By | Kyra Skylark
Margaret Peck, a Biology major with an emphasis in Ecology and Evolution, moved to Humboldt this past June. While drawn to the school’s Science department, Peck found great value in a class outside her major.
“My Native American Studies course, I want to go into land management and a lot of that is working with the tribes of an area to get them back on the land,” said Peck. “To give the land back to them and have a kind of co-management. So I’m learning a lot of techniques to better understand where they are coming from and learn more about their history. So much of their history is not actually taught to us in our education or if it is taught to us, it is not anything remotely true or factual about what actually happened to them.”
Learning history and communication skills in addition to her core science classes helps prepare Peck for possible career opportunities in the future.
“I wanna help get people on the land and I really just want to be outside, that’s where I’m happiest,” said Peck.
Darrian Francki, a second-year Forestry major with a concentration in Wildfire has changed his original goal since taking a variety of classes here at HSU.
“When I first started at HSU I was thinking more of [a career in] national parks, but now that I’ve learned more, I’m open to anything within my major,” said Darrian Francki. “Whatever comes my way.”
Cindy Luke, an Environmental Science and Management major just started her second semester.
“What brought me here was knowing that this was such a good place to be for environmental studies,” said Cindy Luke.
Focusing specifically on Environmental Education and Interpretation, Luke hopes to teach individuals of all ages the value of being outside in nature.
“Teaching all people in general, it’s important to start when they are younger, but it’s also important to know that they don’t stop learning,” said Luke.
Luke is excited to be apart of the HSU community,
“I have always loved the outdoors,” said Luke. “I was a single mom, so I went into accounting and business, payroll, because I already had an associate’s there. But I’ve always wanted to be outdoors and I’ve always wanted to share that love.”
Conrad Stielau, a Forestry major in his second year is stoked to be going to school in the redwoods.
“It’s the Harvard of Forestry colleges,” said Conrad Stielau. “I’m a Forestry nerd, I deeply care about the trees, and there’s not a better place to learn.”
Focusing on Wildland Fire Management within the Forestry concentration, Stielau is loving learning tools applicable for his future career.
“In my Fire Ecology class, we’re understanding fire regimes,” said Stielau. “Basically how fire suppression in the United States has led us to the problem that we are in now, which is why we have more expensive wildfires and more severe wildfires every year.
Stielau is enjoying all of his classes more than he anticipated.
“Natural Resource Conservation is very cool, J. Dunks the man,” said Stielau.
Stielau hopes to use what he leans at HSU to improve the current system.
“I want to fix the US Forest Service,” said Stielau. “Basically fix America’s forests. I’m a younger generation of educated people in Natural Resource Science, all the people who have been making decisions in the last hundred years are old men. They don’t understand, they don’t think the same way. They still use plastic water bottles or they still drive their car half a block to work, they just don’t understand our sustainability mission.”
Humboldt State’s commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability is what draws many students to the university, and they carry that after they graduate.
“To bring a young fresh idea to it, a person like me who gives a shit– I give a lot of shits–it’s something I care about, I’m deeply passionate about Forestry,” said Stielau.