Forever Humboldt

Alumni Updates

Chad Kaufman, World Languages and Cultures Spanish Language and Literature, 2008

March 9, 2021

After graduating from HSU, Kaufman worked at a bilingual school before moving to Cholula, Mexico to pursue a Master’s degree. In 2011 he graduated with an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from La Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico. He then moved back to Minnesota with his amazing spouse to be close to family. Kaufman has been working as a full-time Spanish Interpreter at Children’s Minnesota, a system of pediatric clinics and hospitals.

Sara Dykman, Wildlife , 2008

February 12, 2021

Dykman’s first book ‘Bicycling with Butterflies’ has been published. She describes it as part science, part adventure, part love letter to nature. It tells the story of her 10,201 mile bicycle adventure following the monarchs from Mexico to Canada and back in 2017. Those interested can learn more about her book at They can also learn more about her organization and tour at If anyone is interested in reading and reviewing, some Advanced Reader Copies will be available soon.

Dan Severson, Wildlife , 1985, 1987

February 12, 2021

Severson spent 39 years working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on eight national wildlife refuges in California, Oregon, South Dakota, Kansas, and North Dakota as Wildlife Biologist, Asst. Refuge Manager and the last 12 years as a project leader over a complex of refuges and wetland management districts in North Dakota. He retired January 1, 2021 and will spend retirement golfing, hunting, fishing, and woodworking.  He lives in Jamestown, North Dakota and has three daughters and three grandchildren.

Dennis Halligan, Fisheries Biology , 1980

February 7, 2021

Prior to and following graduation, Halligan fished in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea for 12 years. During that time he also owned and operated an oyster mariculture company in Humboldt Bay. Halligan has been a fish and wildlife biologist for the past 30 years and has worked on hundreds of projects including the decommissioning of the Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant, permitting the Klamath Dam removal, and a wide variety of construction, watershed restoration, fish and wildlife survey. Halligan hopes to retire in a couple of years, but loves his job and will probably work part-time until he drops. Cheers!

Carrie Leonard, Oceanography , 1992

February 6, 2021

After 20 plus years of research and managing research operations, Leonard has moved to implementing policy to address Climate Change and Racial Justice at the Oregon State Legislature. She’s excited to move to implementing ideas instead of answering questions.

Christopher Scott Neamtzu, Natural Resources Geography minor, 1993

January 9, 2021

Neamtzu is currently serving as the Community Development Director at the City of Wilsonville in Oregon where he has been employed for 26 years starting as as Assistant Planner. He owes his initial start with the city to past HSU professor Stephen Lasbrook who originally hired Christopher on a temporary basis and to HSU for connecting him to such an amazing mentor. He lives with his wife of 23-years and fellow HSU alumni, Margot Fervia-Neamtzu, in Sherwood, Oregon, along with their son Jonathan Forest. Caring for and protecting the natural environment has consistently been the heart and soul of his professional career; a deep moral undertaking that is rooted in his time at HSU.

Bill Ramos, Forestry & Wildland Resources , 1980

January 9, 2021

Ramos has been re-elected to his second term as Representative in the Washington State House.

Patrick Murphy, Environmental Science & Management , 2013

December 15, 2020

Murphy has been working for the Orange County Water District for the past 6 years. His job consists of water quality monitoring through the sampling and water quality data analysis of many groundwater and surface water sites. Murphy has also recently obtained a MS in Environmental Studies from California State University, Fullerton.

Jason Atherton, Communication , 2009

December 14, 2020

After graduating HSU in 2009, Atherton went to graduate school at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. He lived with his HSU classmate while studying Educational Leadership and Policy. After completing his Masters degree, Jason held positions at universities in Florida, Michigan, and Utah. In 2019, Jason won Outstanding Academic Advisor for the local, state, and national advising conferences. He now lives in Salt Lake City and works with two other HSU Alumni who share his same birthday. Jason appreciates how ahead HSU was in diversity and social justice issues and is amazed how conversations that were happening in Arcata 10 years ago are now in public discourse. Go Jacks!

Michael Tuffly, Forestry & Wildland Resources , 1988

December 11, 2020

Tuffly got a BS in Forestry in 1988 and a MS in Natural Resources in 1995 both from HSU.  He has worked for various State, Federal, and NGO’s over the years.  He completed a Ph.D. in Forest Science from Colorado State University in 2012.  He has his own consulting business ERIA Consultants, LLC and lives is Boulder, Colorado.  He consults to private and public entities all over the world on forest carbon sequestration, wildfire mitigation and assessment, and various wildlife habitat enhancements.  For the past ten years he has been climbing 14,000+ foot peaks in Colorado with two other HSU alumni.