An official website of

Fellows Cohort 11

From our founding the CCC has believed that conservationists across the globe need to be using a more inclusive approach. To this end, in partnership with the Warner College of Natural Resources Diversity and Inclusion Program, our Fellow Program 2021 request for proposals encouraged participation from underrepresented groups and projects that engage marginalized communities that are typical underserved. We received several excellent proposals that led to our funding seven fellows working on equitable access to protected areas for disabled and under-represented communities in Brazil, living with carnivores in a pastoralist society in Tanzania, and clean water in the South Platte River in low-income communities of color in Colorado’s Denver and Adams counties.

We are pleased and proud to celebrate the completion of the Fellows Program for Cohort 11!
While the global pandemic significantly impacted virtually every aspect of their original projects (including goals, deadlines, team members, and relationships), our Fellows persevered and accomplished meaningful and important activities: 

  • Team Brazil (Jim Barborak, Juarez Michelotti, and Felipe Zanusso) did collaborative work to share practices among protected parks in Brazil and Colorado. They put into place a variety of initiatives designed by and for individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers to visiting these special places.

  • Andie Conlon sought to address human-carnivore conflicts and their threat to African lions. She created a model to see how tolerance towards lions is transmitted through social networks, and document the effects of some of the factors affecting attitudes toward lions and predation.  

  • Team Colorado (Blake Osbourn and Nora Flynn) took on a multi-pronged approach to address diversity, equity, access and social justice around issues of water pollution. 

I am impressed by these accomplishments, and appreciate all that these individuals and teams were able to bring to the Cohort, the CCC, and to the practice of collaborative conservation. Please join me in congratulating Cohort 11!  

South-South and South-North Collaboration on Urban Protected Areas Accessibility and Access


Jim Barborak

Co-Director, Center for Protected Area Management, CSU.

Juarez Michelotti

Manager of SESC’s (Commerce Social Service) Bertioga Private Nature Reserve


Felipe Zanusso

Coordinator of the Young Leaders Network of Protected Areas Conserved in Latin America and the Caribbean

This project compares and contrasts two urban Brazilian protected areas experiences in environmental education, justice and accessibility with that of Colorado Front Range urban protected areas. The main goal of the project is to develop strategies for urban protected areas to improve access to, and accessibility for, people with disabilities and those from lower income inner city communities that seldom visit or have access to protected areas. Objectives include: 1) Promote an exchange of experiences on good management practices in urban protected areas related to low-income and disabled people between the Colorado Front Range and Brazil and within Brazil, 2) Create recommendations for environmental interpretation and installation of infrastructure that serve audiences with special needs suitable for wide dissemination and replication in Brazil, 3) Conduct an online course for Brazilian educators on environmental interpretation, with specific thematic modules on reaching and appropriate messaging for low-income and disabled audiences. Collaborators include: SESC (Commerce Social Service) in Brazil, INPA (National Research Institute of the Amazon) in Brazil, CSU’s Center for Protected Area Management, and additional collaborators from academia municipal, state and federal protected area managers in Brazil and Colorado’s Front Range.

  • SESC (Commerce Social Service) in Brazil,
  • INPA (National Research Institute of the Amazon) in Brazil,
  • CSU’s Center for Protected Area Management, and
  • additional collaborators from academia municipal, state and federal protected area managers in Brazil and Colorado’s Front Range.

Engaging Youth in Pollution Reduction Planning in a Historically Disadvantaged Community on the South Platte River


Nora Flynn

Agricultural Water Specialist, Colorado Water Center, CSU


Blake Osborn

Water Resource Specialist, Colorado Water Center and CSU Extension


Nita Gonzales

Founder and Principal of Nuevo Amanecer, LLC. – Denver, CO

This project aims to restore swimmable and fishable water quality standards to an impaired river while simultaneously training the next generation of leaders in collaborative conservation. The project will empower five CSU underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate students to engage with a collaborative community driven project to improve water quality in Denver and Adams Counties by reducing Escherichia coli (E. coli) in Segment 15 of the South Platte River. The fellows will mentor and train the five CSU URM students in critical water issues, urban water best management practices (BMPs), and socioeconomic outcomes of urban conservation projects. Collaborators Shane Wright (Lincoln Hills Cares) and Paul Hellmund (El Laboratorio) have received funding to facilitate a community driven and co-created pollution reduction plan in Denver and Adams Counties. The fellows, students and collaborators will engage with 40 members of the South Platte Community Stakeholder Group to gather water quality and socioeconomic data that will provide the research component of this community-driven pollution reduction plan.
  • Shane Wright of Lincoln Hills Cares
  • Paul Hellmund of El Laboratorio.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Collaborative Conservation Education on Shaping Carnivore Tolerance in Tanzania


Andie (Miranda) Conlon

MS student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, CSU

Human-carnivore conflict is among the most significant threats to African lions. Across Africa, this conflict typically involves livestock depredation and retaliatory carnivore killing by livestock owners. Because these negative carnivore experiences are shared across wide social networks, such as among friends and families, they play a tremendous role in shaping children’s tolerance of carnivores at individual, community, and landscape scales. This project addresses the question: What role can formal and informal conservation education play in shaping children’s carnivore tolerance to better inform targeted conservation interventions? Working with collaborators at the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) in Tanzania, this project will evaluate the impact that RCP educational programming has on shaping carnivore tolerance in children by 1) measuring student perceptions of carnivores, 2) measuring confounding factors such as past carnivore experience among friends or family members, 3) identifying which type(s) of conservation messaging is most effective in shaping carnivore tolerance, and 4) promoting wildlife awareness and carnivore tolerance through a cross-cultural wildlife sharing project that links Ruaha and Fort Collins elementary schools. Collaborators for this project are: the Ruaha Carnivore Project, the Harris Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colorado; and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department at CSU.

  • the Ruaha Carnivore Project
  • Harris Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colorado
  • the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department at CSU.