Humboldt State University

People on the Ground: Alumni Profiles

Merv George

Merv George ('97, Native American Studies) is Deputy Forest Supervisor of Six Rivers National Forest, where he oversees the forest's employees and public resources, and handles issues related to endangered species, watershed, wildfire and recreation.

"It's a job that requires endless communication and keeping up with current events," George says. "It's difficult, but it's rewarding to have influence over the managing of public resources."

George got a chance to work on sustainability and land management issues while he was still a student at HSU. He served on the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council, the governing body for the Hoopa Tribe. After graduating, he held a series of positions with natural resources management and sustainability responsibilities. They included chairman of the Hoopa Tribe, executive director of the Klamath River Intertribal Fish and Water Commission, director of the California Indian Forest and Fire Management Council and regional tribal relations manager for the U.S. Forest Service.

George and his wife, Wendy—also an HSU alum—still reside in Hoopa, where they are parents to four children ages 20, 17, 15 and 13. In his free time, George coaches youth football and is the drummer in his father's rock 'n' roll ensemble, the Merv George Band.

"I love the clean air and being next to rivers," George says of living and working in Humboldt County. "It's not just Humboldt County to me, it's home and it's where my ancestors have been since the beginning of time."