NRM Graduate Builds Career in Wastewater Treatment

Liz Mauro, CMC Leadville NRM graduate, is the Wastewater Treatment Operator and lab Technician in Carbondale, CO

CMC Leadville NRM Graduate Liz Mauro is the Wastewater Treatment Operator and lab Technician in Carbondale, CO

NRM Graduate Liz Mauro has built a career in wastewater treatment in Carbondale, CO.

Liz Mauro graduated from Colorado Mountain College Leadville with an AAS in Natural Resource Management in 2006. Today, she is a the Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator and Lab Technician in Carbondale, CO – as position she has held for the past 7 years.

“It’s a 3 MGD biological treatment plant that cleans up all of the sewage from the city of Aspen before it flows back into the Roaring Fork River,” says Liz, who is originally from Sudbury, MA, “It’s a great job with a lot of variety and a lot of hands-on work.”

Prior to her time in Leadville, Liz attended the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2003 – 2005. She was on a USAFA ski club trip when she met a CMC student and learned about the natural resource management program and life in the mountains.

“My professors were so enthusiastic about their subjects,” says Liz, “It really helped me get excited about understanding the science behind the natural world. The fieldwork days out at Dinero Mine were what got me hooked on reclamation ecology, which is what I’m studying now in grad school.”

After Colorado Mountain College, Liz pursued a BS in Natural Resource Management at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. She completed her Bachelor’s in 2009, and is currently working on a Master of Natural Resource Stewardship (M.N.R.S.) at CSU.

“My daily routine involves a lot of sampling, running tests, and then tweaking process controls if they need it,” says Liz, about her current position as a Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator and Lab Tech, “Working at a small facility is great because all the operators are really involved in the whole process; it’s very satisfying to go look at the outfall where our effluent rejoins the river and see the amazing change from what it looked like coming into the facility.”

Liz made the most of her short time in Leadville, soaking up classroom and field experiences as well as holding several part-time jobs at local coffee shops. Her jobs at Camp Hale at Copper, Cloud City Coffee (closed), and Provin Grounds (closed) made her Leadville experience extra fun and memorable. She made friends, and expanded her social circle while getting involved in the community.

“I love and miss the quiet winters in Leadville,” reflects Liz, “The views, the wind, the overwhelming sense of freedom and connection you feel roaming around in the high places of the Sawatch Range are incredibly special.”