Two Warner College of Natural Resources students have received honors from the Udall Foundation. Marina Rodriguez, fish, wildlife and conservation biology major was selected as a 2015 Udall Scholarship winner in the category of Environment, and Arielle Quintana, rangeland ecology major, received an honorable mention in the category of Tribal Public Policy.
Rodriguez is the fifth Colorado State University student to win the Udall Scholarship, and the third from the Warner College. Quintana is the first CSU student to be recognized in the Tribal Public Policy category.
Top undergraduate research
Rodriguez is extremely active in the Warner College community as a co-founder of the CSU chapter of Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability and an active member of the CSU Chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences.
Her undergraduate research, which recently won first place in the undergraduate research competition at the MANNRs national conference, focuses on the nutrient availability of nesting birds at high elevations. She also works at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center as a lab technician in the Wildlife Genetics Department.
Rodriguez plans to continue her research as a graduate student and eventually become a professor to pursue her passion for research, education and avian conservation.
Restoring damaged lands
Quintana is a proud tribal member of the Cochiti Pueblo, a small American Indian reservation in New Mexico. Her goal is to attain an education that will help her restore damaged lands, specifically those damaged by forest fires, within her reservation’s jurisdictional and ancestral domain.
She is focusing her studies particularly in rangeland restoration and conservation biology to meet that goal for her tribe and surrounding pueblo communities, and restore damaged lands, and reestablish healthy, sustainable habitats and ecosystems in the Southwest.
The Udall scholarship, established in 1992, honors the careers of Congressman Morris K. and Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall. It provides $5000 scholarships to 50 students annually, and recipients of the scholarship gather in Tucson, AZ each August to network with each other and leaders in their fields of study. Awards are given in three categories: Environment, Native American Health, and Tribal Public Policy. In addition to the 50 winners, 50 students are awarded honorable mentions and given access to the Udall Foundation’s listserv.