amazing bike downhill south america

CSU Grads Bike to World Cup and Promote Sustainability

© Warner College of Natural Resources, 2014
Originally posted here

After graduating from Colorado State University, Isaac Manobla and Heinrich Flaig wanted to do something epic while serving a good cause. So, they decided to travel from San Diego, Calif. to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the most environmentally friendly way they knew how – by bicycle.

“The speed of bike travel actually allows you to see, feel and smell the place you’re traveling through. This is often missed when traveling in a car or bus,” Flaig said.

Armed with Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism degrees from CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the pair embarked on a 225 day journey through 12 countries with a mission of sharing knowledge and building support for a more sustainable way of life. They rode bikes for most of the way, and traveled by boat when needed and plane for one small section from Panama to Ecuador. They immersed themselves in different cultures along the way by staying with local families and helping out in the communities they visited.

Fresh out of Warner College, the pair felt their expedition was perfect timing. “To go from learning about these things at school to using them in the field was massive,” Flaig said.

During their journey, the pair taught people about sustainable living and low-impact lifestyles while also learning about the local culture themselves.
Flaig and Cisse studying a map

Photo Credit: Sustainably South

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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.
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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


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High-Point Featured in the Montrose Mirror


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…

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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