Marissa Markus

Marissa, out in the backcountry in winter, smiles at the camera

Marissa Markus graduated from Western with Bachelor of Arts in Environment & Sustainability and one in Environmental Biology with an emphasis in Ecology.

“I chose Western for my master’s because I had a great undergraduate experience,” Markus said. “The class sizes were small, research opportunities were available and the relationships I developed with professors put me at an advantage to easily network with agencies.”

“The decision to enter into the Environmental Land Management Program was not an easy one, and I wish that there had been a 3+2 program when I was an undergraduate. After completing the Master's program, I hope to gain full-time employment in the valley,” Markus said.

For the last four years, Markus has been working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a seasonal Research Technician.

“I have been fortunate to gain the experience to lead different field crews, work in many different ecosystems and interact with a lot of different endangered species. As of late, I accepted another season technician position but with the Bureau of Land Management,” Markus said. “As a technician, I will assess the watershed health within the Gunnison Basin, as well as collect the data I need for my graduate research project. My long term goal is to work in the scientific field of water management and potentially work with social issues that surround access to clean water.”

Markus’s master’s project will focus on the hydrogeology of springs, the macro invertebrate populations and vegetation cover in order to classify springs located within the Gunnison Basin.