semester, hundreds of students sign up for classes in the Natural Resources
department, many of them working towards a career in environmental law
enforcement, and once in awhile one of them lands a dream job close to home,
like Wisconsin’s newest DNR (Department of Natural Resources) conservation
warden, Rick Rosen.
graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1994, with a major
in wildlife and minor in law enforcement. Rosen was named regional warden West
Central Region, head quartered in Eau Claire and covering 19 counties.
would consider the job of a conservation warden the greatest job in the world,”
Rosen said. “I just love being able to work outdoors, share my knowledge and
experience with the public, and not having to be in an office all the time.”
noted changes in the program at UWSP since his graduation, saying that it is a
huge advantage for students to be able to be out of school already certified as
law enforcement officer. Students who do wish to work as a warden must first
complete training at the police academy. Many chose to take the semester long
course at Mid State Technical College here in Stevens Point.
the fall of 2012 there were 77 students registered for the environmental law enforcement
minor, it is not offered as major so students must choose another major to pair
with the minor.
my 36 years with Career Services, I’ve only seen federal agencies recruit law
enforcement folks directly from college on one occasion,” said Mike Pagel, a
career specialist at UWSP. “They usually recruit from the military or from
existing ranks of law enforcement professionals. Aspiring Wardens typically
pursue work related to their majors (vs. the Environmental Law Enforcement
minor) or they take conventional law enforcement work and wait for states to
worked as started his career as a park ranger at Devils Lake State Park in
1994. He also worked as a patrol officer for the Baraboo police department and
most recently as a warden supervisor of five counties new Spooner Wis.
enjoy the challenges of working with the public, and getting the opportunity to
educate them on natural resource topics,” Rosen said. “Also as a law
enforcement officer you can make a huge difference in actually catching the
folks that are violating the law and bringing them to justice.”
stated that he enjoyed his time at UWSP and came out feeling confident that he
had gained a great education with great instructors. He offered some advice for
students in school now who are aspiring to be a warden one day.
would say number one thing is to get to know the department of natural
resources by doing either internships or ride-alongs. Really thoroughly explore
your options on what is available for jobs within the department. Stay engaged
in the outside of class work, make the extra efforts to take internships on, go
to your safety courses and become certified in ATV, snowmobile boating, hunter