Skip to main content
The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
A Wild Career

Gary Berlin attended Colorado Mesa University in the 1970's on a scholarship named for U.S. Representative Wayne N. Aspinall, the longtime chairman of the U.S. House Resources Committee. 

Berlin’s college experience set the stage for a full career in wildlife and organizational management. Due to the educational opportunity he was given because of a scholarship, he is now making it possible for other Mavericks to follow the path he blazed through similar scholarship opportunities. 

It was in 1977 when Berlin graduated with a wildlife biology degree and set his sights on working for the state. 

It was difficult in the late 1970's for graduates of institutions other than a select few to break in as district wildlife managers, Berlin recalled. 

“I decided I would be different,” Berlin said. 

After four years as a temporary employee at the Grand Junction office, Berlin was hired on full time in 1980. 

Berlin obtained a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and eventually led human resources and training for the Division of Wildlife. 

Berlin made it a priority to recruit and hire district wildlife managers (known to most anglers and hunters as game wardens) from every four-year institution in the state. 

Fifteen years ago, at age 50, Berlin retired and headed out on his own, serving as the executive director of the International Hunter Education Association and president of the American Fly-Fishing Trade Association. 

“I always thought that the degree from Mesa did more for me than the degree from CU did,” Berlin said. “That degree from Mesa got my foot in the door, whereas the master’s degree from CU allowed me to earn the promotions.” 

Now Berlin and his wife of 40 years, Robbie, are helping Mavericks get in the door by funding the Berlin Natural Resources Conservation Scholarship at CMU. Since 2015, the Berlin Scholarship has aided 15 students, who will each have the opportunity to blaze their own path.


Written by Gary Harmon