Waldo Canyon

Intrigued by forest fires in the Rocky Mountain West?  Interested in studying how western forests are responding to recent wildfires fueled by human-induced (i.e., land-use and resource extraction activities) climate change: warmer temperatures, decades of drought, and human manipulation of natural fire regimes?  Want to know if an iconic native western tree species, Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), is successfully re-establishing (i.e., quantity; diverse age; stand structure) in these landscapes after more intense and more frequent fires?  Want to learn about butterfly conservation?  

The State of the Rockies Project Waldo Canyon student research ecology assistants help test the scientific ecological concepts and theories of US western forest succession in this demographic study of Ponderosa pine forest establishment following fire in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado. Students apply their knowledge and build their research, field science techniques, and quantitative analytical skills by helping to investigate and predict the “fate” of ancient Rocky Mountain West Ponderosa pine forest ecosystems. 

While the research ecologists answer scientific queries, the Waldo Canyon Artists in Residence use the artistic nature of forest re-establishment to create a visual documentation of the Waldo Canyon student-led research project.


Waldo Canyon Score Poster 2023

Meet the Team

Chris BurichChris Burich ‘24

Chris is an Environmental Studies major and Urban Studies minor from New York. At Colorado College, he is a part of the Club Baseball team, a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and an Arena Specialist at Ed Robson. Chris enjoys biking, skiing, or anything that involves being outside either on or off campus. He is looking forward to working with the State of the Rockies to learn more about his local environment, advance his GIS skills, and collaborate with other passionate students and professors. 


Shamdeed KabirShamdeed Kabir ‘25

Shamdeed is from Dhaka, Bangladesh is pursuing a major in Computer Science and a minor in Statistics. He is broadly interested in data science and modeling, and envisions himself working in the fields of machine learning, bioinformatics, or climate modeling in the future. Apart from his academic interests, Shamdeed is an avid antique coin collector and car enthusiast, who loves to travel to different countries and enjoys backpacking, fishing, and kayaking. 


Liam KeiltyLiam Keilty ‘25

Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, Liam learned a strong respect and awe for the mountains and flora of the West. The mountains of Colorado offer so much to not only the wellbeing of people, but also the wellbeing of our global environment. Although Colorado is a new place, Liam is invested in learning as much about its ecological systems and committed to finding new ways to preserve or rehabilitate the beauty that resides here. Liam is excited to study the effects and possible solutions to severe wildfires in the West. 

Sydney MorrisSydney Morris ‘24

Sydney is a senior Organismal Biology & Ecology major from Boise, Idaho. With a passion for conservation and forest ecology, she works as an Assistant Research Ecologist for the Waldo Canyon Fire project. Outside of State of the Rockies, Sydney is a Spanish Translator, an illustrator for The Catalyst, and plays on the Women’s Club Soccer team. She also enjoys backpacking, skiing, and playing her guitar! 


Theo OllierTheo Ollier ‘26

Theo is a rising sophomore here at Colorado College. He hopes to double major in Organismal Biology and Ecology as well as Environmental Science. He is from Wooster, Ohio, and in his free time likes to rock climb, hike, and read. Theo got involved with this project because he wanted the opportunity to study the effects of climate change in the Front Range firsthand and gain ecological knowledge. 


Charlotte PulidoCharlotte Pulido ‘24

Charlotte is a third-year Environmental Science major and Human Biology and Kinesiology minor from Denver, Colorado. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and spending time outside. As a member of the Waldo Canyon team, Charlotte is excited to contribute to our understanding of local wildfire impacts and the regeneration process through field research. She is eager to work for State of the Rockies and pursue her interests in sustainability and conservation. 


Ollie Beland

Ollie Beland ‘25

Ollie is a Biochemistry major and is hoping to minor in art studio and math. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas - but has always been drawn towards the Rocky Mountain region. Ollie enjoys integrating art into as many aspects of his life as possible - particularly through photography. It was in Colorado where he first discovered photography, and now almost 10 years later he is ecstatic to use photography this summer as part of the Waldo Canyon Research Project. 


Maren GreeneMaren Greene ‘24

Maren is a Studio Art major who works across a variety of mediums, focusing primarily on painting and photography. She has lived her whole life in Colorado and is passionate about preserving the natural spaces that helped raise her. She knows that the time she spends outdoors—skiing and biking though mountains, walking around gardens, and lounging under trees— is sacred: grounding her in life’s chaos and inspiring her creative practices. As such, she is deeply motivated by discovering art’s place in conservation efforts and using her work to give back to the land that inspired it. 

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/13/2024