Sustainable & Resilient Communities Track


Faculty & Staff


Assistant Professor & Public Lands Coordinator
Office Location: Kelley Hall 109
Graduate Faculty, Master in Environmental Management programs (MEM) & MBA in Outdoor Industry; Coordinator of the Sustainable and Resilient Communities MEM Track; Resilience Studies Consortium Coordinator for Western State Colorado University
B.A., Western State Colordao University , M.A., Prescott College, Ph.D., University of Exeter
Phone: (970) 943-2294
Office Location: Kelley Hall 207
Dr. Abel Chavez
Assistant Professor of Environment & Sustainability, and Sustainable & Resilient Communities MEM Coordinator
BS, University of Colorado Denver, MBA, University of Houston, PhD, University of Colorado Denver
Office Location: Kelley Hall 104
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
Salif P. Mahamane
Assistant Professor of Psychology; Graduate Faculty, MEM
B.A., Baylor University, M.S., New Mexico Highlands University, Doctoral Candidate, Utah State University
Phone: 970-943-7037
Office Location: Kelley 240
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

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.

See our CS2I lab for community scale work that you can be a part of!

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:

  1. Complete 20-credit Core
  2. ENVS 616 Environmental Organization Development and Management (MBA-like course) (3 credit)
  3. 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
  4. Complete Master’s Project and Portfolio (14 credits)