Jenna Aliya Hanson

Jenna Aliya Hanson
Zoology & Marine Biology
Class of 
2014


Jenna Aliya Hanson

Why did you choose HSU?

I was in an 8th grade college prep class and I had to choose to research a college for a project. I looked for schools in California that offered zoology as a major and I stumbled upon Humboldt. I loved how interactive the website was and I knew then that I wanted to come to Humboldt when I graduated high school. Finally, I got to visit HSU my senior year. I made my mom drive up with me from L.A. ( which is 12 hours) on December 23rd for an admissions visit with Stacie Lyans. Driving through the redwoods is still a clear memory in my mind. I fell in love the area, the campus, the beaches. I felt a sense of belonging being in Arcata.

What will you always remember about HSU?

I will remember quite a few things, number one being the rain. No one can forget the rain. Second, I could never forget my wonderful friends. Being at such a small school allowed for making many close friends. Humboldt draws in great people. The experiences I have with my college friends have been the best times of my life.

What are you passionate about?

I love studying science. Zoology is my favorite subject. I could study taxonomy for days. I took invertebrate zoology recently and it opened a whole new world to me. If I can go on to do research on invertebrates in my future, I can be content for a long time. But coupled with science, I also love art and music. I think it keeps me balanced and sane.

Outdoor Spot You Love?

I love Indian Beach, below the lighthouse in Trinidad. I think it's beautiful when the sun is setting on a clear day and the water turns purple and glistens. It's also my favorite spot to tide pool.

Most fascinating thing you have learned recently?

I have been learning about Bryozoans, which are tiny animals that live in colonies. Their entire body, which is essentially a small polyp with tentacles, lives in a calcium carbonate shoebox. They grow in many forms and you would never know what it was if you looked at it with a naked eye or not have learned about it before. I never knew they existed and now when I tide pool, I can find Bryozoans that I would originally have thought was kelp or some other marine plant.

Who was your favorite professor?

Sean Craig is my favorite professor. He is also my advisor! I took invertebrate zoology with him last semester and am taking advanced invertebrate zoology this semester.

What was the best thing you did last summer?

I had the opportunity to work for Alumni Relations on the Discovery Project. I lived at home in L.A., and interviewed 51 Humboldt State alumni. I got to meet a lot of amazing people who truly had wonderful, exciting and overall awesome experience at HSU. Going into the position, I did not realize that I would come out of every interview with a new friend and the feeling of being genuinely proud of Humboldt State University.