sunset from the peak of green mountain

The Music Never Stops…Colorado Photographer Jesse Filippelli

© The Montrose Mirror

By Marissa Isgreen

COLORADO–(July 1, 2014) After five nights of photographing concerts in Colorado last New Year’s Eve, Jesse Filippelli knew it was time to leave his Florida home and make the permanent move to the Centennial State.
 
As a concert and nature photographer, Filippelli felt that Colorado had the most to offer with its impressive wilderness and bustling music scene. In Florida, he’d get work when there was a small town show or a festival at Suwannee Music Park. However, in Colorado, Filippelli is booked almost every weekend. “I’ve been in Denver for two months, and I’ve already shot at least 15 shows,” Filippelli said.
 
Living in Glendale, Colorado also provides him with striking landscapes. “I can drive for half an hour and have some of the most pristine sunset shots in the world, I get to see snow-capped mountains every time I drive to work, and you guys have animals out here,” he explained. “Maybe I’m biased because I grew up in Florida”
 
The 23-year-old concert photographer grew up in South Florida where he stayed for 19 years before moving to Tallahassee. It was there that his life began to change and morph into what it is today.
  Continue Reading

Students Dig up Science at CSU Summer Soil Institute

© Warner College of Natural Resources 2014
Originally posted here

Underneath our planet’s surface is a world of minerals, microorganisms, and organic matter collectively known as soil, and humbly driving life on Earth.  Twenty-four students from around the world got to dig deep on soil science at Colorado State University’s 5th annual Summer Soil Institute (SSI) June 15-28, 2014 in Fort Collins, Colo.

Hosted by the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the unique course provides an integrated perspective of the interactions among living organisms in soils, the chemistry of organic and mineral matter, and the physical structure of soil. Participants got to work with an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned CSU soil experts like Diana Wall, M. Francesca Cotrufo, and John Moore to gain a strong understanding of soil ecology and current soil issues, such as carbon sequestration.
 
“Soils are Earth’s fragile skin and enable food production, provide clean water, and are fundamental to human well-being,” said Matthew Wallenstein, SSI instructor and professor at CSU. “The Summer Soil Institute is working to advance education opportunities that can help scientists and educators better understand this incredible, underground ecosystem and how to sustainably manage it for human and environmental well-being.”

SSI is designed for a range of participants including K-12 teachers, environmental professionals, graduate students, post-doctoral students and faculty. The program was initiated through a USDA grant and has trained 120 students worldwide so far.

 
picture of organism in soil under microscope

Bacterial nematode under microscope

Participants in the two-week course gain hands-on experience with a range of soil analytical techniques including soil chemistry, pedology, microbiology and ecology. Morning lectures and discussions are brought to life daily with field site visits to Colorado grassland and forested ecosystems where participants study and collect diverse soils. The class brings back samples to CSU laboratories where they get to practice a variety of cutting-edge analyses. 
The course also includes lectures and workshops from CSU faculty, and this year included three visiting experts sharing their knowledge and passion for soil science.

“The Summer Soil Institute was a great experience, and most importantly, I walked away understanding the status of the field of soil science,” said Sheila Saia, a 2014 SSI participant and graduate student at Cornell University. “It was tremendously beneficial to learn from and talk to soil experts like those at CSU and other leading universities and gain hands-on experience in soil analysis techniques, which could be used to answer pressing scientific questions.”

Past participants in SSI say the course is a great career investment, as it addresses emerging issues that are propelling future environmental research and industry trends.

“I think SSI is a fantastic opportunity for someone early in their graduate career to gain a broad, multi-disciplinary perspective on soil science. The instructors are all top-notch and it’s great to see the range of questions people are interested in and what tools they use to answer those questions,” said Kabir Peay, Assistant Professor at Stanford University and past SSI participant.

Dates and application deadline for 2015 are still being determined. For more information, visit soilinstitute.nrel.colostate.edu

 

Featured Image -- 1705

High-Point Featured in the Montrose Mirror

Marissa:

Check out a feature article I wrote back in June on Cheri Isgreen Fine Art and the 12-month traveling art show called “High-Point.”

Originally posted on Cheri Isgreen Fine Art:

High-Point’s opening in Montrose, CO was recently featured in the Montrose Mirror, a news-blast based out of the Western Slope. You can view the original story here.

 

Successful Equine-Themed Art Opening Shows Through End of June 

By Marissa Isgreen

MONTROSE“High-Point,” a 12-month traveling art show featuring equine art, is showing at the A+Y Design Gallery in Montrose for the entire month of June. The show aims to celebrate the Year of the Horse, engage the community in a discussion about art and benefit Colorado’s wild horses. Local artist Cheri Isgreen and Fort Collins-based artist Barb Haynie created the show because of their shared passion for horses and fine art.

“I want these shows to celebrate the horse and raise awareness for equine art by engaging the community in a dialog about it,” Isgreen said. “The way these shows are designed there is a lot of community…

View original 877 more words

headshot of marissa

Poudre River Public Library District blog post: Introducing myself

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

Vacation, work, internships, camps, sleeping, recreation, projects, new experiences…

What does a college student stuck somewhere between preserving the final years of their youth and joining the Real World do during the summer?

Work work work… oh, and class.
Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I’m unbelievably busy. Between my paid jobs, volunteer positions, sports, and school work, I have little time to pursue much else. While some students’ schedules relax during the glorious months of June, July, and August, mine certainly does not.

This summer, I’m taking an accelerated four-week statistics course, working two communications internships (Poudre River Public Library District and the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU), continuing my retail job at GameStop, assisting my Mom with the promotion of her watercolor business, and freelancing for an online news-blast among various other small jobs and activities.

But why?
Honestly, it all boils down to two reasons:

  1. The need to pay for ever-increasing tuition and the cost of living in Fort Collins.
  2. Gain as much experience as possible so that I have a hefty resume and ample portfolio when I graduate and enter the workforce.
    Did you know that 20 years ago the state of Colorado paid for 2/3 of a student’s college education? Today the student is responsible for 2/3 and the state pays for 1/3.

Food for thought, but that’s a blog post for a different day…

SterlingI don’t just work, I promise
In addition to the ridiculous amount of tasks I’ve taken on, I do have fun. I’m the proud owner of a beautiful grey horse named Sterling. Over the summer I plan to ride a ton, take lessons and maybe even enter some competitions. I’m also a runner. Going for a relaxed five-mile run is a great way to clear my mind and help me unwind from a busy day.

And when the days get hot, and I’ve got some time off, there’s no doubt that I’ll hunker down in my air-conditioned apartment for some Netflix binging.

I’m also lucky enough to live in vibrant Fort Collins, Colorado. FoCo is gorgeous in the summer. Everything greens up, the flowers come out, and it’s quieter because a large portion of the college students have gone elsewhere. The town hosts a plethora of community events. From music festivals to art walks, there’s always something to do. We’re also conveniently located just minutes from Horsetooth Reservoir which is a great place for hiking, biking, climbing and other outdoor recreating. Denver is only an hour away making it easy to get out of town for a day trip. Did someone say Elitches and the Cheesecake Factory?

A trip home
Lastly, I plan on making the 6 hour drive over the continental divide to my small hometown of Montrose in Western Colorado. I’ll hit up my favorite local restaurant, Horsefly Brewery, visit my former employer, The Coffee Trader, and maybe play some battleship late at night in our local Denny’s (my small-town friends will understand that!).

There are times that I long for the ease of fifth-grade summer days, but I remain happy. I get to spend summer in a town that I love surround by people that I enjoy.

… fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.

New Job, New Blog Post

This summer I have a communications internship with The Poudre River Public Library District. I work 10 hours a week writing press releases and blog posts, conducting research, making phone calls and whatever else an intern might be asked to do. I wanted to share the blog post I wrote about the Summer Reading Program. Just one more thing to add to my ever-growing portfolio :)

Bust Summer Boredom With Poudre River Libraries Summer Reading Program

Betsy Mortensen outside her office in NYC

Conservation Career takes Betsy Mortensen to Rockefeller Center

Alumni Spotlight: Betsy Mortensen ’10 B.S. Wildlife Biology

© Warner College of Natural Resources 2014
Originally posted here

Betsy Mortensen grew up with nature. Her dad, an avid hunter and angler, always spent time outside with her and fostered her passion for wildlife. Her love for the outdoors brought her to Colorado State University and eventually landed her a job with one of the top conservation families in the United States – The Roosevelts.

Mortensen is a graduate of CSU’s wildlife biology program in the Warner College of Natural Resources. Today she works at Rockefeller Center in New York City as an executive and research assistant to Simon Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s great-great grandson. An avid outdoorsman and part of a family with an unparalleled conservation legacy, Roosevelt is an international investment executive and environmentalist who is interested in improving collaborative conservation partnerships between hunting and conservation organizations. It is an interest that closely matches Mortensen’s.

While hunting and fishing might not be obviously synonymous with conservation to some, the sports have historically been the leading drivers of support to conservation movements. New campaigns, like “Hug A Hunter” have been increasing public awareness of the important support for conservation efforts that is generated through the sale of hunting licenses, tags, and stamps. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly $200 million in hunters’ federal excise taxes are distributed each year to State agencies to support wildlife management programs.
Mortensen’s academic background in wildlife biology and personal experiences as an outdoor enthusiast prepared her to collaborate with Roosevelt on his various conservation projects. Roosevelt established and leads a Conservation Roundtable that includes top executives from 13 of the nation’s largest organizations for hunting and conservation. The Roundtable meets regularly to discuss projects and viewpoints on policies so they can work together to move conservation efforts forward. Mortensen also conducts research for a book Roosevelt is writing about the heritage of hunting, public lands, and conservation, and she is working on policy issues, including efforts to get a question about national parks on the U.S. Citizenship Test.

During her time at CSU, Mortensen stayed busy. She joined The Wildlife Society (TWS) student chapter, studied at Pingree Park, and was an honor’s student. Faculty member Rick Knight was her honor’s thesis advisor, and Mortensen feels he was an inspiration for her future.  As a TWS member, she loved going to talks, listening to researchers and participating in club activities with other members. “If you are a wildlife major and not in that club, well – it just doesn’t make sense,” she said.

She finished her Bachelors of Science in three years, and went on to earn her masters at the University of Cambridge in only nine months. “I was so passionate about wanting to get into the environmental field I knew I had to do well,” she explained.

Mortensen worked hard to earn her education and had to be persistent post-graduation to land her job with Roosevelt. She held two seasonal wildlife positions, applied for 50 jobs, and went on eight interviews before eventually landing a salaried position with Roosevelt.

“Because I finished school so quickly, I had to overcome the challenges of finding a job without much work experience on my resume,” she explained. “Academic experience is important, but it’s also equally important for students to build their resumes during school and really diversify their experience.”

Mortensen is grateful for her job with Roosevelt and is gaining new skills and making new connections. While she never planned on living in the concrete jungle of New York City, she’s enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be sitting at a table with top conservation CEOs of organizations like The National Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy.

One day, Mortensen would like to work for the Nature Conservancy or The National Audubon Society activating conservation initiatives and planning. Ultimately, she aims to start her own organization that connects conservation and hunting. The relationship between hunting and fishing and conservation can be misunderstood and Mortensen believes there is opportunity for the connection between the two to be better explained.

Student Taylor Hunter next to a tree

Student Taylor Hunter Selected For SAF Forest Policy Internship In D.C.

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor Hunter, a student in the Warner College of Natural Resources. She’s a natural resource management major and leaves soon for a prestigious forest policy internship with the Society of American Foresters.

I’ve written a lot for Warner this semester and talked with a lot of different people. I’ve been given a window these natural resource leader’s lives, and I feel so lucky to have this job as I get to share these amazing people’s stories every week. Although I’m a member of the College of Liberal Arts, which I’m a proud member of, I also have a strong pride for the folks at Warner too. That college truly produces some amazing people– including Taylor.

 

Student Taylor Hunter Selected For SAF Forest Policy Internship In D.C.

Colorado State University student Taylor Hunter, natural resource management ‘15, will spend her summer in Washington D.C. working with the nation’s leaders on national environmental policy issues. She was selected for the prestigious Society for American Foresters’ Henry Clepper Forest Policy Internship which selects only one intern each year from across the nation.

The paid internship provides an opportunity for students to see how SAF and other forestry-related organizations engage on national natural resource policy issues. Hunter will serve as assistant to the SAF Forest Policy Team and will prepare background reports, monitor environmental and natural resource legislation, and provide liaison to other environmental and natural resource organizations.

While in D.C., she will help SAF as they work with the administration on integrating forest policy into climate change policy, pushing solutions to wildland fire mitigation and funding, finding ways to accelerate management on federal lands and improving the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. She will attend congressional hearings and participate in meetings with congressional staff, agencies and partner groups in order to advise them on forest policy. She will also get the chance to write articles for the Forestry Source and the Journal of Forestry.

Hunter feels honored to have been accepted for the SAF internship and hopes it can be an inspiration to others. “I hope my involvement in this internship inspires other people to know that they can do something amazing and make a difference, because I’m no different than anyone else,” she said.  “Going to D.C. is so exciting because it will allow me to branch out. I come from a really big family, so we never really traveled much.”

In high school, Hunter knew she wanted to promote sustainability and go to a large university, so she applied to CSU and chose a major in its Warner College of Natural Resources. A first generation student and the second oldest in a family of six siblings, she is paying her way through school and currently works with the Colorado State Forest Service. Hunter has also received support from scholarships at CSU, such as the The Leon H. and Katherine Rust Hurd Scholarship which she received in 2013.

“It was hard for a while because I was always comparing myself to other students, and thinking how others might have it easier. But working my way through school has taught me to be really independent and responsible,” Hunter said. “I have also been fortunate to receive scholarship awards that serve as a reminder that I am supported in my decision to further my education – they are sources of gratitude, which fuels my work ethic during the tough semesters.”

While working for CSFS, she mentioned her interest in policy and a co-worker told her about the SAF policy internship and encouraged her to apply. Hunter credits her success in the interview and in landing the job to her classes Natural Resources History and Policy taught by Tony Cheng, Professor Dept. of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship, and Environmental Politics taught by Professor Charles Davis.

“Taylor’s success in securing the Clepper policy internship is a testament to her commitment to advancing her own education,” Cheng said. “It’s an honor and deeply gratifying to me to see Taylor be awarded this internship. Whatever path she finds herself on in the future, this will be a great learning experience.”

While in D.C., Hunter would like to address the sustainable management of multi-use forests. “I want to help stakeholders collaborate and balance their needs,” she said. “There are so many perspectives that can drive policy, but it’s important to find solutions that will sustain the ecosystem. If we don’t prioritize conserving sustainable forests, all those other things – business, tourism, property values, etc – go away.”

Hunter’s interest in policy comes from a desire for justice. “I get really upset when I hear what’s happening to our planet and to each other,” she explained. “No one is going to have the same passion and perspective as me, so I can’t wait for someone to implement what I want. I have to take action.”

After graduation, Hunter would like to help developing countries become environmentally sound—whether that’s by joining an existing organization or by starting her own nonprofit. She believes promoting local economies, local foods, laying out cities so that people don’t have to commute and providing environmental infrastructure would help these countries to become models for sustainable livelihoods.

“We don’t want these countries to make the same mistakes that other developed nations have,” she said. “They have the opportunity to be environmentally responsible from the ground up while building strong economies.