researcher at Stanford University. There, he studied regenerative medicine as it relates to inner ear biology. Fueled by an enthusiasm for science and academia, he applied for graduate school and is currently a first year PhD student at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.
John Swancara, Wildlife , 1982
Submitted: September 24, 2019
John Swancara, Wildlife, 1982, has spent over 30 years pioneering reverse osmosis water treatment systems for homes and commercial applications. He pioneered small bottled water plants for small businesses. Currently he is the lead sales engineer for American Beer Equipment in Lincoln, Nebraska designing micro-breweries. John has authored several articles on water treatment.
Jason Sikorski, Environmental Science & Management , 2017
Submitted: September 23, 2019
After graduating from Humboldt State University, Jason Sikorski, Environmental Science & Management, 2017, stayed local and worked at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park as a senior maintenance aid building ADA hiking trails in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park for one season. Afterward he moved back to his hometown in Orange County and was hired by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as an Environmental Health Technician in Laguna Niguel, California.