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Wildlife Researcher
Wildlife Researcher

​​​​​​Job Description

Lisa Wolfe, a CPW veterinarian, monitors a lynx while it is under sedation.Wildlife researchers design and conduct cutting-edge experiments that provide the cornerstone for wildlife management practices. These scientific experts answer fundamental questions about lynx, threatened and endangered fish, wildlife diseases, Gunnison Sage-grouse, the impacts of energy development on wildlife… and the list goes on. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is unique because it is one of the few wildlife agencies that perform original scientific investigations. Researchers bring new information and innovative wildlife management techniques to the forefront of scientific knowledge by publishing papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and have won many prestigious awards for their work. 

We have four main research programs, with specialized positions in each discipline:

  • Avian (Bird) Research
  • Aquatic Research  
  • Mammal Research
  • Wildlife Health, including Veterinarians  

These are full-time, salaried positions with standard state employment benefits.

A large portion of wildlife research takes place in field-applied studies in the outdoors. To learn more about what researchers do and how they began their careers, view Research​.

Education and Experience

Two researchers examine a deer and place a tracking collar on it.A college degree in ecology, fishery and wildlife biology, natural resources, or a field closely related to the job duties, plus four years of experience in some area of wildlife management.  The most competitive candidates are those with advanced degrees (Master’s or Ph.D.) in the areas above.  There are many wildlife disciplines.  To narrow down your interests, try to experience a wide variety of projects in both your studies and seasonal jobs.  A good way to gain experience while pursuing your degree is temporary work assisting a researcher.

People Skills – Researchers often make presentations to the public and to members of the scientific community.  You will need good public speaking skills, and the desire and ability to interact with people of all ages, viewpoints, and backgrounds.

How to Apply

Look on ​the Jobs​ page for current job announcements and links to application forms. Carefully read and follow the application instructions.  

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