Alumni Updates

Robert T. Lackey, 1967
Submitted: December 2, 2021

Bob Lackey (BS, Fisheries, 1967) continues teaching graduate classes at Oregon State University in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences. In 2008, he retired after 27 years with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 350-person national research laboratory in Corvallis. He served as Deputy Laboratory Director, Associate Director for Science, and in other senior science leadership positions.

Robert Lackey, 1967
Submitted: April 26, 2021

Lackey is a professor at Oregon State University. In 2008, he retired after 27 years with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 350-person national research laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. He served as Deputy Director, Associate Director for Science, and in other senior science leadership positions. His current “gig” is part-time and involves teaching ecological policy and advising a few graduate students. He and his wife, Lana Apparius Lackey (also a Humboldt student), live in Corvallis, Oregon.

Rich Torquemada, 1982
Submitted: April 8, 2021

Torquemada recently stepped down after four years as a Board Director of the Montana Grape and Winery Association, serving as President for three years. Rich continues to own and operate Luna Llena Vineyards, producing cold-climate hybrid wine grapes to several local wineries and cideries in western Montana. Prior to establishing Luna Llena, he enjoyed a 34-year career as a fisheries biologist and Field Supervisor with the Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, working throughout the western US.

Dennis Halligan, 1980
Submitted: February 8, 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!

David Justice, 1995
Submitted: June 5, 2020

David Justice, Fisheries Biology, 1995, moved back to southern California after graduating from Humboldt State and worked in retail as a regional ranager for aquatic systems at a large pet retailer. He then went back to school to earn a MBA in Finance. After graduating, he began a career in banking, starting as a teller and working his way up to the executive level. Last November, he was promoted to President/CEO of Alta Vista Credit Union. "Go Jacks!'

Jim Craig, 1985
Submitted: May 11, 2020

After graduation Jim Craig, Fisheries Biology, 1985, worked as a Foreign Fishery Observer in the Bearing Sea. Next he took a job with the Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife. Craig then joined the US Fish & Wildlife Service where he worked at fishery offices in Red Bluff, Stockton, and from 1987 to 2000 at the Arcata Fish & Wildlife Office. Craig then took a job as Deputy Project Leader at the USFWS's Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (MCFWCO) in Leavenworth, Washington. In 2008 he became Project Leader, and in 2020 he became Manager of the Leavenworth Fisheries Complex which consists of the MCFWCO and Leavenworth, Entiat, and Winthrop National Fish Hatcheries. Craig lives with his wife Lisa in Cashmere, Washington.

Chris Brey, 1987
Submitted: May 8, 2020

After earning his degree, Chris Brey, Fisheries Biology, 1987, served as an aquaculture extensionist in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. After that he worked for several years as a field biologist and a fish culturist, and then went on to earn an MS in Environmental Management at the University of San Francisco. He currently heads the Facilities and EH&S department at a Bay Area biopharma company, is married and has two children in college.

Aneesh Kumar KV, 2014
Submitted: February 14, 2020

Aneesh Kumar, Fisheries Biology, 2014, is currently working as Project Scientist at Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology. Their area of research is Eco-morphology of deep sea fishes and Otoliths.

David Justice, 1995
Submitted: January 10, 2020

David Justice, Fisheries Biology, 1995, was promoted to CEO of Alta Vista Credit Union in Redlands, California in November of 2019. Justice married a College Professor who teaches Geography and they have two adult boys who are off to college next year.

Colin Savage, 2018
Submitted: December 21, 2019

Shortly after graduating, Colin Savage, Fisheries Biology, 2018, started working with Washington Fish and Wildlife as a hatchery specialist. During his senior year he worked in rearing many species of salmonids and White Sturgeon.

Claudia Carlson Cottrell, 1974
Submitted: December 21, 2019

In 1991 16 years after graduating from Humboldt State, Claudia Cottrell, Fisheries Biology, 1974, graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University with a doctorate in Chiropractic. After 23 years of running a human chiropractic practice, she went to Options for Animals School of Animal Chiropractic. She now practices exclusively on horses, dogs, cats, and any other animals that are presented to her. Cottrell, says she feels like she has come full circle. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota (her native state) with her husband, Harry Cottrell, who is a native of Arcata, California, and is also a graduate of Humboldt State. They have two adult sons, have always had pets, and still visit Humboldt County.

Thomas Cappiello, 1986
Submitted: November 11, 2019

Thomas Cappiello, Fisheries Biology, 1986, has retired from Alaska Department of Fish and Game after 21 years of service. Cappiello has been working in fisheries in Alaska for over 30 years. He still lives in Alaska and says he probably won't leave. Cappiello is a steering committee member of the Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, president of the MatSu Birders Club, and home baker of Artisan sourdough breads and pizza.

Ernest Casperson, 1956
Submitted: October 14, 2019

Ernest Casperson, a Fisheries Biology, 1956, passed away March 5, 2019, in Helena, Montana. He was a teacher in several small California communities. He later started his career with the Bureau of Reclamation on what was then the Auburn Dam and Reservoir project. When the project ran into some structural and political hurdles, it failed to get the needed funding, he retired to Montana where he could spend his leisure time fishing for trout.

Capt. Wayne S. Salmon, 1958
Submitted: October 5, 2019

After working for four summers with the CF&G plus the ADFWG it became obvious to Capt Wayne S. Salmon, 1958 Fisheries Biology, that the wages paid were not sufficient to raise a family. He then entered into the US Navy flight program, where he became an aerial navigator. A beautiful young lady he met on active duty brought him back to Indianapolis where he entered into the Naval Air Reserve program, and got his teaching credentials, and an MS plus 33 semester hours. He then went into Biology/Science teaching which he thoroughly enjoyed. Several of his Humboldt teachers greatly influenced his teaching. He retired as a Navy O-6. He is the former commanding officer of VR-51 at NAS Glenview near Chicago. Want to go fishing? Give him a call.

Brian Galvez, 2014
Submitted: April 4, 2019

Brian Galvez, Fisheries Biology, 2014, graduated from Delaware State University with a M.S. in Natural Resources with a focus on Fisheries Biology. His thesis was titled "Trophic ecology of juvenile Weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) from the Delaware Bay using stomach content and stable isotope analyses". He is currently writing a manuscript for publication in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society with the work presented in his thesis. He represented Humboldt State Fisheries Biology Department by having the best thesis defense in the Delaware State University Natural Resources Graduate Program according to multiple people, including a Delaware State fish biologist and the department chair of his program.

Richard Mattson, 1971
Submitted: February 4, 2019

Richard Mattson, Fisheries Biology, 1971, retired after 30+ years with Douglas Island Pink & Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) in Juneau Alaska. DIPAC is a major producer of hatchery chum, king, and coho salmon in southeast Alaska. He began in fish culture there and then spend most my career as an aquarist maintaining the visitor center marine aquariums and conducting our education programs. He still works part-time maintaining aquariums on contract to the NOAA Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute in Juneau. He also volunteers for various organizations and will be continuing to do more with his extra time. Travel with his wife Peggy is definitely on tap, and he also just enjoys reading, learning Finnish, and outdoor activities.

Gerald R Jones, 1988
Submitted: June 5, 2018

Gerald R Jones, Fisheries Biology, 1988, has been working for ODFW for 14 years as a fish pathologist/fish health specialist.

Matt Vallerga, 1980
Submitted: March 7, 2018

Matt Vallerga, Fisheries Biology, 1980, will be retiring from teaching on June 2, 2018 after 20 years in the classroom. He has taught third, fourth, and fifth graders with every combination in between! Not bad for a third and last career. Prior to being an educator, he spent about 10 years working in environmental sciences (air quality control, trace metals analysis, water resources, etc.). His first career out of HSU was about 10 years in seafood marketing and aquaculture. He is looking forward to recreating outdoors and traveling with his wife, Barbara.

Wendy Dayanna Arteaga, 2018
Submitted: October 28, 2017


Craig Chase, 1977
Submitted: September 6, 2017

Craig Chase, Fisheries Biology, 1977, retired from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in 2015.