Have you graduated from the Wildlife program at Humboldt? We're interested in hearing about what you're doing now. Please complete and submit the Alumni form to share with us where you went from here.

You might also want to check out what some of our previous alumni are doing now and read Alumni News below.

Evan Lautzenheiser, 2003

Evan Lautzenheiser, 2003 Wildlife, worked for Green Diamond as a wildlife technician conducting spotted owl surveys after graduating. Lautzenheiser also completed a short stay in Palm Springs, Calif., working with desert bighorn sheep. In 2007 he was hired by Arizona Game and Fish as a district wildlife manager/game ranger.

Peter Schmidt, 1997

Peter Schmidt, 1997 Wildlife, recently accepted the Refuge Manager position at Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Ruby Valley, Nevada after spending 14 years at Tualatin River NWR in western Oregon.  Schmidt is moving from an urban refuge with 2,200 acres to the most remote refuge in the lower 48 states with almost 40,000 acres to manage. The nearest services are 60 miles when the pass is open.

Jessica Ann Sellers, 2013

Jessica Ann Sellers, 2013 Wildlife, spent two summers working on the Wyoming toad recovery project doing captive breeding, research, surveys, and releases. Sellers also spent some time in Key Largo, Fla., interning for REEF doing fish surveys and lionfish research and removals.

Carl S. Chavez, 1966

Carl S. Chavez, 1966 Wildlife, published his second book, “A Year in Bodie, 1966-1967” co-authored with his wife Margaret (Elmore) Chavez (also class of 1966). The book is about the start of Chavez’s 33-year career as a California State Park Ranger and Administrator.

Marie (Ferguson) Smith, 1980

Marie (Ferguson) Smith, 1980 Wildlife, has been teaching high school science for the last 25 years after working for the U.S. Forest Service as a Research Technician, I.  Smith is married with three sons, two engineers (SDSU and CSU) and one zoologist (HSU). She’s currently living on a mountain outside of Glide, Oregon, and still teaching science (Umpqua Valley Christian School), but dreaming of retirement.

Dr. Leonard A. Brennan, 1984

Leonard A. Brennan, 1984, Wildlife, has been a professor at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, at the Texas A&M University, Kingsville, since 2001, where he holds the C.C. Winn Endowed Chair for Quail Research. Brennan teaches graduate classes in Ecosystem Function and Models in Wildlife Science. His past positions include director of Research at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, FL (1993-2001), and small game research scientist at Mississippi State University (1989-1993). He served terms as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Wildlife Management (2001-2002) and Wildlife Society Bulletin (2012-2013). Since graduating from HSU, Brennan has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles, five books and more than 100 extension articles.

Eugene "Charles" Justus, 1989

EUGENE “CHARLES” JUSTUS, 1989 Wildlife, was recently promoted to regional conservation officer with Idaho Fish and Game where he has been employed since 1990, soon after graduating from HSU. As RCO he manages the 22 conservation officers in the Southwest Region of IDFG. HSU’s wildlife program prepared Justus very well for a career in Idaho, where he excels in bird and ‘herp’ conservation.  Justus is married to Sue Epstein (’89, Wildlife) and has two boys. The family loves fishing, hunting and camping in the wilds of Idaho.

Sanford Wilbur, 1963

SANFORD WILBUR, 1963 Wildlife, just published a new book, “Nine Feet from Tip to Tip: The California Condor Through History,” the first in-depth look at the history of this species since the 1940s. It’s the culmination of some 45 years of field, lab and library research on the condors. In the mid-1970s, Wilbur and W. Dean Carrier (another ‘63 Humboldt Wildlife grad) were the impetus behind the current condor captive breeding program that is finally beginning to show real success.

Penelope Black Liotta, 1984

Master’s of Education Conferred December 2012 along with teaching license from Bethel University, McKenzie, Tennessee.  Beginning a new career as a secondary school biology teacher.

Kellie Tharp, 2002

The Humboldt State University Wildlife program provided an excellent foundation for pursuing a career in wildlife conservation. After graduation I worked as a biologist for the BLM, USFS and USGS in Alaska and Oregon. I received my Master of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins University in Environmental Science and Policy in 2007 and subsequently accepted a position with the Arizona Game and Fish Department as the Environmental Education Program Manager. After 2 years I promoted into the position of Education Branch Chief with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. In 2011 I received the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Mark J. Reef memorial award which recognizes distinguished young wildlife management professionals for their outstanding service in the conservation of fish and wildlife resources and for overcoming challenges through creative, determined initiatives of the nominee’s own device, producing benefits beyond the immediate area of mandate of the nominating agency.

Amanda Shufelberger, 2000

After working for several government agencies, I have been working as a Wildlife Biologist in Grass Valley for Sierra Pacific Industries for 5+ years.

Kathryn Leigh Riley, 2006

Kathryn Riley recently joined the San Diego URS Corporation as a Wildlife Biologist. She is currently conducting wildlife surveys on alternative energy projects in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of California. Her focus is on migratory birds, burrowing owls and the federally endangered desert tortoise.


upon graduation, moved to Utah.  Completed M.S. Degree in Wildlife Sciences at Utah State.  Worked 30 years for Utah Div. Wildlife Resources.  Became Director in 1989 Retired and moved to Redding, CA and worked for Duck’s Unlimited for 7 years as Regional Director.  Retired in 2004.  Continue to hunt & fish enjoying the beauty of Northern California.

Dr. Gary Joseph Stebbins, 1972

Gary Joseph Stebbins, 1972, Wildlife, has reentered the world of public education as principle of the Greenville, Calif., and Taylorsville, Calif., elementary schools after a career in public education as a teacher and administrator, and then professor of Educational Leadership at San Jose State University. Stebbins and his wife Maureen (a Humboldt alumna) built their retirement home at Lake Almanor, Calif., with the help of family. Stebbins enjoys his “born again” role as principal and Maureen also volunteers at the schools several days a week. 

Rani Ram, Spring 2011

Since graduating with my B.S. in May, I have been busy applying to Anthropology graduate programs to specialize in Primatology. An important aspect of this process is applying to scholarships, such as the NSF GRFP, which I highly recommend getting started on early. I have been accepted to my top choice school, Kent State, OH, to study the feeding ecology of saki monkeys in Surinam with Dr. Marilyn Norconk. I didn’t follow a traditional path in gaining my degree, and it may have taken me a little longer, but what matters in the end is that if you persist with your education, you will achieve your desired goals. Good luck.

Jo Anne Smith (Flueck), 1982

Recently appointed Chair of Huemul Task Force in the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Has served as Chair for the Scientific Steering Committee for the 6th and 7th International Deer Biology Congress (Republic of Czech and Chile, respectively) and now serving at same capacity for the upcoming 8th IDBC, which is to be held in Harbin China.

Micah Carnahan, 2010

I left school in the middle of my last semester, fall 2009, due to the birth of my son. He was born with a congenital heart disease known as Transposition of the Great Arteries or TGA. We (my wife, my newborn son and myself)were immediately flown to SF where my son would receive surgery. During our 3 month stay at UCSF I was able to keep in contact with my professors and they worked with me to finish my coursework during my stay. My son is 15 months now. He is healthy and doing great! I received my degree and quickly began interviewing for careers that could sustain my new family. Because of the skills and training I received from HSU, I was chosen from a number of candidates to be the new Environmental Scientist for the CA Department of Fish and Game’s Lake and Streambed Alteration Program. I am so thankful, and proud, to have studied at HSU and to have had the privelage of learning from the best professors in the country. Thank you HSU!

John D Cherry, 1959

Retired 1n 1993; was Associate Regional Director, National Park Service, San Francisco.Thirty two year career with the Department of Interior: Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and National Park Service.

Jo Anne M. Smith (professional name Smith-Flueck), 1982

I was president of the Scientific Steering Committee for the 6th and 7th International Deer Biology Congress (2006 and 2010, respectively, and am serving again for the upcoming 8th congress. Currently I am affiliated with Institute Analysis of Natural Resources (IARN), Universidad Atlántida Argentina in Mar del Plata, Argentina as a Research Scientist.  I often work with Werner Flueck, a Swiss who graduated in 1982 from Humboldt with degrees in Wildlife Management and Zoology.  We clandestinely eloped 3 months before our graduation so that Werner could receive his green card and then attend graduate school at University of California, Davis. Soon, our marriage will span 29 years. Over the last 20 years, we have worked together on studies related to conservation of the endangered native deer and impacts of exotic deer in Argentina and Chile. Last year we were the main organizers for the 7th International Deer Biology Congress, held in the Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile, which was the first time the congress was held in Latin America.

Jo Anne M. Smith (professional name Smith-Flueck), 1982

I was president of Scientific Steering Committee for the 6th and 7th International Deer Biology Congresses (2006 and 2010, respectively) and am continuing to serve at this capacity for the 8th congress. I’m currently affiliated as Research Scientist with Institute Analysis of Natural Resources (IARN)
Universidad Atlántida Argentina
Mar del Plata, Argentina
and am conducting research on highly endangered native and exotic deer in S. America with husband, Werner Flueck, a Swiss citizen, who graduated in 1982 from Humboldt with two bachelor degrees in Wildlife Management and Zoology. He went on to get his PhD at UC Davis in Pathology while I got my Masters there in Ecology. I later went on to obtain my doctorate in Biology at the Univ. Nacional del Comahue in Argentina. We were the main organizers for the recent 7th International Deer Biology Congress held in Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile.

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