Humboldt State University

What’s Going On At CCAT (Oct 13-Oct 19)


Seasons are changing, the days are growing shorter, and that brisk autumn weather is hitting Humboldt. Here at CCAT, we love this time of year! All the ripe pumpkins, color changing leaves, and CCAT events make autumn the best season of all!

CCAT kicks off the week with our monthly Open Mic Night. Tuesday the 14th at 7pm, come join CCAT in the lounge to share a song, a poem, a piece of artwork, or anything! Even just join us and support your friends!

It’s that time again: Harvest Fest! This is an annual CCAT event to celebrate autumn and the community. Come by CCAT on Saturday from 1-9pm for a full afternoon and evening of music, workshops, food, and fun! Rumors are that pumpkins will be playing a major role in many of the workshops and food. Excited to hear some awesome music throughout the day? The featured bands are Michael Dayvid, The Humboldt Crud, Samba Da Algeria, Thursday Night Bluegrass, and Beats and Kale.


CCAT Recap: Last week CCAT helped out with WWRAP’s Clothing Swap! The event was a success, taking over the Karshner Lounge  and exchanging tons of clothes for two days. CCAT staff also had our employee retreat this weekend up at the beautiful Rock Creek Ranch. We got to enjoy the gorgeous and serene landscape while helping out around this sustainable ranch. Now we are bonded, relaxed, and ready to bring you more exciting CCAT events!

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CCAT Tails

Hey CCATers and community members! We’re still working on getting the blog up and running, and in the next few weeks, there will be some big changes coming to CCAT Tails. For now though, here’s your weekly CCAT update!

CCAT History: The Original Funding

CCAT started back in 1978, but we haven’t always been funded by the university…

Peter, one of the founders of CCAT, says, “When we first started in 1978 everything was about, ‘How do we get the money?’ So we had bake sales. Bake sales, bake sales, and more bake sales finally generated enough revenue to hold the first hands on workshop, where the original members helped insulate and weatherstrip the original location.” Because of the original momentum from the bake sales, Arcata City Council passed a resolution supporting the proposed demonstration house. Peter remembers, “Getting a resolution passed by the City Council was a big deal. It really helped things along tremendously.”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history. If you want to read more, come in to CCAT’s library and check out the binder called “Sean Armstrong’s Co-Director Interviews,” or stay tuned for more CCAT Tails.

Greywater Marsh Update:

jjjjjjj(Map of CCAT with the greywater marsh)

The CCAT greywater marsh has been an ongoing project at CCAT since 2007. The marsh is a way to naturally filter and recycle CCAT’s greywater. The term ‘greywater’ does not really refer to the color of the water but rather what it has been used for.  Where white water is clean unused water, greywater is water that has been used in sinks, washing machines, and showers.  In 2009, the original build of the project was completed by HSU students. CCAT’s greywater marsh is designed so that water flows from the house to a settling tank where relatively large particles settle. Water then goes through the fat oil and grease (FOG) trap and into the marsh. The marsh contains gravel and plants, which further filter the water. The design of the wetland (the marsh) allows particulates in the greywater to naturally settle in the water. The plants and organisms in the marsh such as cattail and bulbrush help to break down these particles down. When it exits the marsh, the overflow water irrigates the CCAT landscape.

Currently, the system is offline, but some of CCAT’s employees recently got permission to turn it back on so that they can do some testing on it. Their first order of business is to get the system back online and see how it is working. They have anticipated some possible problems, and their tentative plan is to change the elevation and piping of some pieces of the system, such as the settling tank, the FOG trap, and the overflow tank. Through these changes, they believe that they can get the device working even better than before with additional benefits to CCAT such as better irrigation from the overflow tank. If this is accomplished, it will reduce CCAT’s use of water and our impact on Arcata’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

DIY: Vegan On A Budget

Baked Spaghetti Squash


Along with the air getting colder and the leaves starting to change color comes an abundance of squash and other gourds!  In the spirit of the harvest season, here is a tasty, simple vegan recipe for spaghetti squash that you can try!

Cut one spaghetti squash in half.

Put it in the oven at 350 degrees until it’s golden brown.

Take it out, peel all the goodness out, and mix it with some paprika and garlic if you want savory squash, or with cinnamon and maple syrup if you want it to be sweet. Feel free to add basically whatever you want to experiment with different flavors. Have fun with it!  And be sure to come check out the Harvest Festival on October 18th here at CCAT for more harvest time fun!

Garden Update:

asd1A special thanks to Kelly Compost and her Organic Gardening class who are transplanting plants into our Hugelkulture to protect them from cold temperatures.

Gardening Tips: October

As the seasons change, so does what we do at the CCAT garden.  Right now, we are growing some Brassicas: kale, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi. They are cold hardy! In the greenhouse, we have peas, and our eggplants are just now getting big.  In the food forest, we plan to plant garlic, and we cut back our raspberries for winter.  We have been putting beds to bed by covering them in horse manure, sprinkling them with cover crop seeds, and mulching with straw.  We completed the huegel bed with various green manure cover crops, like vetch clover and bell bean and pea also oat.

When it gets cold it is important to protect sensitive plants in the ground with heavy mulch to shield them from frost.  October is a good time to harvest your tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers to prevent that frost from spoiling them.

October Planting Options:

Sow Direct: (plant the seeds)

Broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, garlic, spinach, lettuce, peas, chard, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, winter and spring bulbs, spring wild flowers, bee balm, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cornflower, columbine, coreopsis, dianthus, foxglove, larkspur, nigella, pansy, poppy, snapdragon, and sweet peas.


Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and lettuce.

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What’s Going On At CCAT (Oct 6-Oct 12)


Welcome to the second week of Halloween, I mean, October! Can you believe HSU has had seven weeks of school so far? With midterms coming up, it’s starting to feel like it. Thank goodness CCAT has events going on to brighten up the week!

This week CCAT is helping out with WWRAP’s Clothing Swap on Thursday and Friday. The event will be taking place in the Karshner Lounge from 11-5pm. Bring in some of your clothing that you have gotten tired of and swap them out for some new-to-you clothes! It’s a good way to change up your wardrobe and give away some old favorites in a sustainable way!

CCAT Recap: Last week CCAT hosted the Vegan on a Budget workshop. Participants learned the ins and outs of healthy vegan eating while still saving a little money. The workshop leader even demonstrated how to make almond milk from scratch (without all the extra stuff found in grocery store brands) and how to make homemade ratatouille.

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CCAT Tails

Hello everyone!

The CCAT staff is bringing back the CCAT blog in a big way!  Tune in every Wednesday for updates from members of the CCAT staff and interesting tidbits about HSU’s very own live-in laboratory.  This week won’t be much more than an introduction, but expect more to come in the weeks to come.


CCAT History:  What’s in a name?

Names hold a lot of meaning. They represent an organization and can really define what an organization represents.  CCAT is no different.  Although we all love our feline friends here, the name CCAT actually has nothing to do with cats.  It is an acronym for Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, and that name holds a lot of meaning.  As you might guess, some serious thought and effort went into thinking it up…

Peter Sinsheimer (one of the founders of CCAT) recalls the language wrangle, “Would we call ourselves the Campus Center for ‘Alternative’ Technology or the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology?  We had many meetings just about that word.  We weren’t just debating a name, we were debating the essence of what we wanted to become.  To decide on our name we had to figure out what we were going to do besides sitting around figuring out our name.  I think, as it turned out, that we chose the right word.  ‘Appropriate’ is a value judgment while ‘Alternative’ doesn’t give weight to whether a technology is better or not.”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history.  If you want to read more, the full text can be found in CCAT’s library in a binder labeled “Sean Armstrong’s Co-Director Interviews”.  Come check it out!


A word from a CCAT employee: Dayna, CCAT’s Community Garden Coordinator

Question: What drew you to CCAT?


“I’ve been interested in sustainable technology, and it ties in well with my major in wildlife ecology and what I want to do with it.  My dad was a biologist. So growing up I heard lots of stories about getting people interested in sustainability through their own culture.  One story my dad told me was about trying to observe a butterfly population that was dwindling because of deforestation.  The local peoples were building their own ovens and stoves that burned a lot of wood.  The people were getting sick because of the pollution coming from the ovens.  To fix both their problems, the biologists brought in better ovens and stoves for the people.  The people stopped getting sick, and the biologists were able to slow the deforestation that was killing the butterflies.  I think that we need to find a good middle ground between people and animals. It’s the only way people will care.”

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What’s Going On At CCAT (Sept 29-Oct 5)


Hey everyone! Every week the CCAT staff and volunteers are doing something new and exciting, and you are welcome to join! Check out the CCAT website every monday to see what we’re up to. Wondering what’s going on at CCAT this week?


Eating vegan can eat quite the hole in your wallet. Or maybe not? This wednesday at 6pm, CCAT is hosting the workshop: Vegan on a Budget. This workshop will teach you tricks and tips to eating and living vegan without breaking the bank.

CCAT has a busy friday this week starting with Volunteer Friday. Come help us out around CCAT! By taking the time to volunteer helping up around CCAT, we decided to give something back to you. This semester CCAT has introduced a CCAT points system! When you volunteer or attend workshops, you will be able to earn points to receive some pretty exciting CCAT merch. We appreciate all the work you all put into making CCAT great. See you on friday!

Get ready for for some Lumberjack Pride during HSU’s Homecoming Parade on Friday, October 3. With the theme of this year’s parade being “Living the Pledge,” a tribute to HSU’s Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, CCAT will most certainly be joining the parade again this year. It starts at 4:15pm and goes from the HSU Campus, through the streets of Arcata to the Plaza, and back. (The official parade route is found here.) Come cheer on all parade participants!

Not busy after the parade?  Time for some grub and good company at CCAT’s Potluck. Bring something delicious, hang out in the CCAT lounge, and listen to some music by Beats and Kale and Juice Box Theory. You may leave that evening with a few new friends, a few recipe ideas, and a few songs stuck in your head. The potluck starts at 7. Interested in future events? Check out the CCAT Event’s calendar.

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DIY Notebook Making Workshop 9/11 Downstairs CCAT

DIY Notebook Making Workshop from recycled materials, put on by our own Julia Clark! All you need is yourself, enthusiasm, and something to decorate your notebook with if you are so inclined (though that past part is not necessary)!

See you there!



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Powering Marginalized Communities through Micro-Hydro in Downstairs CCAT Wednesday 9/10 6 pm

CCAT is pleased to announce a very exciting guest speaker who will share expert insights on powering and empowering marginalized communities through micro-hydro power in the Dominican Republic. Students will learn about using and installing micro-hydro power, how to help communities build and maintain their own systems, and will get accounts of decades worth of experience in renewable energy and resilient community technology.

Jon Katz has worked with Renewable energies since the ’80s, is the Coordinator of the El Limon Rural Alternatives Center in the Dominican Republic, and has partnered with Lonny Grafman with community building projects.

This is a rare opportunity that will give students the opportunity to learn about participatory development projects in marginalized communities.

This will occur in the Downstairs CCAT on Wednesday, August 10 at 6 pm.
Hope to see you there!

-The CCAT Co-Directors

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Fall 2014 Classes!

Want to learn a new skill? Don’t want to pay for more units? Take one of CCAT’s Sustainable Living courses on site! All courses are FREE to HSU students!

Fall 2014 Classes at CCAT

This semester we are offering:

  • Herbalism on Tuesdays from 11:00am-12:50pm (Sept 2-Nov 4)
  • Organic Gardening on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:50pm (Sept 2-Nov 4)
  • Green Building on Thursdays from 3:00pm-4:50pm (Sept 18-Nov 6)
  • Urban Homesteading on Thursdays from 3:00-4:50pm (Sept 4-Nov 6)

Are you an HSU Student? Register HERE
Are you a community member? Register HERE

For more information CLICK HERE or on the flyer above.

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CCAT is hiring for Fall 2014!

Update (9/7/14): Applications are closed. We are currently processing all applications and will respond to each one as soon as possible.

UPDATE (8/27/14): We are no longer accepting applications for Outreach Coordinator.

UPDATE (8/19/14):We are now also accepting applications for Engineering Technician.

UPDATE (8/18/14):We are now accepting applications for an additional three positions! Outreach Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Organizational Coordinator/IT. Check out the jobs page for more details.

Looking for a cool job that teaches you to live lightly on the earth, create community, and gain a range of experience in the non profit sector?

We are currently hiring:

  • Education Coordinator
  • Groundskeeper
  • Maintenance
  • Newsletter Co-Editors
  • Publicist/Webmaster
  • Record Keeper
  • Community Garden Coordinator

Check out our jobs page for more info!

Applications are due Wednesday, September 3rd at 5:00pm.

Email us at if you have any questions!

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Celebrate May Day with CCAT!

May Day


Come celebrate spring, fertility, compost, and sustainability with CCAT!

Saturday, April 26th from 12:00-7:00pm

12:00pm: Mindful Meditation
1:00pm: Kelly Compost’s Workshop
2:00pm: May Pole Ceremony and Dance
3:00pm: Spring Planting Workshop

Dance to the tunes of:
The Compost Mountain Boys
Diggin’ Dirt

There will also be ongoing:
Face painting
Flower wreath making
T-shirt screenprinting

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