FRS Research Facilities

The Space to Find Your Place

As part of a large land grant university, the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship department has access to numerous research and education facilities around northern Colorado.

A Modern Legacy

Campus Buildings

old building
Photo courtesy of University Historic Photograph Collection

Forestry Building

The Forestry Building was built in 1937, with the additional wing completed in 1950.

  • Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department offices
  • Faculty and graduate student offices
  • Classrooms
  • Laboratories
  • Meeting rooms
  • Colorado Forest Restoration Institute

Michael Smith Natural Resources Building

Originally constructed in the 1970s, an additional 50,000 square foot wing was completed in 2018.

  • Warner College offices
  • Student Success Center
  • Warner College Career Center
  • Faculty and graduate student offices
  • Laboratories
  • Teaching Laboratories
  • Computer Lab
  • Classrooms
  • Small Meeting Rooms
  • Center for Collaborative Conservation

Department Laboratory Space


people working in a lab

The Ecophysiology lab has plant growth chambers, microscopes, drying ovens, incubators, a laminar flow hood, as well as instruments for processing and analyzing plant and soil samples.

Forest Health and Ecology

The Forest Health and Ecology lab has capabilities for analytical chemistry and chemical ecology, microbial tissue culture, insect identification, basic tools for insect behavioral ecology and dendrochronology research.

Fire Science and Forest Biometry

CSU students working in a lab

The Fire Science and Forest Biometry Lab supports field-based research and teaching and houses forest and fuels inventory equipment from relaskopes to drying ovens to a terrestial LiDAR system. The Lab also contains tools and safety equipment to facilitate student involvement in prescribed fire operations.

Restoration Ecology

woman in laboratory

The Restoration Ecology lab has instruments and space to measure photosynthesis and transpiration rates, plant water status, plant cell solute concentration, plant tissue anatomy, leaf area, and plant dry mass.


man working in lab

The silviculture lab supports research that involves measurement and analysis of forest vegetation. This space is used for precise measurement of vegetation samples (e.g. mass, volume), including tree ring measurement; and is also used for staging fieldwork.

Local Field Research Areas

CSU Mountain Campus

CSU students walking next to cabins in a mountain landscape

Nestled in a beautiful, secluded mountain valley at an elevation of 9,000 ft. (2,743m) lies Colorado State University’s 1,600-acre Mountain Campus. As a site for student learning, conferences, workshops, meetings, and retreats, the Mountain Campus offers a unique opportunity to leave the hectic pace of urban life behind and be immersed in the natural world of the Rocky Mountains.

CSU Plant Growth Facilities

potted plants in a greenhouse

The university provides high quality greenhouses, growth chamber facilities, and professional support for plant science and related research for all departments. Students can rent benches in any of eight large greenhouse spaces. An integrative insect and disease management program promotes plant health and researcher safety.

Colorado State Forest Service

rows of tree seedlings

The Colorado State Forest Service is a service and outreach agency of Warner College of Natural Resources. It strives to achieve stewardship of Colorado’s diverse forest environments for the benefit of present and future generations. The organization has a large tree nursery at its Fort Collins location, and 19 field offices across Colorado.

Borden Memorial Forest

students in a forest

This 70-acre property, primarily comprised of ponderosa pine forest, was donated to CSU by the Borden family in 2009 and has served as the site for numerous class and research projects.

Maxwell Ranch

students in a field of grass

Maxwell Ranch is a working cattle ranch owned and operated by the Colorado State University Research Foundation. It encompasses nearly 12,000 acres of rangelands in Colorado and Wyoming, and has been used as a laboratory for teaching, research and demonstration since the 1970s.

Waverly Property

students in a field of grass

The Gabbard-Rutledge Property, more commonly known as the Waverly Property, has been managed by the FRS department since 1970. Over 300 acres has been and is currently still being used for undergraduate and graduate rangeland course instruction and research. The recent research focus has been on the restoration of native rangeland plant communities.