This is a formal internship coordinated with the local or state cooperative extension office and Colorado State University, College of Agricultural Sciences.
Students may sign up for 1-6 credits.
Susan Melzer is an instructor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the geological sciences from the University of Colorado and her doctorate in soil science from Colorado State University. Her background in sedimentary geology has laid the foundation of her current research interest, which is to study how physical, chemical, and biological processes in differing environments around the world influence soil genesis. The susceptibility of soils to alter in response to climatic and land-use conditions is of top priority as she investigates the impact of cultivation on the biogeochemistry of biogenic silica along native and cultivated grassland ecosystems.
Susan also works in close collaboration with the USDA-NRCS and the NPS to develop accessible data and educational material that will enable a link among educators, researchers, students, and park managers. As an educator, Susan is a firm believer in developing top-quality science courses for the live and virtual classroom. She currently teaches courses in the earth sciences (soils and geology) as well as in environmental sustainability.
Mark grew up working on the family’s fourth-generation wheat and cattle operation in northwest Oklahoma. Those early experiences stimulated his interest in livestock and agriculture and led him to undergraduate degrees from Tabor College, and master's and doctoral degrees in animal breeding and genetics from Colorado State University. After completing his education, he worked for two years in New Zealand for Landcorp Farming Ltd, the largest ranching company in that country. At Landcorp, he developed genetic improvement programs for beef cattle, deer, sheep, and goats. After his time in New Zealand, he spent 4 years at the University of Arizona and then joined the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University in 2001.
As a professor at CSU he teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in animal breeding and genetics. His primary research focus is on beef cow adaptability and genetic improvement in susceptibility to bovine respiratory disease and high mountain disease. He has special interest in using selection and genetic improvement to better profitability of beef production. Mark serves the beef industry through the CSU Center for Genetic Evaluation of Livestock—a center that calculates EPD for breed associations and producer groups both nationally and internationally. In addition he serves on the board of directors for the Beef Improvement Federation.