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Brooke Zanetell

Brooke Ann Zanetell

Lecturer of Environment & Sustainability
Kelly Hall 106


Ph.D. Cornell University, Natural Resources, 2003
M.S. Cornell University, Natural Resources, 2000
B.A. University of Colorado – Boulder, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Summa Cum Laude, 1994
B.A. University of Colorado – Boulder, Environmental Studies, 1994


Dr. Brooke Zanetell is on Faculty in the Master’s of Environmental Management Program at Western Colorado University as well as Research Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico–Taos where she directs the Natural Resources Management Program. With two $1 million USDA Hispanic Serving Institution grants, she created the CCC (Northern New Mexico Climate Change Corps) and LIFT (Leadership in Forestry Training) projects which have supported numerous first-generation, low-income, and/or students of color to earn bachelor’s degrees and gain great jobs taking care of the nature they love. Prior to this, Dr. Zanetell served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow. As Science Advisor at the US Department of State in Washington, DC, she put together country teams that negotiated international commitments on watershed health and she contributed to drafts of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Dr. Zanetell has served as a Fulbright Scholar to Venezuela and an InterAmerican Fellow to Guatemala where she researched community based fisheries and water resources management. She also spent many summers and one winter working and studying at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory high above Crested Butte, CO, where her research on stoneflies as ecosystem engineers earned her first publication in Freshwater Ecology and the honor of graduating Summa Cum Laude from the Univ. of Colorado. Dr. Zanetell has published numerous articles on community-based natural resources management as well as on college student success and job placement in the sciences. Dr. Zanetell was born and raised in Gunnison, CO.

How did you discover Western?

I was born and raised in Gunnison . Western has always been a part of my life. My uncle was a head custodian, my parents earned their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English and Accounting, and my dad was an NCAA All-American Guard and Linebacker for the Western Football team. Coming to the Clark Family School of Environment & Sustainability is like coming home for me and I am excited to give back to this community that I love.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

“Changing lives” is how the National Program Leader of Hispanic Serving Institutions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture described my work at the University of New Mexico in Taos.

What most excites you about your field?

Working with students and empowering them to be the next generation of leaders excites me. I’m also excited to work collaboratively with students and the community on challenges that face the Gunnison River Basin. We have a long history and tradition in Gunnison of people from different backgrounds coming together to preserve and protect our beautiful mountains, cattle ranches, wet meadows, water, and wildlife.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

People care about each other in Gunnison. While many drive through on their way to somewhere else, for many there is no place else. Gunnison is the hub at the center of many river spokes that radiate out to encircling mountains that give us our lifeblood, the water.

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 601 Introduction to Environmental Management
  • ENVS 605 Science of Environmental Management
  • ENVS 611 Integrative Skills for Environmental Management
  • ENVS 618 Public Lands Management
  • ENVS 690 Master’s Project Development
  • ENVS 694 Master’s Project and Portfolio


  • Zanetell, B. A., and Schusler, T. M., 2022. Building STEM pathways for underrepresented
    students to natural resources careers: The Northern New Mexico Climate Change Corps.
    Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-021-00741-x
  • Zanetell, B. A. 2021. Bridging the Gap: 2-Year to 4-Year Transfer and Degree Completion in the Sciences. The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching, 5(14): 499-504. Retrieved from https://www.mentor-cmc.com/cmc/cmc2021/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=498#pg498
  • Zanetell, B. A. 2020. Partnerships for Professional Development and Employment in Natural Resources Management. The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching, 4(1): 462-466. Retrieved from https://www.mentor-cmc.com/cmc/cmc2020/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=462#pg462
  • Zanetell, B. A. 2016. Mentoring for Minority Success in STEM and Natural Resource Management. Proceedings of Univ. of New Mexico Mentoring Institute Journal 9: 654-662.
  • Zanetell, B. A. 2015. Mentoring about Climate Change: A Two-Way Street. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Journal 59(1): 97.
  • Zanetell, B. A., and B. A. Knuth. May 2004. Participation Rhetoric or Community-Based
    Management Reality? Influences on Willingness to Participate. World Dev. 32(5):793-807.
  • Zanetell, B. A., and B. A. Knuth. 2002. Bribing Biodiversity: Corruption, Participation,
    and Community-Based Management in Venezuela. Southern Rural Soc. 18(2):130-161.
  • Zanetell, B. A., and B. Knuth. 2002. Knowledge Partnerships: Rapid Rural Appraisal’s Role
    in Catalyzing Community-Based Management in Venezuela. Soc. & Nat. Res.15(9):805-825.
  • Zanetell, B. A. 2001. Legislating Community-Based Management: Lessons from the Venezuelan Freshwater Fishery. Journal of International Wildlife Law and Pol. 4(3):279-294.
  • Zanetell, B. A., and B. L. Peckarsky. 1996. Stoneflies as Ecological Engineers—Hungry
    Predators Reduce Fine Sediments in Stream Beds. Freshwater Biology 36:569-577.

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Brooke Ann Zanetell


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