Michael Byrd

Prescott College AffiliationAlumni
ProgramBachelor of Arts
Area of StudyEnvironmental Conservation and Resource Management
Graduation Year1996

As an undergraduate student I became involved with a local non-profit organization called Prescott Creeks Preservation Association (PCPA). Since then I've been a general volunteer for PCPA, served as the president for two years and was hired as the first Watson Woods Riparian Preserve manager in 1999.

In addition to my work with PCPA I'm a partner in Riparia, Inc., a Prescott-based ecological consulting firm. With Riparia I've had the opportunity to conduct riparian restoration, education and research projects throughout Arizona. I try to find time for the fun jobs too. For the past two years I've spent untold hours crawling around the banks of the Verde River counting willow and cottonwood sprouts. And they pay me for it!?! All in all, my career has just fallen into place. I have been blessed with my opportunities and the great friends I have in Prescott. I currently live just south of Prescott with my best friend, Osito. I came to Prescott College from one of the largest universities in the country. The small, intimate setting at Prescott College taught me that I could get to know my mentors and instructors on a personal level. One of those relationships led me to the work I'm now doing. I also learned how to be creative with my livelihood.

Advice to students: Decide what you want to do. Deciding seems to be the hardest part for most people. Find something you can get your hands around and then put every ounce of passion into it. It's worked for me so far.