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Career and Education Opportunities for Natural Resource Managers in Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for natural resource managers. There are currently 800 working natural resource managers in Colorado; this should grow by 18% to about 950 working natural resource managers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for natural resource managers, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. Natural resource managers generally research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

Natural resource managers earn approximately $27 per hour or $57,910 per year on average in Colorado. Nationally they average about $28 per hour or $58,720 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as natural resource managers in Colorado earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. People working as natural resource managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: resource manager, natural resource specialist, and plant ecologist.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Fort Collins area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Collins where you can get a degree to start your career as a natural resource manager. Given that the most common education level for natural resource managers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a natural resource manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Natural Resource Manager

In general, natural resource managers research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

Natural resource managers study rangeland management practices and research range problems to furnish sustained production of forage and wildlife. They also measure and assess vegetation resources for biological assessment companies, environmental impact statements, and rangeland monitoring programs. Equally important, natural resource managers have to formulate and direct construction and maintenance of range improvements such as fencing, corrals, stock-watering reservoirs and soil-erosion control structures. They are often called upon to maintain soil stability and vegetation for non-grazing uses. They are expected to oversee forage resources through fire or revegetation to maintain a sustainable yield from the land. Finally, natural resource managers design methods for protecting a range from fire and rodent damage and for controlling poisonous plants.

Every day, natural resource managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for natural resource managers to design new and improved instruments and techniques for efforts such as range reseeding. Somewhat less frequently, natural resource managers are also expected to design new and improved instruments and techniques for efforts such as range reseeding.

Natural resource managers sometimes are asked to formulate and implement revegetation of disturbed sites. They also have to be able to study grazing patterns to establish the number and kind of livestock that can be most profitably grazed and to establish the best grazing seasons and tailor conservation plans to landowners' goals, such as livestock support or recreation. And finally, they sometimes have to design methods for protecting a range from fire and rodent damage and for controlling poisonous plants.

Like many other jobs, natural resource managers must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Collins include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Natural Resource Manager Training

Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University, 102 Administration Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100. Colorado State University is a large university located in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,796 students and an admission rate of 86%. Colorado State University has 4 areas of study related to Natural Resource Manager. They are:

  • Natural Resources/Conservation, bachelor's degree which graduated 27 students in 2008.
  • Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ten and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Forest Sciences and Biology, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated twenty-five, fourteen, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 56 students in 2008.


Accredited Agricultural Consultant: The Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation was developed and first offered by the ASFMRA in 1997.

For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.

For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.

Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in all phases of erosion and sediment control work.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado photo by Citycommunications

Fort Collins is located in Larimer County, Colorado. It has a population of over 136,509, which has grown by 15.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Collins, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Collins are valued at $216,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-seven new homes were built in Fort Collins, down from four hundred eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Fort Collins are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 48.4% of Fort Collins residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Collins is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Fort Collins residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Visitors to Fort Collins can choose from Carousel Properties, AmericInn Motel & Suites Fort Collins and Hampton Inn Ft. Collins for temporary stays in the area.