Where Are They Now?
Jim Pitts '09
Saguache Ranger District
Rio Grande National Forest
I have extended my career expectations based on my foundations of education and experience. I am very fortunate for the education I received and the experiences I have gained that led me where I am today. The MNR program is excellent for working professionals to participate in.
Chris Kula '10
Bureau of Land Management
Chris is currently working as a wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Land Management in Battle Mountain, Nevada. His duties include managing the wildlife habitat on the Battle Mountain District through the development and implementation of habitat improvement projects, balancing habitat conservation with multiple use objectives, and developing the District's Resource Management Plan.
Cami Pulham McKinney '10
Chief of Science & Resource Mgnt
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Cami graduated with her MNR in 2010. She works for the National Park service at Timpanogos Cave National Monument as the Chief of Science and Resource Management. She is managing cave restoration projects, studying the movements of cave faults, dye tracing the cave watershed, and many other projects this season. She immediately put her degree to work utilizing classes on ecosystems, managing wilderness projects, and skills gained implementing NEPA.
Jim Christensen '11
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
The MNR program has helped me to be competitive in a complex and diverse field. As a district wildlife biologist, the knowledge and skills gained through the MNR program have helped me to work with a variety of terrestrial wildlife species. The MNR program has also helped me to work with the human dimensions of wildlife management to mitigate negative situations and keep wildlife thriving.
Chad Landress '11
Chad worked for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as a Native Aquatics Biologist. He is involved heavily with the recovery of June sucker in Utah Lake and also works with other native species such as least chub, Columbia spotted frog, leatherside chub, and boreal toad. His work with the June sucker involves field days (and nights) monitoring and researching this endemic and endangered species using varied array of methods and technologies. Chad's work also involves outreach and education efforts promoting a healthy Utah Lake ecosystem as well as statistical and spatial analysis to determine trends and influences on the June sucker population and the Utah Lake fish community.
Matt McCullough '11
The MNR degree helped me improve my skills in the use of GIS and also become more familiar with the laws and policies involved in natural resource management as well as the ecology and science behind conservation and management of the earth's resources.
Natalie Boren '12
Utah Division of Wildlife
The MNR program at Utah State University helped me achieve my goal and move to the next level in my career. I currently work in a very diverse region of Utah and love my job!
Nicholas Butler ‘12
Memorial Park Conservancy
I am grateful for the real world learning opportunities that I had while I was completing the MNR program! The MNR program has led me to an incredible variety of career prospects and I am excited about my new possibilities! Prior to joining MPC, Nicholas Butler served as the Central Area Stewardship Forester with Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. In this role, he managed and coordinated all aspects of private forestry, including consulting, forest health improvement, and urban forestry. Nicholas is an ISA-certified Arborist and holds a Forestry degree with Environmental Conservation emphasis from Mississippi State University and a Master's in Natural Resources from Utah State University. He has worked in almost the entire range of natural resource management — from stand inventory and wildland firefighting to environmental policy and contract administration in his 15-year forestry career. In almost all capacities he has been a practicing Silviculturist and/or Forest Ecologist with a persistent focus on ecological conservation and restoration. His forest health background includes active involvement with aspen restoration in Central Utah where sudden aspen decline (SAD) solutions can help with pine bark beetle mitigation, wildlife habitat improvements, wildfire management, land use reconsiderations, invasive plant reduction, and desired species re-establishment.
Ashly Herrera '12
Evanston-Mtn View Ranger District
I am currently working as a wildlife biologist for the Forest Service on the Evanston-Mtn View Ranger District. My work duties include managing wildlife habitat on the district by developing habitat improvement projects, as well as analyzing the impacts of various projects that take place on the district to wildlife species. In addition to habitat management, I also conduct surveys for Management Indicator Species, which include the northern goshawk, snowshoe hare, and beaver. These surveys are completed to determine populations trends in order to understand what impacts, if any, District management actions are having on the various species.
Dan Keller '12
Native Aquatics Biologist
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
I'm working as a native aquatics biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource, covering the southeastern region of the state. I work on a variety of projects mainly focused on conservation of native fish and amphibians. The majority of my time is spent in the field conducting fish surveys, habitat assessment, and implementing restoration projects to improve the function of riparian ecosystems. Obtaining the MNR degree through USU helped me professionally by expanding my knowledge of specific subject matter such as GIS and statistical analysis. The MNR curriculum also developed my ability to succeed in the critically important political and social aspects of natural resource management. Building on the evaluation/research I completed for my MNR capstone project, my co-authors and I published an article in Environmental Management. This publication assessed the effects of flooding and tamarisk removal on habitat for sensitive fish species in the San Rafael River. This work improved and informed future restoration work on the San Rafael River and hopefully other western rivers in similar condition. I'm grateful to USU and my employer for giving me the opportunity to further my career by obtaining an advanced degree while working full time.
George Broyles '13
Fire & Fuel Project Leader
USFS Tech & Development Program
National Interagency Fire Ctr, Boise ID
I provide operations, safety and risk management guidance and support to wildland firefighters and managers. Our program supports all federal agencies with wildland fire responsibilities as well as state and local cooperators. My experience in the MNR program has increased my desire to listen more carefully to those I work with and more fully appreciate opinions that differ from my own. The program has improved my ability to undertake complex exposure assessments, understand the science and provide meaningful recommendations to management and firefighters.
Josh Easter '13
Permanent Wildlife Technician
Green Diamond Resource Company
I currently work as a permanent wildlife technician for Green Diamond Resource Company in Northern California. My responsibilities include performing spotted owl surveys and nest checks, as well as hawk and falcon surveys that are meant to help protect nest site locations in and around timber harvest areas.
Alex Hansen '13
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
My job is to get the public excited about hunting, fishing, shooting sports and other wildlife related activities. I was very pleased with my MNR experience, it fit my crazy schedule and gave me the education and experience I needed to advance my career.
Nicholas Mitrovich '13
Environmental Consulting Company, Reno, NV
I have been working for an environmental consulting company in Reno, NV for the past 2 years, working on various NEPA projects throughout the West.
Phil Tuttle '13
Native Aquatics Biologist
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
The MNR program helped me become a well rounded professional. The diversity of skill sets that I have and use everyday are the direct result of my MNR coursework and experience. I currently work with a variety of species including Bluehead Sucker, June Sucker, Least Chub, Boreal Toad, Columbia Spotted Frog, Northern Leatherside Chub, in addition to various sportfish species. I love my career and I am grateful to USU and the MNR program for their help getting me to where I am today.
Dallin Clark '14
The MNR program helped me to better understand relationships between science and policy. I gained valuable understanding concerning collaboration between entities and the importance of developing relationships and knowledge.
Ryan Diehl '14
Montana State University
Outdoor Recreation Program
The MNR program's flexibility was greatly beneficial as a concurrent student and full-time employee. The coursework and advising helped me advance my professional ambitions. I appreciate the hard work that those overseeing put in our behalf.
Jeran Farley '14
Forest, Trails, & Open Space Supv.
South Jordan City
The MNR program at Utah State University ended up being the perfect program for my needs and interests. It introduced me to a wide variety of topics within natural resources, yet let me focus on what I was really interested in. This program has greatly enhanced my career. There have been countless times, in meetings, when I have been able to hold a conversation and understand the language and terms that are being presented. This would not have been the case without certain classes that introduced me to topics, such as NEPA. Through studies, and the completion of my capstone project, I have fortified my skills and knowledge of urban forestry and gained more confidence in my position as a municipal forester. I thoroughly enjoyed the MNR program and am grateful for those who made it available and possible for me to obtain my Master of Natural Resources degree.
Aaron Sisson '14
Texas Parks and Wildlife
I graduated from the MNR program in 2014. I am currently a regulatory Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. I work with private land owners to manage Mule deer, white tailed deer, turkeys, Pronghorn, quail, doves, pheasant and Lesser Prairie chickens. I design and execute surveys for these species, calculate population densities, and calculate appropriate harvest levels for these species in my 10 county area. My job is a blast and I love every moment. Life is better outside!
Alissa Tanner '14
St. Joe Ranger District, Idaho
Panhandle National Forests
I currently work in Idaho managing landscapes in an effort to begin restoring their natural processes so they fall within the range of historical variation.
The CEEM program coupled with the MNR program expanded my understanding in natural resource management and continues to inform my prescriptions as I look to restore forest landscapes. The foundation of knowledge and critical thought developed through the MNR program will continue to inform me through my career as I take on greater responsibility, work with interested and dedicated stakeholders, and manage our amazing natural resources. I highly recommend the MNR program for all professionals working in natural resources as a way to gain an advanced degree that will expand ones understanding in natural resource management.
Alice de Anguera '15
Park Guide, Interpretation
Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)
Utah State University’s Master of Natural Resources was a great fit in both content and flexibility. I began the program as a seasonal employee with the National Park Service, and the degree allowed me to fit courses into the “off season” and work around my schedule during the busy season. As a park guide (park naturalist) the content and current research featured in courses such as Limnology and Ecological Foundations were directly applicable at work. At the same time, coursework in National Resource Administration, Human Dimensions, and the NEPA Process helped me build a broader understanding that will be invaluable as I progress in my career. This degree more than made up for any gaps I had as a career changer coming into Natural Resources, and allowed me to achieve permanent status at Arches National Park through the Pathways program.
Jen Croft '15
Applied Fire Ecologist
USFS Headquarters-Washington DC
As an applied fire ecologist in the Washington Office, I am responsible for continually exchanging information, developing collaborative tools, and providing specialist support to a broad spectrum of fire managers and leadership. My experience at USU helped me sharpen my skills in silviculture and shift my focus to the value of human dimensions, and the role social science in adaptive management.
Samantha Pedder '15
Director of Operations
Council to Advance Hunting & Shooting Sports
The Master of Natural Resources was the key to pursuing the next step in my career as a natural resource professional. The coursework in administration, professional leadership, communications and public relations were perfect for me to develop the soft skills necessary to succeed in today's workforce. These courses along with the biology, statistics and the other science-based courses offered the perfect combination for me and are why I chose USU's program over others.
Kevin Turnblom '15
Until I complete my active-duty military obligation, I will be somewhat limited in my ability to directly utilize my MNR degree. My current assignment includes remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) - both skills I enhanced through my MNR studies - but there are no direct natural resource management implications. Although a career in natural resources is currently on hold, I am directly using the knowledge and skills I learned in the MNR program as a concerned citizen. In southern Nevada I volunteer with a 'citizen science' spring monitoring project led by Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW), with the goal of monitoring several dozen mountain and desert springs for water quantity and quality. I maintain professional currency through ongoing involvement with the Society of American Foresters (SAF), including the Utah chapter's recent meeting in southern Utah. Lastly, I hope to join the local volunteer fire department before the next wildland fire season, to protect the approximately 900 residents in my community and its surrounding desert and forest resources. The MNR program gave me a better understanding of some of the challenges facing our natural resources, and the skills to work with technical experts and diverse stakeholders to overcome these challenges.
Erica Wightman '15
Independent Contractor / Environmental Program Coordinator
E'sense Environmental Consulting
The MNR is a high-quality comprehensive program, strongly recommended. The design was flexible and fit in well with my busy schedule allowing me to connect with others and complete work remotely. The instructors were knowledgeable, friendly, supportive, and responsive with the material, questions and feedback. The MNR has strengthened and diversified my skillset by expanding my knowledge in natural resource management field, it's a must have. I work as an independent contractor coordinating an innovative ESA recovery mitigation mechanism, habitat credit exchange, in Utah designed to provide compensatory mitigation and contribute to the recovery and delisting of the Utah prairie dog, a listed species. I am also coordinating the California Condor Non-lead Ammunition Program for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, an incentive based program designed to encourage hunters to use lead free ammunition.
Angelique Curtis '16
Small Game Section Manager
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
I currently direct the statewide Private Lands Access Program, Furbearer Program, and Upland Game Program. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities to improve the programs I direct. I routinely interact with field staff, hunters, and private landowners. My position gives me the opportunity to conserve Washington’s wildlife while providing diverse recreational experiences for the public.
My MNR degree has given me the diverse skills I need for my current position. The range of courses available has not only given me the qualifications for my position but also made me more rounded.
Andrea Nick '16
Air Resources Specialist
USDA Forest Service
USU’s Masters of Natural Resources gave me a solid foundation in understanding the policies and statutes that govern Federal land management. I use the knowledge gained in my degree on a daily basis. I enjoyed learning from the experiences of both the professors and fellow students. I work with various land managing partners to protect the air quality of California’s National Forests. My work includes: evaluating air pollution controls on power plants to prevent wilderness visibility impacts, conducting air quality analysis under NEPA, working with prescribed fire practitioners to improve ecosystem health while limiting smoke issues, serving as a Geographical Information Systems Specialist (GISS) on a Type II Interagency Incident Management Team, and as an air quality specialist on wildland fire incidents.
Rhett Boswell '17
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
I work as the assistant habitat manager and impact analyst for the southern region UDWR. My focus is acting as a "wildlife watchdog" working with agencies and private entities to design avoidance and minimization strategies and to develop mitigation plans for unavoidable impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitat. I also serve as the regional GIS specialist, design and implement habitat restoration projects, and write habitat management plans.
The MNR program is tailor-made for working resource professionals in that real life work experiences translate into material for coursework assignments and for the capstone project. The MNR has made me a better biologist, a confident writer, a program R hack, and a skilled GIS user. Perhaps most importantly the MNR experience has given me a broader understanding of the social and political aspects of natural resource management. The MNR program has given me the skills and knowledge to become a purposeful and effective wildlife biologist. The MNR has also provided me with a proven competitive edge when presented with career advancement opportunities.
Rob Lewis '17
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
I am a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. My primary duties are to work with landowners to effectively deliver the conservation programs contained within the Farm Bill. In my district, I am largely working with with the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). As time allows, I work on other projects in support of the private lands biologists in the area.
Matt Richards '17
Incident Management Division
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound
I am active duty Coast Guard currently stationed in New Haven, CT where I respond to oil and hazardous chemical spills. USU's Masters of Natural Resources has made me a better responder, planner, and member of the community. The in depth policy and law classes have given me tools that I use every day. In addition to working in an environmental conservation job I also volunteer as a member of my town's Inland Wetland Commission, which oversees local land use issues. USU has given me a reaffirmed sense of purpose and the skills to continue doing what I love.