FWCB Alumni Spotlights

B.S., Spring 2013 - Natalie Renneker
Alumna:  Natalie Renneker

Home: Monte Vista, CO

Degree: B.S. Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, with a concentration in Wildlife Biology

The work I do on a daily basis: I currently work for Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a Customer Service Representative.  This job has given me the opportunity to get my foot in the door and see how the agency operates, so that I can better prepare for a career as a District Wildlife Manager (DWM).

How my degree prepared me: My degree degree has given me a strong foundation of knowledge in wildlife management that I have used, and will build upon, as I work towards becoming a DWM. 

Early Inspiration:  My parents both have degrees in Forestry and instilled in me a passion for the outdoors at an early age.  And of course, I was a huge fan of the late Steve Irwin...Crikey!

Faculty Member who had the Greatest Impact:  All of the FWCB professors were fantastic, but Dr. Paul Doherty definitely had the greatest impact.  He was a tough professor who taught me a lot and gave me some great advice over the years.  He would push me to do my best and was always willing to help out in any way that he could.  It is rare to find professors that care about the well-being of their students as much as Dr. Doherty (and the majority of the FWCB faculty) did.  And I will always be grateful for that.

Proud Moment at WCNR:  Graduating with all of my peers.

Favorite WCNR Class: Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements (NR220) at Pingree Park.

Advice to Students:  Don't be afraid to put yourself out there!  Volunteer, get an internship, join school organizations (TWS and SCB are both awesome clubs...).  College is not just about getting an education; it's also a time to network and build professional relationship.

Words to live by:  "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise." ~Aldo Leopold

As an undergrad I...: am excited for the next chapter of my life, and confident that I have the skills and knowledge I need to be successful.

M.S., Spring 2014 - Christopher Craft


Alumna:  Christopher Craft

Home: Denver, CO

Degree: Master's of Science in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology 

Career:  Fisheries Ecologist for GEI Consultants in Denver, CO.   

How my degree prepared me: The fisheries degree provides a solid background of ecology, management practices and research study design that I now combine with technical experience in the field.

Early inspiration: My desire to learn more about the diverse field of fish biology, and to have the opportunity to conduct research of my own.

Faculty member who had the greatest impact: Dr. Christopher Myrick.  He showed me that fish are far more complex organisms than I originally thought, and that my career options in the field of fish biology are, likewise, very diverse.

Proud moment at Warner CNR: "Successfully conducting 6 weeks of continuous 96-hour respirometry trials with a team of very dedicated and awesome technicians at the Foothills Fisheries Laboratory.  Everyone survived, and there was no apparent severe mental or emotional trauma."

Memorable moment at Warner CNR: "Seining the lagoon behind the Lory Student Center with the FW204 class to capture the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), using the largest human-pulled seine on Earth."

Favorite graduate class at Warner CNR: FW605 - Advanced Physiological Ecology of Fishes

Advice to other FWCB/GDPE graduate students: Your comprehensive exams will be difficult, but most people survive.