Research Strengths

From examining food and housing insecurity among college students to studying the impact of climate change on redwoods, Cal Poly Humboldt research seeks innovative answers to better understand ourselves and our world. These projects and programs span fields, build industry partnerships, and support student success. 

Innovative Research

Cal Poly Humboldt’s world-class researchers conduct a wide range of innovative local, national, and international projects. Those projects include:

  • The Schatz Energy Research Center is a globally recognized leader in clean and renewable energy technology research is involved in bioenergy, offshore wind, and groundbreaking microgrid projects, as well as off-grid energy projects in Africa and Asia.

  • The CIRM Bridges 2.0 Scholars Program funded by a $3 million dollar grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the program provides students in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine the opportunity to participate in research-intensive internships at top research institutions.

  • With grants from the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense, the North Coast Concussion Program  conducts research on the history and impact of concussions on NCAA athletes.

  • Faculty have conducted pioneering research, as well. Social Work Professor Jennifer Maguire and California State University Long Beach Professor Rashida Crutchfield conducted the Basic Needs Initiative study, which is the most comprehensive mixed-methods study of university students’ unmet basic needs and their relationship to student success ever completed within a four-year higher education system.

  • Forestry Professor Stephen C. Sillett, considered the world’s foremost expert on redwoods, has pioneered new methods for climbing, exploring, and studying tall trees. Terry Henkel investigates macrofungal biodiversity and ecological relationships in the remote tropical rainforests of South America's Guiana Shield and the Guineo-Congolian region of Central Africa.


Hands-On Experience for Students

Cal Poly Humboldt students work closely with faculty on research projects to build the knowledge and skills they need to go on to graduate school and enter the job market.   

  • Humboldt’s learning communities provide first-time students the opportunity to be immersed in their field with the support of faculty and peers who help them learn to navigate college life and make new friends.  

  • The Cultural Resources Facility hires students to work on archaeological, botanical, and historical surveys that describe the protection of significant cultural and biological resources that would otherwise be in danger of damage or destruction.  

  • At the Humboldt Marine Labstudents conduct statewide subtidal surveys, measure the physical characteristics of rocky reefs and the relative abundance and sizes of many fishes, mobile and sessile invertebrates, and algae at each site.

  • The Dendroecology Lab supports undergraduate and graduate research in biogeography, landscape ecology, forest ecology, climate change and forest disturbance ecology, dendrochronology, and environmental applications of GIS and related spatial analyses. 


Student Support Programs

A number of grant funded programs directly support student academic success and social, and health and wellbeing programs.

  • The TRiO grants (Talent Search, Upward Bound, GEAR UP, and Student Support Services)  are  federally funded college preparatory programs designed to foster the skills and motivation necessary for postsecondary educational success for limited income students whose parents do not hold a four-year college degree.

  • The Oh SNAP! student-led organization is the hub of the University’s effort to support food insecure students.

  • Humboldt’s student-led violence prevention program, CHECK IT, focuses on educating students and the community about consent, as well as strategies for preventing and intervening in cases of sexual violence.