About Us

From the Dean

Welcome to the College of Natural Resources and Sciences at Humboldt State University! Among the many attributes that set the College of Natural Resources and Sciences apart is our proximity to natural laboratories. Located on the north coast, of California we have a pristine ocean, the second largest natural estuary in the state, redwood forests and mountains, all within a short distance of the campus. Our faculty and students take full advantage of these resources to study and gain practical experience in the basic and applied sciences. Our undergraduate students also have access to our 90-foot research vessel, the R/V Coral Sea, the L. W. Schatz Tree Farm, the Schatz Energy Research Center, an on-campus fish hatchery, the HSU Marine Lab, and many fine laboratory facilities.

We are fortunate to boast an outstanding faculty and staff whose mission is to develop the critical thinking skills needed to collaboratively solve complex problems in science, engineering, and natural resources. Our graduates are literate members of society who are educated in science and are prepared for professional careers or advanced study in their disciplines. As a learning community, our core values foster:

  • Educational success for a diverse student population
  • Student-centered, field-based education in the natural resource sciences
  • Hands-on learning and laboratory experiences for undergraduates in the basic sciences
  • Using the California North Coast environment as a context for learning and having the facilities to explore it
  • Innovation in pedagogy and curriculum
  • Strong faculty-student mentor relationships, including research and service projects
  • A culture of environmental stewardship
  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative problem-solving
  • A complementary mix of basic and applied research

When you come to Humboldt State, you will be pleased to find a welcoming environment with friendly staff, faculty and mentors. You’ll find your opportunities to learn and grow in the sciences are limitless. I hope to see you in the near future. Please feel free to contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit us.


CNRS Staff

image Steven Smith, Dean.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Steve Smith is an alumnus of Humboldt State University with degrees in Wildlife Management (B.S.) and Biology (M.A.). He earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. He taught a variety of courses in vertebrate biology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville before moving to Humboldt State in 2001. His research interests include vertebrate systematics and natural history. He lives with his wife and two bloodhounds, enjoys sea kayaking, cycling, and playing the upright bass.



image Rick Zechman, Associate Dean.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Rick Zechman is a graduate of Louisiana State University (Ph.D.), University of New Hampshire (M.S.) and University of North Carolina, Wilmington (B.S.). Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University, Rick was a Professor of Biology at Fresno State for 16 years, where he taught courses in botany, phylogenetics and evolution, and marine biology. In addition, Rick has taught field marine science courses at Shoals Marine Lab (Cornell University) for over 20 years. He moved to Humboldt State in 2012, attracted by HSU’s strength in marine science, natural resources, and field-based instruction. Rick enjoys fishing, hiking and anything outdoors with his family, and plays a variety of stringed instruments, including guitar, mandolin and dobro.

Julie Tucker – Phone 5826 – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Call for assistance with the following:

  • Provide support to Dean – if you need something from the Dean (i.e., signature).
  • CNRS policies and procedures
  • Agency agreements (Green Diamond Access, State Parks, etc.)
  • Information resource for CNRS department chairs, administrative support, faculty, and staff
  • Retention, Tenure, and Promotion
  • Faculty personnel files, WPAF
  • Special college projects as needed
  • CNRS website



Jim Harding – Phone 3560 – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Call for assistance with the following:
  • Budget – questions re: cost center information, OE, equipment, salaries, benefits
  • Appointment/separation documents for all CNRS employees
  • Account numbers
  • CNRS Dean’s Office budget, including travel budget/questions
  • Expenditures related to the MSF fee



Pat Comella – Phone 3256 – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Call for assistance with the following:
  • Appointments for Dean Smith
  • Appointments for Associate Dean Rick Zechman
  • Schedule use of FR 102 conference room
  • NR and ES Graduate program
  • General questions re: college/departments
  • Student evaluations
  • IACUC
  • Student petitions, grade changes
  • Student complaints