Alumni Updates

Find out what some of our alumni have been up to.

Gene Blankenbaker, 1977

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, 1974

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.

Aaron Pudlicki, 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.

Braden Pitcher, 2013

Braden 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!”

jeremyMmilana, 2015

Jeremy M. Milana, 2015 Forestry & Wildland Resources, is seeking opportunities within the environmental realm.

Michael T. Rains, 1968

Michael 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, 1977

Gene 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, 2001

Rion 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, 1983

RON 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, 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.