Achievements

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

Student Kristin Cooper and Catherine Trimingham Forestry & Wildland Resources

Two Humboldt State University students passed the rigorous “Fundamentals of Soil Science” exam offered on April 15, 2016, becoming Associate Professional Soil Scientists, according to test results from the Council of Soil Science Examiners.

Kristin Cooper and Catherine Trimingham graduated from Humboldt State University with the Wildland Soils option in Rangeland Resource Science. Kristin has performed range technician duties for the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming and has volunteered for several California Resource Conservation Districts. She is studying for the GRE exam and plans to apply to a graduate program for Fall 2017. Catt rowed for the HSU Women’s Crew team and is currently working as a forest-wide soils technician on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. She says that “my education is much more well-rounded compared to the people I work with. I am able to understand a majority of the timber jargon, identify most of the plants I come in contact with, and have been told that my notes are too thorough.”

The national pass rate for the Spring 2016 soils exam was 56 percent, with a California pass rate of 87.5 percent. Since 2011, 25 HSU students have attempted this exam, with an overall pass rate of 80 percent, the last two years with 100 percent success. Those who pass the fundamentals exam will be eligible to take the Professional Practice exam after five years of professional experience, an additional step in becoming a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Recent Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) discussions about program self-certification have included the fundamentals exam as one indicator of program quality. Given that the exam is multiple choice, it does not evaluate students’ field skills per se, but is an exam that is offered nationwide and is therefore ‘portable.’ Humboldt State University Wildland Soils students (under the Rangeland Resource Science major) spend more than 200 hours in field or laboratory learning experiences, honing hands-on skills and field judgment of soil properties, limitations, and capabilities.

Submitted: August 19, 2016

Faculty Susan Marshall Forestry & Wildland Resources

Professor Susan Marshall, Forestry & Wildland Resources attended the 2016 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting in Corpus Christi, TX. Susan served as 2015 President of the Range Science Education Council and 2016 Past President. She is also an Associate Editor or the Range Ecology & Management Journal and a member of the SRM Professional Accreditation Committee. While there she attended a special workshop looking at the federal Office of Personnel Management 454-Series for Rangeland Specialists with members of the OPM, RSEC and PAC groups. Susan also serves on the Certification Panel for California Certified Range Management specialist.

Submitted: March 4, 2016

Faculty Kenneth Fulgham Forestry & Wildland Resources

Emeritus Professor Kenneth Fulgham, Forestry & Wildland Resources, attended the 2016 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting in Corpus Christi, TX. Ken recently served a three-year term as a national Director on the SRM Board and has been nominated for the SRM 2nd Vice President position with the election held this fall. Ken is also the SRM Membership Services & Meeting Registration Task Force Chair, plus a member of the SRM Bylaws Revision Task Force.

Submitted: March 4, 2016

Student Mariah Aguiar, Tyler Hanson, Kaelie Pena, Matt Prendergast, Rosa Sanchez, and Deedee Soto Forestry & Wildland Resources

The HSU Range Plant Team recently competed in the 2016 Society for Range Management plant identification exam in Corpus Christi, Texas. The competition involved the identification of 200 grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees. The Plant Team placed 9th out of 23 schools from Canada, Mexico and United States. In addition, HSU students also participating in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam and the Student Booth Display Contest. The students attending these competitions were: Mariah Aguiar, Tyler Hanson, Kaelie Pena, Matt Prendergast, Rosa Sanchez, and Deedee Soto.
Kaelie Pena, Range Management Science major, was elected Secretary to the SRM Student Conclave and she received a summer Pathways Science Technician job with the Forest Service in Bridgeport, California.

Submitted: March 3, 2016

Student Andrew Slack, Nicholas Zeibig-Kichas Forestry & Wildland Resources

Andrew Slack, a graduate student, Nicholas Zeibig-Kichas, an undergraduate student, and Dr. Jeff Kane recently published an article in Forest Ecology and Management entitled "Contingent resistance in longleaf pine (Pinus paulustris) growth and defense 10 years following smoldering fires".

Submitted: February 11, 2016

Faculty Andrew Stubblefield, Rosalea Bond Forestry & Wildland Resources

Andrew P. Stubblefield, Professor of Hydrology and Watershed Management has recently published a paper titled Sensitivity of summer stream temperatures to climate variability and riparian reforestation strategies
in the Journal of Hydrology, Regional Studies. Coauthors were recent M.S. graduate Rosealea M. Bond and faculty emeritus Robert W. Van Kirk.

Submitted: October 23, 2015

Faculty Erin Kelly Forestry & Wildland Resources

Assistant Professor Erin Kelly of the Forestry Department is working with researchers at the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station to find ways to help forest landowners conduct fuels treatments at large scales and across ownership boundaries to improve fire resilience. Dr. Kelly received $100,000 from the US Forest Service to support the work, which started with documenting known large-scale, cross-boundary fire restoration projects, then choosing case studies across Oregon and Washington. Jodie Pixley, a student in the HSU Environment and Community Master’s program, spent her summer in the Klamath Basin and Ashland, Oregon, working on two case studies.

Submitted: September 10, 2015

Faculty David Greene, Jeff Keane & Melanie McCavour Forestry & Wildland Resources

David Greene and Jeff Kane of the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources and Melanie McCavour of the Department of Environmental Science and Management have just been awarded a 10-year $800,000 grant from the Bureau of Land Management for a study of Baker Cypress. This tree species, restricted to a few populations in northern California and southern Oregon, has seeds retained in cones that will only open when burned and the continuation of fire exclusion is strongly contributing to its potential extinction. The purpose of the grant is to better understand the reproductive ecology of Baker Cypress, determine the feasibility of using prescribed fire and other treatments to inform the restoration and management of this species, and create the Environmental Impact Report that will underpin the management plan.

Submitted: September 2, 2015

Faculty Erin Kelly Forestry & Wildland Resources

Erin Kelly, Assistant Professor in the Forestry & Wildland Resources Department, and Jonathan Kusel, Executive Director of the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, had their article on cooperative, cross-boundary management facilitates large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts published in _California Agriculture_, Volume 69, Number 1, January-March 2015. This article summarizes a case study for the Burney Gardens timber harvesting plan where a cooperative, cross-boundary meadow restoration project was undertaken by private & corporate landowners in Eastern Shasta County. The Burney Gardens property is currently under consideration for donation by the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council to the University as a teaching and research working laboratory of Northern Sierra Mixed Conifer forests with a large meadow complex.

Submitted: July 21, 2015

Faculty Sara Hanna and Ken Fulgham Forestry & Wildland Resources

Research by the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources faculty was recently featured in a special issue of _California Agriculture_, a quarterly journal of peer-reviewed research from the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The issue titled, _Forestry: Managing for the Future_ highlights a wide range of forestry related research being conducted in California.

Sara Hanna and Ken Fulgham, Lecturer and Emeritus Professor respectively in the Forestry & Wildland Resources Department, had their article on Post-fire vegetation dynamics of a sagebrush steppe community change significantly over time published in California Agriculture, Volume 69, Number 1, January-March 2015. The article summarizes almost 30 years’ worth of data collected on two prescribed wildland fire sites in the Clear Lake Hills area of Modoc County. Significant findings regarding the post-fire plant community trajectories and changes over time have management implications for domestic livestock grazing, interstate mule deer herd winter range use, and the provision of suitable habitat for the threatened Sage Grouse (_Centrocercus urophasianus_).

Submitted: July 21, 2015

Student Crystal Welch, Andrew Longman, Tyler Hanson and Robin Halloran Forestry & Wildland Resources

Three Humboldt State University students passed the rigorous “Fundamentals of Soil Science” exam offered April 17, 2015 becoming Associate Professional Soil Scientists, according to test results from the Council of Soil Science Examiners. Crystal Welch, Andrew Longman and Tyler Hanson were among five individuals in California who attempted the exam this spring and were the only California examinees to pass the exam. Nationally, 61 individuals took the exam with a pass rate of 59% overall according to Michele Lovejoy, Program Manager for Professional Development of the Soil Science Society of America.

Crystal Welch graduated in Fall 2014 with a degree in Rangeland Resource Science (Wildland Soils option). After performing lab analysis of soils for Dirty Business Consulting in Arcata, Crystal starting working as a field scientist for the Great Basin Institute in Reno, Nevada. Andrew Longman graduated Spring 2014 with a degree in Rangeland Resource Science (Wildland Soils option) and will soon begin a position as Junior Specialist for Organic/Conventional Farming Project with Dr. Louise Jackson at U.C. Davis. Andy will help study the effects of water deficits on crop physiology, biology and pests. Tyler Hanson has completed his minor in Wildland Soil Science, and will graduate in Fall 2015 with a degree in Botany. Robin Halloran, another Wildland Soils option graduate (Spring 2015), passed the same exam November 21, 2014. In summary, 16 out of 23 HSU students who have attempted the exam have passed (70%) since 2011, well above the national average pass maximum of 63% for the same time period.

Those who pass the fundamentals exam will be eligible to take the Professional Practice exam after five years of professional experience, an additional step in becoming a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Recent Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) discussions about program self-certification have included the fundamentals exam as one indicator of program quality. Given that the exam is multiple choice, it does not evaluate students’ field skills per se, but is an exam that is offered nationwide and is therefore ‘portable.’ Humboldt State University Wildland Soils students (an option under the Rangeland Resource Science major) spend more than 200 hours in field or laboratory learning experiences, honing hands-on skills and field judgment of soil properties, limitations, and capabilities.

Submitted: May 27, 2015

Student Andrew Bryant, Matt Prendergast, Andrew Longman, Christina Cortez, Tyler Hanson, Kathleen Dondero, Alicia Goodman, Henry Ayres, and Ariel De Lara Forestry & Wildland Resources

The HSU Range Plant Identification Team competed in the 2015 Society for Range Management plant identification exam located in Sacramento, Calif., in February. The competition involves the sight identification of 200 grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees to species. The HSU Plant Team placed 6th out of 23 schools hailing from Canada, Mexico and United States. The University of Alberta placed first, followed by Texas A&M, Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Utah State University, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, and HSU, respectively. Advanced Rangeland Plants (RRS 475) prepares students for the annual exam and in preparation for related field work.

Submitted: March 16, 2015

Faculty Jeffrey Kane Forestry & Wildland Resources

Assistant forestry professor Jeffrey Kane recently published an article in the journal Oecologia asserting that the number of resin ducts a tree has can help predict how resistant the pine is to beetle infestation. The results of the paper, combined with the findings of an earlier study, provide information that may be useful to land managers who are trying to keep public parks and other relatively small forested areas healthy. In the first study, researchers demonstrated that a certain type of slippery bark protects trees from pine beetle attacks, which can kill trees. For the full article, visit http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00442-013-2841-2/fulltext.html.

Submitted: January 8, 2014

Student Travis DiGennaro and Crystal Welch Forestry & Wildland Resources

Rangeland Resources Science majors Travis DiGennaro and Crystal Welch will share the $1,000 Paul Zinke Memorial Scholarship Award for 2013. Travis is an assistant for the introductory soils course, is enrolled in the Wildland Soils option of the range major, and hails from Napa, CA. Crystal Welch is also in the Wildland Soils option and has called Humboldt County and Port Orford, Oregon home. Travis and Crystal will be presenting an undergraduate research poster on actinomycetes found in mushroom compost at the Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings in Tampa, Florida in November 2013. They join seven past HSU Zinke Award winners: Barbara Witmore (’05), M.S. New Mexico State University, currently employed by the Bureau of Land Management; Rosemary Records (‘06) now in a Ph.D. program at Colorado State University; Sarah Schuette (‘09), co-owner of Dirty Business Consulting of Arcata; Allison Rofe, (‘12) who is a rangeland management specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Ukiah, CA; Jasmine Westbrook (‘12), currently enrolled in a M.S. program at Montana State University; and Stephanie Winters (‘13), a seasonal employee with BKS Environmental of Gillette, WY.

Submitted: October 1, 2013

Student Zoe Merrill, Rachelle Dilley, Stephanie Winters, Kyle Garvey, and Braden Pitcher Forestry & Wildland Resources

Five Humboldt State University students passed the rigorous “Fundamentals of Soil Science” exam offered on April 15, 2013, becoming Associate Professional Soil Scientists, according to test results from the Council of Soil Science Examiners. Zoe Merrill, Kyle Garvey and Braden Pitcher graduated with degrees in Wildland Soils in the Rangeland Resource Science major. Stephanie Winters graduated with the Rangeland Resources option and completed sufficient soils courses to be a federal Soil Scientist. Rachelle Dilley graduated with a degree in Botany.

The national pass rate for the spring 2013 exam was 63%. Those who pass the fundamentals exam will be eligible to take the Professional Practice exam after five years of professional experience, an additional step in becoming a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Recent Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) discussions about program self-certification have included the fundamentals exam as one indicator of program quality. Humboldt State University Wildland Soils students (an option under the Rangeland Resource Science major) spend more than 200 hours in field or laboratory learning experiences, honing hands-on skills and field judgment of soil properties, limitations, and capabilities.

Submitted: August 15, 2013

Student Forestry students Forestry & Wildland Resources

The Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources presented 22 of its students with nearly $28,000 in scholarships at its 15th annual Spring Awards banquet in April. Three graduating seniors were recognized at the ceremony: Zachary Carter, Academic Excellence Award; Noah Coonen, Professional Promise Award, and Celina Weeg, Most Outstanding Student Award in Rangeland Resources and Wildland Soils. Department Chair Kenneth (K.O.) Fulgham reported that faculty have gained more than $1.37 million in grant research awards in the past 18 months. He recognized retiring Professor John Stuart for his 30 years of service to the department. For the third year running, Stuart was voted “Outstanding Professor of the Year” by the department’s students.

Submitted: April 12, 2013

Faculty Larry Fox Forestry & Wildland Resources

Emeritus Forestry Professor Larry Fox has completed a volunteer project investigating the death of more than 1500 people fleeing Libya across the Central Mediterranean using geospatial and remote sensing technology. Fox and researchers from the University of London produced a report on a particular case of migrants’ death involving 63 people, where the military and other actors failed to provide assistance to seafarers in distress.

The report was the basis for a legal case against France and may be used to file cases against other countries that participated in the 2011 military intervention in Libya. The full report is available at: http://www.forensic-architecture.org/homepage/fields/investigations/sea. The project was supported by GISCorps, which coordinates short term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities.

Submitted: June 15, 2012

Faculty Morgan Varner, Kenneth Fulgham Forestry & Wildland Resources

The Northern California Prescribed Fire Council met in Humboldt County on Nov. 16 and 17. The first day was spent as a field tour looking at prescribed fire use in Redwood National Park for maintaining vegetation structure of grassland and oak woodland ecosystems. The second day was held at River Lodge in Fortuna where Drs. Morgan Varner and Kenneth Fulgham attended. Varner is the Council Chairman and provided the Opening Remarks to about 70 attendees. The mission of the NorCal Prescribed Fire Council is to provide a venue for practitioners, state and federal agencies, academic institutions, tribes, coalitions and interested individuals to work collaboratively to promote, protect, conserve and expand the responsible use of prescribed fire in Northern California’s fire-adapted landscapes. More information can be found at: "norcalrxfirecouncil.org":http://www.norcalrxfirecouncil.org and at "prescribedfire.net":http://www.prescribedfire.net.

Submitted: November 18, 2011

Faculty Kenneth Fulgham Forestry & Wildland Resources

Humboldt State Professor of Rangeland Resources Kenneth Fulgham, chair of the Forestry & Wildland Resources Department, has been elected director of the board of directors of the Society for Range Management. Fulgham’s three-year term starts in February, 2012. The professional society supports conservation and sustainable management of rangelands, which comprise nearly half of all the lands on earth. Fulgham is also second vice-president of The Buckeye, a local advocacy organization for working landscape. Additional information about the Society for Range Management is posted at "rangelands.org":http://rangelands.org/.

Submitted: October 31, 2011

Faculty Han-Sup Han Forestry & Wildland Resources

Two research papers were recently published in Western Journal of Applied Forestry. One paper deals with utilization of small-diameter logs generated as a result of fuel reduction thinning treatments. This topic has been an issue for many rural towns in the US West. The title of this paper is “Financial Feasibility of a Log Sort Yard Handling Small-Diameter Logs: A Preliminary Study.” The other paper addresses a spreadsheet-based tool to estimate road construction costs. The software will be loaded onto the department web site. The title of this paper is “ACCEL: Spreadsheet-Based Cost Estimation for Forest Road Construction”.

Submitted: October 18, 2011