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Jennifer Shanahan

2014 Water Leaders Alumni


Jennifer Shanahanweb

I grew up moving around quite a bit and lived in Boston, Denver, Switzerland then back to Denver to finish off high school. In college and my twenties I continued this transient lifestyle with time in Vermont, Boulder, Chile, Steamboat Springs and Frisco, Montana and Oregon. I was fortunate that all these moves led me to beautiful forested and mountainous regions and grew up hiking, camping, skiing and enjoying outdoor adventures. This left me with an unsatiable hunger for travel to mountainous cultures around the world.

My career began in environmental education and the jobs I held at science camps in Montana and Oregon still hold a special place in my heart as the “best job I ever had.” This nomadic lifestyle came to a halt a decade ago when I moved to Fort Collins to work and attend graduate school. My degree studying rangeland science and riparian restoration from the Colorado State University was interesting. However it was two seasons working as a field technician for USGS riparian researchers that really taught me so much of the science I lean on in my current position as an Environmental Planner for the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department.

During the past seven years as a planner I have been fortunate to focus increasingly on issues surrounding the Cache la Poudre River and the urban river corridor. I really enjoy the diversity of tasks in my current position across the spectrum of data collection to public meeting and restoration planning to high stakes and landscape level politically sensitive projects. I enjoy communicating watershed concepts across departments and with audiences of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, but am constantly challenged by the inherently unpredictable nature of this field and the critical need to represent a public entity with a professional and balanced approach.

We live in old town Fort Collins and with our two boys (ages 4 ½ and 6) enjoy the local culture of gardening, music, bikes, and strong sense of community. My husband, Matt, is an outdoor enthusiast and landscaper so together we keep the little ones outside digging in the dirt and catching fascinating little bugs as much as possible.

jshanahan (at) fcgov.com


1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80218