New Online Option for Master of Natural Resource Stewardship Degree

Students have a new opportunity to join a legacy of Colorado State University graduates who have become leading managers for some of the nation’s most prominent natural resource management organizations -- without coming to campus. CSU has launched an online option of its Master of Natural Resource Stewardship (M.N.R.S.), designed for mid-level natural resource professionals who are looking to obtain the skills and knowledge necessary for advancement opportunities.

The natural resources management degree is a product of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the most comprehensive college of its kind in the nation.

“CSU’s Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship has a 110-year history and reputation of excellence in leading the conservation and sustainable stewardship of our natural resources to balance both societal and environmental needs,” said Frederick “Skip” Smith, head of the department. “As we face new and more complex challenges, the need for well-trained natural resource managers is greater than ever.”

The program is at the forefront of natural resource education, transforming students into well-rounded leaders equipped with a comprehensive understanding of dynamic natural resource systems. Students learn how to solve real-world challenges through applicable, science-based management solutions. The curriculum is designed to address current and future issues facing the industry, with courses that cover topics such as natural environmental processes and how they interact with human systems, degraded landscape restoration principles, and the National Environmental Policy Act.


Student Taylor Hunter Selected For SAF Forest Policy Internship In D.C.

Colorado State University student Taylor Hunter, natural resource management ‘15, will spend her summer in Washington D.C. working with the nation’s leaders on national environmental policy issues. She was selected for the prestigious Society for American Foresters’ Henry Clepper Forest Policy Internship which selects only one intern each year from across the nation.

The paid internship provides an opportunity for students to see how SAF and other forestry-related organizations engage on national natural resource policy issues. Hunter will serve as assistant to the SAF Forest Policy Team and will prepare background reports, monitor environmental and natural resource legislation, and provide liaison to other environmental and natural resource organizations.

While in D.C., she will help SAF as they work with the administration on integrating forest policy into climate change policy, pushing solutions to wildland fire mitigation and funding, finding ways to accelerate management on federal lands and improving the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. She will attend congressional hearings and participate in meetings with congressional staff, agencies and partner groups in order to advise them on forest policy. She will also get the chance to write articles for the Forestry Source and the Journal of Forestry.

Branching Out
Hunter feels honored to have been accepted for the SAF internship and hopes it can be an inspiration to others. “I hope my involvement in this internship inspires other people to know that they can do something amazing and make a difference, because I’m no different than anyone else,” she said.  “Going to D.C. is so exciting because it will allow me to branch out. I come from a really big family, so we never really traveled much.”

In high school, Hunter knew she wanted to promote sustainability and go to a large university, so she applied to CSU and chose a major in its Warner College of Natural Resources. A first generation student and the second oldest in a family of six siblings, she is paying her way through school and currently works with the Colorado State Forest Service. Hunter has also received support from scholarships at CSU, such as the The Leon H. and Katherine Rust Hurd Scholarship which she received in 2013.


CSU and School of Mines Studying the Mountain Pine Beetle Impact on Water Quality and Quantity

Researchers from Colorado State University (CSU) and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) are collaborating on a 5-year, $3 million study funded by two 2012 National Science Foundation Water Sustainment and Climate Program grants. The study is focusing on potential water resource changes resulting from the mountain pine beetle (MPB) epidemic by examining changes in climate, forested ecosystems altered by pine beetle impacts, biogeochemical processes, and resource management practices. The study’s locations are the Platte and Colorado River basins. Each school is researching specific components of the overall, collaborative project.

The $648,929 CSU grant funds the social science portion of the study. Professor John Stednick of CSU's Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship is the Principal Investigator (PI) and Associate Professor Stuart Cottrell, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, is the Co-PI. Mike Czaja, a FRS postdoctoral fellow, is also participating. The CSM researchers, funded by a separate grant of $2,307,644, include faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students representing the Departments of Geology and Geological Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering. The CSM PI is Associate Professor Reed Maxwell, professor of hydrology at CSM.