SERC’s ongoing effort to help the Yurok Tribe develop a Tribal energy program has recently been strengthened by a new collaboration with engineering students and faculty at Humboldt State University (HSU). The students, enrolled in Dr. Eileen Cashman and Dr. Arne Jacobson’s capstone engineering design course for graduating seniors, are investigating options for hydropower development on the Yurok Reservation’s many creeks. The class is learning how to operate within numerous technical, economic, environmental, and cultural constraints. The Tribe is eager to make greater use of on-Reservation energy resources but is also wary of potential impacts on fisheries or Yurok sacred and ceremonial sites.
The students will present their findings to SERC staff and the Yurok Tribal Council later this spring. SERC staff are excited about this opportunity to leverage the students’ pro bono assistance on the project, while the students benefit from being involved in an exciting, real-world engineering project right here in Humboldt County.