Dr. Mark Paschke collaborates with energy industry to help with habitat restoration

Dr. Mark Paschke working in the mountains of Northern Colorado

Energy Institute Faculty Affiliate , Dr. Mark Paschke, has an interesting role in the energy industry. He works with energy companies, such as Shell Oil Company, to restore habitat loss after the companies extract natural resources they need from an area of land.

Along side other habitat restoration projects, he also works with the Energy Institute at an administrative level. As the Research Associate Dean in the Warner College of Natural Resources, his goal is to help collaborations happen between faculty in his college and the energy industry.

“I am helping people in my college connect with the Energy Institute in a way that gets out to the energy institute that we have people that could help them,” he said, “like people who study wildlife effects of the energy industry for example.”

An example of a connection he has made between the field of natural resources and the energy industry is Paschke’s work alongside Shell Oil Company as their Shell Endowed Chair of Restoration Ecology.

“I have done a lot of research on revegetation and restoration of areas that have been impacted by the energy industry,” he said. “Because energy companies are required to clean up after they leave [a site], they generally want to find the best way to do that, that’s where me and my team come in.”

Paschke said that the project he has been working on with Shell is something that was started back in the 1970’s era in Piceance Basin. As the Shell Endowed Chair of Restoration Ecology, Paschke works closely to find ways to restore this area to the state it was in before Shell needed the land.

“We are looking at a bunch of research projects to find ways to restore potential damages to the environment out there,” He said.

Paschke also said that this project was unique in that it spans across a large period of time.

“This project was started long before I was around, I inherited it once I got here,” he said.

Along with this project, Dr. Paschke and his team are also working on other habitat restorations across Colorado.