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Dr. Tom Jackson

Talk Humboldt Host

Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. is the President of Cal Poly Humboldt. A first-generation college graduate, Jackson is also a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, Texas State Guard, and Indiana Guard Reserve. He holds an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of La Verne.

  • Election results. Birth certificates. Property deeds. Marriage licenses. Juan Pablo Cervantes has the kind of job that simultaneously undergirds democracy, family history, and property ownership - all through the boring-but-important power of paperwork. He's Humboldt County's Clerk, Recorder, and Registrar of Voters, "a title so long, it has punctuation in it," he says. "It's one of those offices that few people know about unless something goes wrong."
  • If an adoptee is curious about their biological parents, or the Humboldt County coroner needs help finding next of kin, professional genealogists like can scour available information to piece together a family's history. "If I can get on someone's Facebook ... I can find your entire family tree," says Alyssa Ellis.A person's digital footprint is just one piece of the puzzle. Public records, DNA, and other proprietary databases can help forensic genealogists with cold cases, finding heirs, or simply helping someone find out where they came from. For Ellis, what started as a hobby has led her to tracking down someone's biological family, working with Tulsa's 1921 Graves Project, and probate attorneys find who they're looking for.
  • For better and worse, the North Coast is in earthquake country. While shifting tectonic plates define the epic contours of Humboldt's landscape, their seismological side effects pose a major threat to life and infrastructure. "We do live in earthquake country," says Jay Patton of the California Geological Survey. "And the really cool thing is that a little bit of knowledge goes a long ways in terms of helping yourself be more safe and resilient."On this episode, Patton talks about local tsunami maps, early-warning technologies, and what people living on shaky ground can do to be prepared.
  • "It's really an amazing thing," says Holly MacDonell of the Eureka Symphony. "There are 45 or 60 people on stage and we're going to get all worked up and excited. I get emotional about it."The Eureka Symphony features a cross-section of musicians from across the greater Humboldt Bay area, staging concerts for the general public as well as local schoolkids. In this episode of Talk Humboldt, MacDonell talks about the live concert experience, how the Eureka symphony is managed, and how Twitch streaming helped get her through the COVID lockdown.
  • Humboldt has plenty of creeks, streams, and drainages. And every time you drive over one, someone had to figure out how to get the water past it so that the road you're on stays put.In this episode, Llanos tells Keith Flamer and Tom Jackson about why some solutions seem shortsighted in hindsight, restoring a fish habitat in the Eel River watershed, and how to get kids intersted in engineering.
  • Between rehabilitating California Condors and building the Redwood Skywalk, the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation stays busy. "We do a lot of fun stuff, dreaming big, creating new things, and maintaining those things," says Ashley Osia, who is the zoo's Director of Community Engagement.
  • In this episode of Talk Humboldt, Maier tells Keith Flamer and Tom Jackson about the role of local brewpubs in communities, the laborious process of brewing beer, and how Six Rivers Brewery became California's second woman-owned brewery.
  • As a guitar builder and restorationist, Walker is a true believer in the craftmanship from guitar-making's golden era. As such, when a guitar from the late 1920s or early 1930s needs repair, he's the go-to person. Using vintage 'bar frets' on the neck is his specialty. "I'm one of two or the world that does that system." It's complicated and labor-intensive, but his love of these priceless instruments is in full view. "I'm a firm believer that these are the best guitars that were ever made." While some of these instruments come from collections and guitar brokers, he finds satisfaction in keeping musical heirlooms playable.
  • In this episode of Talk Humboldt with Keith and Tom, Hollenbeck shares how the Blue Ox began, what it's like working with veterans, and how he handles his newfound fame.
  • In this episode of Talk Humboldt with Keith and Tom, Arroyo talks about the job of supervisor, the 'boring but important' details that shape life in Humboldt, and why she appreciates the Coast Guard.