About Us

Students studying at Pingree

Our mission is to contribute to the conservation, stewardship and enjoyment of natural and cultural resources and the management of those resources in a way that produces both land health and sustainable human benefits.

Look here to see our department's key goals through 2015.


We conduct research in the area of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and prepare students for careers in conservation leadership and tourism. This area of study focuses on understanding and attending to the needs and values of humans, human society, and culture as they relate to the natural environment.

HDNR is one of seven programs in the United States that offers a comprehensive bachelor's, master's, and doctoral program.  It also:

  • houses the Center for Protected Area Management and Training which provides technical assistance, training, and research opportunities for protected area managers and students in over 25 countries from Latin America
  • houses the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Unit which is currently conducting research to examine: wildlife values in the Western US; public acceptability of wildland fire management; effects of chronic wasting disease on hunter participation; sustainable development in Europe’s protected areas; and carrying capacity in Yosemite National Park
  • operates the 212-acre Environmental Learning Center in Fort Collins which provides opportunities for faculty and students to conduct fieldwork, experiential education, and research and serves more than 3,200 people annually
  • has recently added a concentration in Global Tourism to the undergraduate program. This major allows students to take course work in business, tourism, natural resources and facilitates cross-cultural experience by requiring foreign language, study at a university abroad, and an international internship

HDNR offers an MS and a PhD in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, an MS in Conservation Leadership and a Master of Tourism Management to potential graduate candidates.  Four concentrations are offered in the undergraduate program:

  • Protected Areas Management,
  • Global Tourism,
  • Natural Resource Tourism
  • Environmental Communication.
Our students enjoy careers as outdoor education specialists, park rangers, tourism planners,
recreation managers, adventure tour guides and many other rewarding career paths.
Interesting Facts
  • More than 1/2 of Colorado State Park employees are HDNR graduates 
  • The HDNR Department has provided leadership in the area of human dimensions of wildlife management with a $1.5 million research program which has served a variety of federal and state agencies