Alumni Updates


Dr. Jessica K. Rendon, Environmental Science & Management, 2008
Submitted: March 10, 2019
Dr. Jessica Rendon Environmental Science, 2008, recently received her PhD. in Entomology from the University of Idaho. She currently works for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, working to protect Oregon’s agriculture and natural resources from invasive species. She was recently promoted to Japanese Beetle Eradication Specialist. She says: "Experiencing HSU education, student life, and its inspirations greatly shaped my desire for further education, and future career, which I so enjoy. It also made me fall in love with the Pacific Northwest." Starting volunteering experiences at HSU, she continues to volunteer on habitat and riparian restoration.

Richard Mattson, Fisheries Biology, 1971
Submitted: February 4, 2019
Richard Mattson, Fisheries Biology, 1971, retired after 30+ years with Douglas Island Pink & Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) in Juneau Alaska. DIPAC is a major producer of hatchery chum, king, and coho salmon in southeast Alaska. He began in fish culture there and then spend most my career as an aquarist maintaining the visitor center marine aquariums and conducting our education programs. He still works part-time maintaining aquariums on contract to the NOAA Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute in Juneau. He also volunteers for various organizations and will be continuing to do more with his extra time. Travel with his wife Peggy is definitely on tap, and he also just enjoys reading, learning Finnish, and outdoor activities.

Carl S. Chavez, Wildlife, 1966
Submitted: February 1, 2019
Carl S. Chavez, Wildlife, 1966, retired in 1998 after a 33-year with California State Parks. Among his many assignments, he was Superintendent of Humboldt Redwoods State Park from 1979-87 as well as all the other redwood parks south of Eureka. In 1985 he was named the department's first Superintendent of the Year. Leaving the redwoods he was appoint Northern Regional Director and later Northern Division Chief. He authored "A Pathway Through Parks" and co-authored with his wife Margaret (Class of 1966), "A Year in Bodie 1966-1967." He retired to Graeagle near Plumas-Eureka State Park, a unit he once managed. Presently he is President of the Board of the Feather River Land Trust.

Paula Golightly, Wildlife, 1982
Submitted: January 15, 2019
Paula Golightly, Wildlife, 1982, has worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service for 24 years working to restore aquatic and terrestrial habitats for fish and wildlife primarily on private lands in Humboldt County California through voluntary programs within the agency. She was recently promoted to Regional Coordinator for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program covering Idaho, Oregon, Washington and the Pacific Islands and is now based out of Portland Oregon.

Maria Cecilila Avila, Biological Sciences, 1985
Submitted: January 2, 2019
Maria Cecilila Avila, 1985, is living in Chile.

Dylan Karl, Wildlife, 2016
Submitted: November 9, 2018
Dylan Karl, Wildlife, 2016, completed two years of service as a Peace Corps environment volunteer in Guyana, South America. Karl volunteered as a community conservation promotor. Now that his service is complete, he is looking into going to Bowling Green State University for its Leisure and Tourism program.

Christine Messer, Wildlife, 2013
Submitted: November 7, 2018
Christine Messer (Orlowski), Wildlife, 2013, worked for the California Department of Food and Agriculture before deciding to continue her education. She obtained a Master's degree in Environmental Studies from California State University Fullerton in 2017. While completing her graduate degree she simultaneously worked for the County of Santa Barbara in the Sustainability Division. She currently works for the City of Lompoc as the city's recycling coordinator. She married Kirk Messer ('11, Biology, Zoology) in October 2017. They live in Santa Maria, California and recently returned to HSU for a visit after five years away.

Gene Blankenbaker, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1977
Submitted: November 7, 2018
Gene Blankenbaker, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1977, is retiring in January 2019 after over 41 years of service with the federal government. He spent approximately 2 years with the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resource Division as a groundwater hydrologist, and over 39 years with the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of locations in California, Washington D.C., Arizona, Wisconsin and New Mexico, in positions that included hydrologist, forester, district ranger, forest supervisor, deputy regional forester, and deputy director of human resources for the agency.

Thomas F. Wuenschell, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1974
Submitted: October 31, 2018
Thomas F. Wuenschell, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1974, studied Forestry 1972-1974 at Humboldt and got his BS in Idaho later. He retired in 2016 as a forester after more than 30 years with USFS. He has always been a supporter of Save The Redwoods League and is currently on board of directors of his Audubon chapter.

Michael William Ra, Oceanography, 1996
Submitted: October 10, 2018
Michael William Raftery, Oceanography, 1996, worked for Lockheed Martin Technical Operations as a Satellite Engineer (1996-2000), Loral Skynet as a Spacecraft Orbit Analyst (2000-2004), Stevens Institute of Technology as a Research Engineer (2004-2012), received a Masters Degree in Ocean Engineering (Stevens 2009), and is the sole inventor on US Patent 8093736B2 (Wave Energy Harnessing Device) own by Stevens Board of Trustees. He's currently working for Martin & Ottaway in Tinton Falls, New Jersey working to commercialize the SurfWEHD based on US patent 8093736B2.

Jessica Elaine Sepulveda, Biological Sciences, 2017
Submitted: September 10, 2018
Jessica Elaine Sepulveda, Biology, 2017, recently got this amazing opportunity to work in startup using stem cell technology to reduce humans impact on the environment. Unlike most stem cell technology that focuses on medicine, VitroLabs Inc goal is to reduce our ecological footprint by making ethical leather in a lab. Her job entails making induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), differentiating our stem cells into skin cell and generating leather. By producing leather in a lab from iPSCs we can eliminate the need for cow hides will still supplying the market with this particular textile. She finds her work satisfying and is able to fulfill her graduation pledge in several ways: our product is ethical & ecological.

Ana Veronica Parra, Biological Sciences, 2013
Submitted: September 6, 2018
Ana Veronica Parra, Biology, 2013, fell in love with Astronomy after watching “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” narrated by Neil deGrass Tyson. She is currently taking math and physics courses at San Diego Mesa College and plans to apply to the University of Colorado’s Astrophysics and Planetary Science Ph.D. program in December 2019. Here’s is more info as to what she's been up to: http://www.sdmesa.edu/_resources/newsroom/posts/stem-scholars-ncas.php.

Jonathan Baer, Environmental Science & Management, 2014
Submitted: August 29, 2018
Jonathan Baer, Environmental Science & Management, 2014, got married the year he graduated from HSU. Two weeks after graduating he and his wife moved to Shenyang China where they taught English for a year. This experience convinced him to become a teacher for good. He applied to several schools for graduate programs and eventually decided to go with Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He received his master's degree in teaching with a K-12 teaching license with endorsements in elementary education and secondary social sciences. He subbed for a while and now is starting his second year teaching 6th grade in Baker City, Oregon. We also had a daughter Isabella in October of 2017 who just started walking this last weekend.

Aaron Pudlicki, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 2018
Submitted: August 15, 2018
Aaron Pudlicki, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 2018, obtained a full-time job as a forester living in Portland, Oregon and managing timberland throughout western Oregon within three months of graduation.

Ray Olson, Natural Resources, 1986
Submitted: July 17, 2018
Ray Olson, Natural Resources, 1986, was appointed to a three-year term on the Arcata Wetlands and Creeks Committee by the Arcata City Council.

Sanford "Sandy" Wilbur, Wildlife, 1963
Submitted: July 11, 2018
Sanford "Sandy" Wilbur, Wildlife, 1963, has just published his latest book, "Semi-Rough: A North Country Journal," about living off the grid in far northern New Hampshire. It has several wildlife, weather, environment, and people stories from the North Country. It's available as a free pdf if you write to him at symbios@condortales.com.

David Feliz, Wildlife, 1983
Submitted: July 6, 2018
Dave Feliz, Wildlife, 1983, is the Reserve Manager for the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Monterey County, California. This is one of 30 Reserves around the nation, set up to conduct research, habitat restoration and education on lands adjacent to and including estuarine habitats. These are all state/federal partnerships with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) partnering with state entities. The state partner at the Elkhorn Slough is the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Dave has been working for the Department since 1984, managing lands in various parts of California.

Gerald R Jones, Fisheries Biology, 1988
Submitted: June 5, 2018
Gerald R Jones, Fisheries Biology, 1988, has been working for ODFW for 14 years as a fish pathologist/fish health specialist.

jeffrey rich, Wildlife, 1983
Submitted: June 4, 2018
Jeffrey Rich, Wildlife, 1983, has a new book out, "Bald Eagles in The Wild": www.jeffrichphoto.com

Colin Gallagher, Natural Resources, 1997
Submitted: June 1, 2018
Colin Gallagher, Natural Resources, 1997, went into the U.S. Peace Corps after Humboldt graduation of 1997. He came back to the U.S.A. in 2000. He worked various local government gigs, picked up a master's degree along the way. He got into crypto and helped design cryptocurrencies and electronic wallets in a manner so as to foster efficient microdonations in the early years of decentralized cryptos (2009 - 2015). He did a software QA gig. He is currently working for a crypto-fiat exchange and enjoying life.