Integrative and Public Land Management Track


The following is a list of courses offered in this program at Western. The official University Catalog contains more detailed and specific information about degree requirements for this major.


Introduction to environmental management.  An introduction to the MEM program, to bioregional and resilient approaches to environmental management, and to the environmental stakeholders, problems, solutions, and learning laboratories of the Gunnison Valley. Requires two-week residency in Gunnison during culmination of course. Prerequisites: Admission to the MEM Program. 


Provides a rigorous and hands-on overview of the principles and methods of environmental science. Students gain practical experience with a range of laboratory, field, and analytical approaches, with a focus on current environmental research in the Gunnison Basin. Topics include water quality, riparian condition, rangeland monitoring, forest health, threatened and endangered species, air quality, conservation, and ecological restoration. Students develop skills in scientific literature searches, writing monitoring protocols, ensuring quality data collection, statistical analysis, interpretation of results, written and oral communication, and peer review. Prerequisites: ENVS 601.


Analysis of the key interactions between environmental policy and management, focusing on environmental decision-making within an array of policy contexts. Emphasis is on important federal policies such as the Clean Water Act and NEPA, with additional attention to relevant state and local policies. Prerequisites: ENVS 601. 


Course focuses on developing and managing environmental projects and organizations.  Students develop a thorough understanding of integrative assessment, adaptive  management, and triple bottom line strategies. Students apply these approaches to the  development of professional skills such as organizational development, conflict management, and environmental communication. Prerequisites: ENVS 601. 


An overview of a range of quantitative analytical methods and statistical approaches essential to environmental management careers in both Integrative Land Management and Sustainable and Resilient Communities. Topics covered include descriptive and inferential statistics, geographic information systems, cost-benefit analysis, and graphic presentation of results. Course empowers students to organize, analyze, and graphically present environmental data. Prerequisites: ENVS 601 and an undergraduate-level course in statistics.


An investigation of the science of climate change, with an emphasis on mitigation and adaptation strategies for careers in environmental management. Students will develop an understanding of the principles of atmospheric and earth sciences that form the scientific basis of climate change and survey the large body of evidence of anthropogenic warming. Topics include greenhouse gas emissions, climate forcings and feedbacks, observed and projected climate changes, effects on ecological and human systems, and the opportunities and challenges of a diverse suite of strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation at the local, regional, and planetary scale. Prerequisites: ENVS 605; two undergraduate courses in natural or environmental sciences, one of which must be upper-level with lab/field component. 


An exploration of the current and traditional approaches to public land and resource management. A regional focus on the Western U.S. is integrated with comparative 
examples from other regions and countries to enhance and broaden student perspectives. Course examines the history and future management implications of public lands agencies and policies, such as the National Parks, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, NEPA and multi-use mandates. Special focus will be given to the 
management skills necessary in leading public lands agencies on the regional level. Prerequisites: ENVS 605; ENVS 608; ENVS 611; ENVS 612. 


An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to integrative land management. Topics include subjects such as Watershed Coalition Development; Forest Ecology and Management; Rangeland Ecology and Management; Wildlife Ecology and Management; The History and Future of Energy on Public Lands; Public/Private Conservation Partnerships; Managing the Urban/Wildland Interface; and Conservation Advocacy. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, but cannot repeat the same topic. Prerequisites: ENVS 618. 

The Integrative and Public Land Management (ILPM) emphasis prepares students for careers in:

  • Public lands management
  • Private land conservation
  • Conservation advocacy

Integrative and Public Land Management ‚Äčcultivates vital skills to facilitate the integration of land, water, energy, wildlife and human societies in public and private land management decisions. Students learn how to manage diverse stakeholder values and interests to build sustainable and resilient social-ecological systems. Our students have a high professional placement rate (over 90%) with careers in public land management, private land conservation, conservation advocacy, environmental consulting companies, and non-profit management.

Integrative land management focuses on complex landscapes shaped by ecology, culture, policy, and economy. Looking at management issues through the lens of resilience gives insight into how landowners and public agencies can build the adaptive capacity of ecosystems and livelihoods in the face of climate, changing demographics, and increased pressures on private and federal lands. This approach enhances and challenges traditional notions of managing finite and dwindling natural resources, favoring management schemes that enable social-ecological systems to adapt.

Why Western?

Gunnison County contains 80 percent public lands, tremendous natural resource wealth, and working agricultural landscapes. Government agencies, nonprofits, extractive industries, recreation seekers, and ranchers actively negotiate the best use of these lands. There is no better laboratory for graduate-level study and praxis than the lands surrounding Western.

This program also focuses on land management in the face of climate change, a reality influencing most public and private land management decisions. Studying how to mitigate and adapt to an increasingly volatile climate in one of the coldest spots in the United States offers a unique opportunity for environmental management professionals.

M.E.M. track in Integrative and Public Land Management:

  1. Complete 20-credit Core
  2. ENVS 618: Public Lands Management
  3. Choose three (9 credit total; samples will evolve, depending on job, faculty and student interests); ENVS 625 - Studies in Integrative and Public Land Management (3 credit) will include such course titles as:
    • Wildlife Ecology and Management
    • NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) for Environmental Managers
    • Forest Ecology and Management
    • Sustainable Rangeland Ecology and Management
    • Private Land Management
    • Foundation of Ecosystems: Plants & Soils
    • Restoration Ecology
    • Environmental Education and Interpretation
  4. Complete Master's Project and Portfolio (14 credits)

Peace Corps Masters International Program

Faculty & Staff


Assistant Professor & Public Lands Coordinator
Office Location: Kelley Hall 109
Lecturer, Department of Environment and Sustainability; Graduate Faculty, Masters in Environmental Management Programs; Marketing Coordinator, Center for Environment and Sustainability; Resilience Studies Consortium Coordinator for Western State Colorado
B.A., Western State Colordao University , M.A., Prescott College, Ph.D., University of Exeter
Phone: (970) 943-2294
Office Location: Kelley Hall 207
Katherine A Clark
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
B.A., James Madison University, M.S. University of Colorado Boulder, Ph.D. Environmental Studies University of Colorado Boulder
Office Location: Kelley Hall 226
Clark Sustainable Development Chair in Environment and Sustainability
JD, University of California School of Law, B.A., Antioch College
Phone: (303) 912 0855
Office Location: Kelley 206
Coldharbour Chair in Environment & Sustainability, Executive Director, Coldharbour Institute
Seattle Law School, JD, Vermont Law School, MSL, Fort Lewis College, BS
Phone: 970.943.2023
Office Location: Kelley Hall 114A
Dr. John C. Hausdoerffer
Professor and Director of the Master of Environmental Management Program; Professor of Env Sustainability & Philosophy; Director, Headwaters Project
B.A., Western State Colorado University; , M.A., St. John's College; , Ph.D., Washington State University.
Phone: (970) 943-3450
Office Location: Kelley Hall 107
Karen Hausdoerffer
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
B.A., Stanford University, MFA, University of Idaho
Office Location: Kelley Hall 114B
Dr. Corinne Knapp
Assistant Professor of Environment & Sustainability, and Integrative and Public Land Management MEM Coordinator
B.A., University of Colorado, M.S., Colorado State University, Ph.D., University of Alaska
Office Location: Kelley Hall 106
Dr. Jeff Sellen
Director of Environment & Sustainability, Assistant professor of Environment & Sustainability, Director of the Colorado Water Workshop
B.A., Wartburg College; , M.A., University of Nebraska-Omaha;, Ph.D., Washington State University.
Phone: (970) 943-3162
Office Location: Kelley Hall 104
Sally Thode
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
B.S. Colorado State University, M.S. Colorado State University
Office Location: Kelley Hall 114A
Dr. Jessica Young
Global Coordinator, Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainability
B.A., University of California San Diego, Ph.D. Purdue University
Phone: 970-943-2195
Office Location: Library 120