From age 10, Ryan Snell dreamed of becoming a game warden for a state agency. Starting this summer, that dream will become a reality when Snell starts his new job as a game warden at Wyoming Game and Fish.
“I am looking forward to taking on the challenges of the position and learning as much as possible,” said Snell, who will graduate with a degree in fish, wildlife and conservation biology in the Warner College of Natural Resources on May 14.
Snell has always displayed a willingness to learn and explore new opportunities. In the fifth grade, Snell participated in a mentor program where students were matched with a professional in the career of their interest. Snell was paired with a wildlife officer who took him on his first ride-along.
“Since then, it’s been all about chasing that goal of being a wildlife officer,” Snell said.
In his time as a student, Snell seized the opportunity to work alongside wildlife officers and staff at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Through his experiences and connections he made with the officers, Snell was able to share what he learned with peers, help them make similar connections and apply his education at CPW.
He also worked as a seasonal property technician on Colorado’s State Wildlife Areas, helping to maintain the areas and assisting with wildlife and fisheries biological sampling. He helped to improve the habitat for wildlife in these areas.
Snell was also involved with other organizations on campus including the CSU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, CSU Student Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and the CSU Student Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. In his courses, Snell pursued an independent study where he developed a training guide for students interested in a career as a game warden or wildlife officer.
Ann Randall, Snell’s academic advisor in the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology department, notes his determination and drive as a student in the college.
“I have no doubt Ryan will be able to apply the knowledge he has gained here and utilize his determination to effectively manage our natural resources while investing in education and outreach to diverse audiences,” Randall said. “He shows passion and a clear commitment to the career path he has chosen.”
In his own words
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: After graduation, I’ll be attending Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. Then I will begin training to work as a Wyoming Game Warden, serving the people of Wyoming and conserving wildlife.
Q: What does it mean for you to have achieved your goal of becoming a wildlife officer?
A: My dream job has always been to become a wildlife officer. It’s fulfilling to see the past 10 years of hard work payoff. I am looking forward to making a difference for people and wildlife.
Q: What was your favorite memory at Warner College?
A: In the course FW204, Introduction to Fishery Biology, we got to sample College Lake during one of our class periods. I enjoyed getting out into the field and understanding how to apply what I learned in the classroom. Now, I feel that I’d be able to be a competent fisheries professional because of those types of experiences.
Q: What will you miss most about CSU?
A: I’m going to miss the campus environment the most. It’s fun to be in an environment where other students are also very passionate about many different things. It’s fun to be in an environment where everybody is trying to find a career path that suits them while having fun during the experience. I’ll also miss the ability to spend so much time with friends and enjoying my hobbies, like fishing.
Q: What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
A: Find a career that you love and that aligns with something you’re very passionate about so that you don’t work a day in your life. College is a great time to explore your passions and possible careers.