That sounds interesting, Blake. I have some old Sterling hops laying around that I could play with to test and tweak (if need be) the method. They're so old they might have a higher beta than alpha acid content like the wild variety you tested.
Has anyone tried brewing with the wild hops?
Are you at Davis (or an institution with a similar range of curricula)?
I attended Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL where my advisor Prof. Bradley E. Strugeon got me into brewing and brewing science. I tested his homegrown hops and the wild variety that he found. Through him I have also done some analysis for the basicbrewingradio podcast.
I have graduated since then but Brad is still there and still has an interest in the brewing science.
I'll have to give the HPLC method for hop analysis a try. It would have to be a qualitative analysis, however, since I have no standards.
I might also want to play with GC methods in the future, since I'm getting a GC installed in my analytical lab at work (it's an old dinosaur Hewlett Packard 5890 II model, but it still works very well--a new GC is replacing it in the lab where it used to reside so my colleague and I get the HP as a hand-me-down).