The Sustainable and Resilient Communities (SRC) track prepares students for careers in:
- Environmental nonprofit development
- Sustainability consulting and coordinating (businesses, towns, universities)
- Sustainable and resilient community advocacy
- Environmental organization management
- International project scoping and leadership
The Sustainable and Resilient Communities track focuses on the emerging interdisciplinary studies of “sustainability” and “resilience” for communities at various scales. SRC examines and experiments with the multitude of challenges with balancing ecological, economic, and social values for communities and socio-economic systems in the U.S. and abroad. The track raises questions about how to enhance the ability of future generations to continue a way of life in a place, without unjustly contradicting the ability of other cultures and species to do the same.
SRC students examine how human and ecological communities adapt, and perhaps thrive, in the face of the possible disturbances of climate change, economic boom and bust cycles, unsustainable energy- food-material systems, water scarcity, and other essential infrastructures. This track provides the graduate-level content and theoretical understanding of sustainability studies, applying systems thinking, resilience theories, and industrial ecology skills such as circular economy and life-cycle analysis (LCA) in a way that is unique to Western’s liberal arts traditions while using both the learning laboratories of the Rockies as well the global reach of our faculty. Moreover, this track helps deliver entrepreneurial management and organizational skills that 21st Century environmental managers need in order to build sustainable and resilient communities, businesses or organizations from diverse stakeholder groups through our rigorous MBA-like curriculum. The Sustainable and Resilient Communities is a 46-credit track, sharing the 20-credit Core with the Integrative Land Management track. Sustainable and Resilient Communities students are also required to take four courses (12 credits) within their track. All students, across both tracks, must complete a Master’s Project and Portfolio in the second year.
A wide suite of possible practicum, internship, and on-the-ground opportunities help our students accelerate and complement their professional development goals. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, our students engage with local community policymakers and stakeholders on greenhouse gas emissions accounting, climate action planning, and policy recommendations and development, to seasonal positions with organizations delivering high-need analysis and products.
There are SRC international project opportunities available to you with partners from around the world. Please view past student projects and our map and descriptions of current program partners and projects on our Global Sustainability webpage.
M.E.M. track in Sustainable and Resilient Communities:
- Complete 20-credit Core
- ENVS 616 Environmental Organization Development and Management (MBA-like course) (3 credit)
- Choose three (9 credits total) ENVS 620 Studies in Sustainable and Resilient Communities (3 credit) courses. Options include such course titles as (samples evolve, depending on job, faculty and student interests)
- Triple-Bottom-Line Management Strategies
- Community-Based Climate Management
- Sustainable Food Systems
- Sustainable Energy Futures
- Sustainable Economic Development
- Natural Resource Systems
- Building and Planning Communities
- Sustainable Consulting and Leadership
- Global Sustainable Development
- Complete Master’s Project and Portfolio (14 credits)