In Pursuit of a Dream: Robert Tate’s Story

You bring successful careers in human resources and real estate to a close, what’s next?

For Robert Tate, it was a chance to live his dream. That dream meant moving to the Rocky Mountains to fill days with skiing, hiking, cycling, and discovering nature like never before.

Then, Colorado State University happened. Bob was in paradise. His new life had just begun, when he looked into some course work at CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, and started volunteering for Wildland Restoration Volunteers and the Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Canyon Preserve north of Fort Collins.

For Bob, Phantom Canyon, a 1,120-acre site described as one of Northern Colorado’s last roadless canyons, meant really getting his hands dirty – mending fences, renovating buildings, helping to restore habitats – and building relationships. While doing the “grunt work,” Bob met many CSU students and truly bonded with their passion for improving our world and preserving nature’s treasures.

For more than 10 years, the preserve has been exposing Warner College students to nature in its purest form – an undisturbed environment with more than 100 bird species, more than 200 plant species, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and moose strolling by, and eagles soaring overhead – and plenty of relevant hands-on experience. The students help keep the Preserve beautiful by weeding, repairing trails, collecting seeds, and planting. Experiences that last a lifetime.


“During my 12 years at Phantom Canyon, I’ve worked alongside a number of students from the Warner College. The experience they receive working there complements their course work so well and is extremely valuable to their careers. I really wanted to do something to make the program stronger.”

For their work, CSU students have received small stipends. Bob wanted better opportunities for students and the partnership between Warner College and The Nature Conservancy to thrive. His solution, a $100,000 endowment to the program.

Bob’s dedication to the Warner College runs deep. In 2010, he funded a fellowship within the CSU Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, supporting graduate students focusing on habitat restoration.

The Warner College of Natural Resources’ mission – to contribute to the conservation, stewardship, and enjoyment of natural resources that benefit the world and mankind – speaks to Bob Tate’s heart and soul. He is pursuing a master’s degree with the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship and continues as a major force supporting student-volunteers. He embodies the spirit of Warner College’s mission to benefit the world and mankind.

To learn more about supporting the Warner College Nature Conservancy program and other vital Warner College programs and scholarships that can change lives, please contact Scott Webb, executive director of development for the Warner College of Natural Resources, at (970) 491-3594 or