Molly Warner, Warner College of Natural Resources

Molly Warner outdoors
Molly Warner

Molly Warner always wondered whether her last name and CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources had anything in common. Even though she and the Warner College’s namesake have no connection, she considered it a sign that this was the place she was meant to be.

“My parents and I were joking it had my name on it, so I had to do it,” Warner recalls.

Warner has always been interested in the outdoors and the environment. In high school she struggled with deciding between the arts and environmental studies for her future career — ultimately she chose both. She is majoring in fish, wildlife and conservation biology and minoring in French.

Warner, who originally comes from Peoria, Illinois, decided to go to CSU because of the great outdoors opportunities and because of the variety of fields the Warner College has to offer.

In her freshman year, Warner spent a summer in northwestern Colorado to study fish and wildlife, conduct bird surveys, and set up and check wildlife cameras. This helped her figure out that this kind of work is what she wants to do as her profession.

Field research

In her sophomore year, Warner worked for The Nature Conservancy at Phantom Canyon, where she was involved in stewardship and helped remove invasive species. In conjunction with a field course, Warner also spent four weeks at the CSU Mountain Campus, where she got more hands-on field experience.

During spring 2016, Warner studied abroad in Madagascar, where she took courses on biodiversity and natural resources management while observing an endangered species of lemurs and improving her French.

After her return, Warner started an Environmental Policy Awareness Coalition at CSU with the support of Assistant Professor Courtney Schultz. The organization aims to help people understand how policies deal with environmental issues and how they affect our everyday lives.

After Warner graduates, she wants to pursue a master’s degree to learn more about the relationships between local communities and endangered species.