New Endowment Enhances Partnership between CSU and The Nature Conservancy

A new partnership between Colorado State University and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will provide paid opportunities for CSU students working at the Phantom Canyon Preserve each summer, starting in 2015.

This program offers undergraduate students in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources meaningful and relevant hands-on work experience, supplementing their classroom learning of natural resource and land stewardship topics. 

Students are an integral part of the Phantom Canyon Preserve’s future. Students are responsible for maintaining the Preserve’s appearance and supporting The Nature Conservancy’s conservation mission. They help meet all of the stewardship and outreach needs of the Preserve by performing a variety of tasks including weeding and invasive species control, trail maintenance, facility and fence repair, building maintenance, and visitor outreach.

In the past, students working at the Phantom Canyon Preserve received a small stipend. This new partnership between CSU and TNC will provide additional compensation to students for their significant contributions to the Phantom Canyon Preserve. The opportunity was made possible in part by a $100,000 endowment to TNC from Robert Tate, a TNC volunteer and current graduate student at the Warner College of Natural Resources.

This program is not only beneficial to the Preserve, but it provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in experiential learning and to spend time in the outdoors working on undeveloped conserved land populated by wildlife such as pronghorn, deer, moose, and bald eagles.

“The first time I entered the Preserve and saw the canyon, I was completely fascinated. I had never been in such a serene and undisturbed environment,” said Samantha Vitale, a 2014 CSU student majoring in Zoology and Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. “During my time at the Preserve, I was really able to apply what I learned taking courses at CSU and at the Pingree Park Mountain Campus to a real life situation.”

This internship program will be officially implemented in 2015 and fundraising will continue, ensuring the continuation of the program for years to come. These opportunities are offered for the summer months each year. Students will apply for the program and will be selected by Heather Knight, the Laramie Foothills Project Director and CSU WCNR faculty.  

For more information about the Phantom Canyon Preserve, click here.  

If you would like information about how to donate to this program at the Warner College of Natural Resources, please contact Scott Webb, Executive Director of Development at 970-491-3594 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .