Alumni Updates

David E. Howell
Submitted: May 8, 2020
David E. Howell, 1974David Howell, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1974, served in the U.S. Air Force active duty for four years and flew in Phantom F-4C, D, and E primarily out of George Air Force Base. He retired from career civil service after 37 years of active duty with the Bureau of Land Management. Howell’s duty stations included, Susanville, California, Roseburg, Oregon, Ukiah, California, Hollister, California, Washington D.C. Headquarters, Vernal, Utah, and Anchorage, Alaska.  Positions included entry level Forester, Natural Resource Specialist, Area Manager, District Manager, Branch Chief and Deputy State Director for Resources.
Michael M O’Boyle
Submitted: February 14, 2020
Michael M O'Boyle, June 1971Michael O’Boyle, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1971, spent 16 years with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, and ended up as a district conservationist. He then served in New Mexico and California. Afterward, O’Boyle completed 20 years with the Madera County Animal Control Department in California, retiring in 2010.
Janelle Thompson
Submitted: January 13, 2020
Janelle Thompson, 1993In 2019, after 28 years with the U.S. Forest Service in a position as a timber sale administrator, Janelle Thompson, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1993, was promoted to Tahoe National Forest, Sierraville Ranger District Timber Management Officer. Thompson began her career in 1987 as a temporary employee on the timber marking crew at Sierraville. She received a permanent career appointment in 1991 as a forester with an emphasis in timber sale administration. During the last 20 years she has also worked as a support dispatcher (EDSD) for major wildland fires and other incidents across the United States. September of 2022 Thompson will be eligible to retire with over 31 years with the U.S. Forest Service.
Tyler Smurr
Submitted: January 1, 2020
Tyler Smurr, 1995Tyler Smurr, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1995, worked for Sierra Pacific Industries after graduating from Humboldt State but then met a girl and followed her to Texas.  He taught middle school science for 14 years, and is currently an Assistant Principal for a San Antonio Middle School.  Smurr says he uses his experience at Humboldt State to talk to students about finding the right place for them and seeing the beauty in the world.
William Chilson
Submitted: December 29, 2019
William Chilson, 1967For the past 10 years, William Chilson, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1967 has been working in the renewable energy industry with a focus on development of utility scale power plants. His current position is Director of Siting and Real Estate with Candela Renewables. Candela Renewables develops solar power plants throughout the United States.
John R. Hawkins
Submitted: December 20, 2019
John R. Hawkins, 1969John Hawkins, Upland, 1969, retired from CAL FIRE in December 2018 after serving 55 fire seasons and finishing his career for the last 12 years as the CAL FIRE Riverside Unit/Riverside County Fire Department Fire Chief. Hawkins commanded many of California’s major fires over his career, served as a Type 1 Incident Commander on 3 teams and an Operations Section Chief on a federal Type 1 team. Hawkins was recognized as a Certified Fire Chief and graduated from the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. He is living in SoCal and working part-time as a Wildland Fire Consultant for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Drew Coe
Submitted: December 20, 2019
Drew Coe, 1996Drew 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.
Kaelie Pena
Submitted: December 20, 2019
Kaelie Pena, 2017Kaelie 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.
Anthony Erba
Submitted: July 9, 2019
Anthony Erba, 1987After nearly 33 years of federal government service, Anthony Erba, Forestry & Wildland Resources, 1987, has retired from the USDA Forest Service to Northern Wisconsin. His last position was as Regional Director (Eastern Region) overseeing environmental planning, litigation, and landscape-scale conservation (lasting 8.5 years). Anthony’s career spanned all four organizational levels of the Forest Service, located on six national forests, one national grassland, one region, and the Washington Office. Never in his wildest dreams would he have been able to predict his career when he graduated in 1987. Anthony is grateful for his experience at HSU, providing him the awareness needed to recognize career opportunities whenever they popped up.
Thomas F. Wuenschell
Submitted: October 30, 2018
Thomas F. Wuenschell, 1974Thomas 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.
Aaron Pudlicki
Submitted: August 15, 2018
Aaron Pudlicki, 2018Aaron 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.
Braden Pitcher
Submitted: February 10, 2017
Braden Pitcher, 2013Braden 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!”
jeremy M. Milana
Submitted: November 15, 2016
jeremyMmilana, 2015Jeremy M. Milana, 2015 Forestry & Wildland Resources, is seeking opportunities within the environmental realm.
Michael T. Rains
Submitted: October 13, 2016
Michael T. Rains, 1968Michael T. Rains, 1968 Forestry, recently retired from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service after 48 years of public service. Rains began his career as a wildland firefighter and rose through the ranks to become deputy chief for the agency. His last assignment with the Forest Service was director of the Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory. Rains is known for his authorship role in the National Fire Plan for the Department of Agriculture and advancing biomass uses—cellulose nanomaterials, green building construction, advanced wood for energy —as a way to help America’s forests become more resilient to disturbances. Along the way, Rains earned a master’s degree in Secondary Education and now enjoys substitute teaching math and science at the middle school level in Pennsylvania.
Gene Blankenbaker
Submitted: July 2, 2015
Gene Blankenbaker, 1977Gene Blankenbaker, 1977 Forestry & Wildland Resources, transferred to the position of Deputy Director for Human Resources for the U.S. Forest Service last spring.
Rion Allbaugh
Submitted: April 15, 2014
Rion Allbaugh, 2001Rion Allbaugh, 2001 Forestry, met his wife Anne Marie Nielsen (‘01, Child Development) in the Siemens Hall Computer lab in 1999 and have been together ever since. Allbaugh is a Fire Captain for Cal Fire, and Anne Marie is a second grade teacher. They live in the Sierra Nevada Foothills with their son and dog. They look back upon their Humboldt State experience with great nostalgia and, if given the opportunity, would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Ron Miller
Submitted: December 13, 2013
Ron Miller, 1983RON MILLER, 1983 Forest Management, is a supervisory forester on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. His 30-year career has included working for the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Miller has published articles in both American Forests and the Journal of Forestry.  He is also the nominator of the largest Chihuahua pine in the United States. Recent travel includes time in Costa Rica and Panama in Central America and Ecuador and Peru in South America.
David Honeywell
Submitted: May 7, 2013
David Honeywell, 1982 (BS Forestry) 1986 (BS Computer Info Systems)DAVID HONEYWELL, 1982 Forestry, 1986 Computer Information Systems, and his wife have finally retired from the federal government; 28 and a half years for Honeywell and over 20 for his wife.  During a business trip, he happened to buy a winning Powerball ticket. Honeywell and his wife accepted the winning check for $217 million on Valentine’s Day this year.  Soon after, they retired and are now building their dream retirement home and enjoying life.  The couple has donated $4 million to charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank and many others, as well as the goal of also establishing an HSU scholarship in the very near future.
Kevin Nadin
Submitted: March 28, 2013
Kevin Nadin, 1985KEVIN NADIN, 1985 Forestry and Wildland Resources, has been with Sierra Pacific Industries for the past 11 years, currently in the position of network administrator. After leaving HSU, Nadin began working in various forestry positions before returning to school at Chico State.  He has been married for 18 years and has three children.
Eric Burke
Submitted: December 20, 2012
Eric Burke, 2005RPF # 2873, I have recently accepted a promotion as Vegetation Management Officer for the Tahoe National Forest, Yuba River Ranger District.  Married to Martha Burke (RPF # 2918).  Expecting first child Sierra Elizabeth Burke 3/27/2013.