Image by Joel Holland
Melissa Belmar

Owner - Ecologist - GIS Analyst

Master of Science, Applied Ecology

Bachelor of Science, Biology

Melissa is an ecologist with a range of experience in natural resource conservation and management. Melissa earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!) and a Master of Science in Applied Ecology at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. During her education, Melissa studied environmental laws and regulations, field and research techniques, and conservation and management principles. She took rigorous courses in ArcGIS, bird identification, and public lands law among other things. During her years at school, she conducted academic research involving mountain pine beetle and forest ecology, ecotoxicology, neurobiology, and animal behavior. Some research involved studying the forests in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, where she fell in love with the west, and decided to move to Colorado.

Melissa has resided in Colorado for the last 11 years and has actively worked in the natural resources conservation community since. She has worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Audubon Society, and for a large private consulting firm before launching Collective Ecological in 2016. Her primary focus has been the conservation and management of wildlife resources in the West and has worked on numerous projects in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. 

Melissa is intimately familiar with environmental regulations and regularly writes technical documents for the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Melissa has written numerous Environmental Assessments, Categorical Exclusions, and Biological Assessments. She also has assisted with long-term natural resource planning for conservation. Specifically, she writes stewardship and management plans for numerous Colorado State Parks that require gathering and organizing large amounts of materials and information into a long-term resource plan that can be applied to park management decisions.

Melissa has worked for a variety of clients during her consulting career. She has worked for federal and state agencies, including the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Reclamation. She has also worked for private entities and land trusts throughout the west.


Melissa is very proficient in using ArcGIS as a tool for impact assessments to natural resources and for conservation planning. ArcGIS has been an integral part of all positions she has held. She regularly uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS) units to collect field data and ArcGIS to analyze data and produce maps. Melissa has ample experience reviewing large amounts of data, developing organized easy to use databases, and creating aesthetically-pleasing maps for reports.

Melissa has training in audial and visual bird identification and is an active birder in her spare time. Melissa is also a certified ecologist with the Ecological Society of America. Melissa enjoys conducting any work in conservation and is eager to take on new, challenging projects. ​