Humboldt State University

People on the Ground: Staff Profiles

TallChief (T.C.) Comet
Campus Sustainability Coordinator

TallChief Comet wants you to think. Think about every item before you throw it away, think about the energy you use, think about the water before you turn it on.

Comet graduated from Humboldt State University in 1989 with a degree in Wildlife and a special concentration in Native American Studies. After seven years in Alaska working as a field biologist, Comet returned to the Humboldt area to work as the first Environmental Program Director for the Blue Lake Rancheria.

In July 2007 he began working as Humboldt State's first sustainability coordinator.

His job incorporates the responsibilities of recycling, mentoring the Campus Recycling Program and implementing sustainability initiatives for the campus.

Sustainability is a heavy word, but Comet explains sustainability as "being a process by which a community or organization can fulfill whatever functions it is charged with having, while having as little impact as possible."

"I am, however, under no illusions that there can be a zero impact. There will always be an impact, especially for an organization like Humboldt State," Comet says.

Comet enjoys spending time with students, hearing their ideas and teaching them about sustainability.

Currently he is focusing on a few goals:

  1. Establishing a campus sustainability committee.
  2. Creating an information system to educate students, staff and faculty about recycling on campus.
  3. Integrating sustainability concepts into all aspects of the administrative and academic functions of the campus.

Because the sustainability coordinator's position is intended to be a liaison for student groups and the administration, Comet recognizes that his personal view of sustainability will continually be molded by University plans and student demands.

"It's not that you should not use energy, water, or other resources, or that it is wrong if you do," he explains. "It's just that if we just critically examine our actions we might be more conservative with our resources."