Master in Environmental Management (MEM)

Careers

The MEM prepares students for incredible careers with an 85 percent placement rate. 

Career paths our Graduates have taken

  • Agricultural Program Specialist
  • Biological Technician
  • Business Owner/Manager
  • Climate & Communities Coordinator
  • Conservation Planner
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Steward
  • Executive Director
  • Extension Agent
  • Farmer
  • Field Supervisor
  • Food Safety & Sustainability Assistant
  • Forestry Technician
  • Garden Educator
  • GIS Specialist

  • Grants Manager
  • Guide
  • K-12 Teacher/University Faculty
  • Land Specialist
  • Landman
  • Natural Resources Specialist
  • Outdoor Education Coordinator
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Park Ranger
  • Ph.D. Student
  • Planner
  • Planning Technician
  • Project Manager
  • Range Technician

  • Ranger
  • Research Director
  • Restoration Coordinator
  • Scientist/Researcher
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Stewardship Director
  • Sustainability Planner
  • Timber Stand Technician
  • Vegetation Specialist
  • Water Quality Assistant
  • Watershed Technician
  • Weed Coordinator
  • Wilderness Ranger
  • Wildlife Technician

Profiles

Chris Werre '19

~Alumni~

Chris Werre headshot
Chris Werre headshot

Chris Werre '19

"I believe that society and cultures are connected to nature and when that connection is severed for any reason then displacement, marginalization and impoverishment can occur."

Chris Werre's is a 2019 alumni of the MEM program and is keenly interested in the issue of global displacement of people and resettlement. 

Chris became interested in this subject after working with the Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG). SDSG’s mission is to promote equitable and ecologically sound practices to reduce poverty through the management of natural resources. Chris worked with Professor Danielson and the International Network for Displacement and Resettlement (INDR) to define and identify instances of environmental displacement.

Chris has stated that “I believe that society and cultures are connected to nature and when that connection is severed for any reason then displacement, marginalization, and impoverishment can occur. It is our duty to reduce these instances of displacement through the loss of access to nature and nature-oriented livelihoods by avoiding displacement and minimizing the impacts on the affected communities.” His faculty mentor is Professor Sally Thode.   

Jonathan Coop, Ph.D.

~Faculty~

Jonathan Coop smiles at the camera
Jonathan Coop smiles at the camera

Jonathan Coop, Ph.D.

“We can produce high-quality research and publish papers in scientific journals with our students. We’re out on the cutting edge of our field learning the things we don’t know yet."

Jonathan Coop, Ph.D., is a forest ecologist who studies how natural systems are affected by land use, fire suppression and climate change. Coop works with land managers to understand effects of fire, climate and insects on forests, and develop and test intervention strategies to try to maintain forests, or to make forests more resilient in a time of certain change.

“I think there are reasons to be deeply pessimistic,” he said. “Looking at the state of the natural environment and our effects on it and how effectively we are addressing that or not—getting really depressed and pessimistic is a very rational response. But there is evidence that society can change in response to changing values and information. It just requires getting to a certain threshold or critical mass.”

Raised in Los Alamos, N.M., Coop vividly remembers the 1977 La Mesa Fire burning in nearby Bandelier National Monument. In the decades to follow, the 1996 Dome Fire and 2000 Cerro Grande Fire sparked Coop’s interest to conduct his dissertation research in his hometown. More recent blazes such as the 2011 Las Conchas Fire have only furthered Coop’s interest in the area.

“The Jemez Mountains have been a formative landscape for me. I have a vivid memory of being in my backyard and seeing this plume of smoke and little pieces of ash falling on my town,” he said. “I’m seeing the effects of these unintentional human influences on the natural environment … and they are super gnarly.”

Now a professor 250 miles up the road from his hometown, Coop has found a home in the heart of the Rockies since his arrival 10 years ago. He’s a father, mountain biker, skier, rafter, percussionist, hunter and sauerkraut-fermenter—and still finds time to work on “science projects” in his free time. In the classroom and field, Coop puts particular attention on involving his students in real research.

“It’s never like, ‘Oh, you’re the student and I’m the professor,’” he said. “We can produce high-quality research and publish papers in scientific journals with our students. We’re out on the cutting edge of our field learning the things we don’t know yet. I’m really stoked about it.”

Coop’s interest in involving his students in research runs deeper than producing papers. Sure, it’s a way to pique their interest and is a surefire resume-bolster for students, but the interest they take thereafter is the torch that will carry ecological research and action into future generations.

“My students have taught me why I should be hopeful about the future of the world,” he said. “My biggest accomplishments are when I’m able to get them excited about what I’m excited about. And I don’t want to take too much credit for that because I think it’s already all in there, but I’m stoked when I can give students the context and opportunities for that passion to come through.”

Rachel Weakland '19

~Alumni~

Photo of Rachel Weakland
Photo of Rachel Weakland

Rachel Weakland '19

Rachel Weakland has dedicated her professional efforts towards environmental education and creating global leaders here in Colorado and abroad.

Rachel Weakland has dedicated her professional efforts towards environmental education and creating global leaders here in Colorado and abroad. Her main project sponsor was Global Leaders, an organization which empowers underserved students in the U.S. Global Leaders provides the economic means to create positive and sustainable change here and abroad through social, educational and environmental service. 

In addition to her project work with Global Leaders, Rachel is engaged with BuildOn, an organization that partners with communities in Malawi, Africa to build primary schools. She is creating school-to-school relationships through a 3-D printer-based curriculum that links student between Fort Collins and Ghana, Africa by providing students in Africa with solar lanterns.  Finally, she is engaged in Iracambi Rainforest conservation in Brazil through creating hands-on activities where local kids become eco-leaders through sustainable agriculture. Her faculty mentor is Jessica Young, Ph.D., who is also the global coordinator and Peace Corps Coverdell program coordinator for the MEM program. 

Rachel is currently employed by her project sponsor, Global Leaders. 

Jade Swor

~Student~

Jade Swore headshot
Jade Swore headshot

Jade Swor

Jade Swor is a first year student currently exploring potential projects at the interface of tribal relations, mycology, and biomimicry.

Jade Swor is currently exploring potential projects at the interface of tribal relations, mycology, and biomimicry.  With an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from Evergreen College, she is representative of the diversity of interests and perspectives common amongst our students.  She chose Western's MEM program because of the project-focused approach and the distance option which allows her to continue her work as an Environmental Technician with the Potter Valley Tribe in Ukiah, California. Her main focus is to cultivate fungi for medicine, food, and exchanging traditional knowledge in partnership with the Potter Valley Tribe. Though she is still developing her project, her faculty mentor, Taryn Mead, Ph.D., is supporting her with expertise in biomimicry and connections to expand her professional network. Jade is currently taking first year courses and will be developing her master's project in the months to come. ​

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

~Faculty~

Photo of Melanie Armstrong
Photo of Melanie Armstrong

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

Melanie Armstrong brings scholarly and applied political approaches to her work with Western’s Center for Environment & Sustainability, where she also serves as Public Lands Coordinator. 

Melanie Armstrong brings scholarly and applied political approaches to her work with Western’s Center for Environment & Sustainability, where she serves as Public Lands Coordinator. Her background includes a master’s degree in communications (Ohio University, 2003), a doctorate in American studies (University of New Mexico, 2011), postdoctoral work in both environmental history (University of California, Davis, 2012-13) and cultural geography (University of California, Berkeley, 2013-15) and a career with the National Park Service.

She teaches courses on public lands, environmental policy, politics of nature, management skills and environmental history. Her goal as a teacher is to inspire students to be critical thinkers and communicators who are driven to work for justice in whatever career they pursue. She aims to turn the classroom into a space that forges transformative interactions with the world at large, which will last long after students graduate.

She mentors students who are working with governments and communities to address issues in complex, cultural and scientific landscapes. Her students have developed projects in wilderness stewardship with the U.S. Forest Service, visitor education with the Bureau of Land Management and strategic planning with the National Park Service. She has also mentored students in community organizing, including a local initiative to protect legislatively public lands in Gunnison County. These projects have generated documents that are used extensively by land managers at all levels, creating networks of stakeholders who continue to work together in the community.

Her research uses fine-grained historical research and ethnography to study how nature transforms social relations, pulling diverse theories and methods from geography, history and science studies to entangle ideals of nature with political practices. She is author of “Germ Wars: The Politics of Microbes and America’s Landscape of Fear” (University of California Press, 2017) and coauthor of “Environmental Realism: Challenging Solutions” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). “Environmental Realism” examines how solutions-oriented language limits collective action, arguing that new ways of thinking and speaking about environmental issues are vital to addressing modern socio-environmental challenges. Solutionist thinking perpetuates a problem-solution-problem cycle that elides the reality that human systems and biophysical systems are deeply entwined.

“Germ Wars” presents a similar scrutiny of environmental landscapes, showing how massive expenditures on disease control throughout human history emerge from the belief that nature—in this case microbes—can be managed through cultural practices. This book aims to show how the work to secure the nation against disease binds citizenship, governance and justice to new ways of knowing nature and life itself.

During her 15-year National Park Service career, she participated firsthand in the political actions that shape the natural and cultural landscapes of the American West and contemplating how social ideals of "wilderness” and “conservation” materialize through environmental management. This career provided a laboratory for exploring how deeply-seated ideas of nature are inscribed in the landscapes of the West and Southwest, informing her teaching and scholarship, and building her desire to understand how powerful stories of nature shape the modern social experience.

Francis Mitalo '18

~Alumni~

Headshot of Francis Mitalo
Headshot of Francis Mitalo

Francis Mitalo '18

“As an international student, I felt welcomed into the MEM community. I regularly consulted with my accessible professors and fellow students while implementing my graduate project in the Gunnison community with passion, experience and newly gained knowledge.” 

Francis Mitalo is a 2018 Alumni of the Master in Environmental Management Program. Francis learned about the program as a senior manager for Eco2librium in Kenya, one of the major B-certified corporate partners of the Global Sustainability track which applies business solutions to solve social and environmental problems. There he spearheaded the installation of more than 50,000 energy efficiency stoves, planted of more than 10,000 tree seedlings and installed solar energy kits in the Western Kenya community.

He focused on climate mitigation and energy efficiency working on consumer behavioral changes in partnership with the Nest, an organization that makes smart home energy products. His faculty member was Abel Chávez, Ph.D. who is an internationally recognized expert in climate mitigation.

“As an international student, I felt welcomed into the MEM community," said Francis. "I regularly consulted with my accessible professors and fellow students while implementing my graduate project in the Gunnison community with passion, experience and newly gained knowledge.”

Francis is currently working as a sustainability coordinator at University of California, Riverside. 

Lindsey Lunsford '17

~Alumni~

Lindsey Lunsford Headshot
Lindsey Lunsford Headshot

Lindsey Lunsford '17

Lindsey Lunsford's work towards a healthier community contributes to the rural south's reclamation of the "Carver Way of Life," impacting the health of many communities.

As a Master of Environmental Management candidate, Lindsey Lunsford has been interested in resilient and sustainable communities. 

Currently, she works in Tuskegee, Ala., running a farm and encouraging youth in underprivileged communities to lead healthier lifestyles. 

Read more about Lindsey's work, along with the work of other people of color working in agriculture, in this piece from Yes! Magazine, "After a Century In Decline, Black Farmers Are Back And On the Rise."

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Melanie  Armstrong, Ph.D.  headshot
Assistant Professor & Public Lands Coordinator
Phone:
Office Location: Kelley Hall 109
Abel Chávez, Ph.D. headshot
Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 970.943.2017
Office Location: Kelley 104, Quigley 114
Kate Clark, Ph.D. headshot
Director of Undergraduate Environment & Sustainability Program; Graduate Faculty in Master in Environmental Management programs, Environment & Sustainability and Sociology programs
Phone:
Office Location: Kelley Hall 146
Jonathan Coop, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor
Phone: 970.943.2565
Office Location: Kelley Hall 105
Luke  Danielson headshot
Clark Chair in Environment and Sustainability
Phone: 970.641.4605
Office Location: 116 N. Taylor St., Gunnison, CO 81230
Jennie DeMarco, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 970.943.2013
Office Location: Leslie J. Savage Library 303
Dave Ellerbroek, Ph.D. headshot
Graduate Faculty for Sustainability Transitions
Phone:
Office Location:
Karen Hausdoerffer, MFA headshot
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 970.943.3450
Office Location: Kelley Hall 142
John C. Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.  headshot
Dean, School of Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 970.943.3450
Office Location: Kelley Hall 142
Salif P. Mahamane, M.S. headshot
Assistant Professor of Psychology; Graduate Faculty, MEM
Phone: 970.943.7037
Office Location: Kelley Hall 206
Taryn Mead, Ph.D. headshot
Graduate Faculty for the School of Environment & Sustainability and Outdoor Industry MBA
Phone: 970.943.3954
Office Location: Kelley Hall 108
Brooke Moran, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education for MEM Graduate Program, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
Phone: 970.943.2118
Office Location: Wright Gym 223
Jeff Sellen, Ph.D.  headshot
Professor of Environment & Sustainability, Director of Colorado Water Workshop
Phone: 970.943.3162
Office Location: Kelley Hall 107
Lynn Sikkink, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Anthropology
Phone: 970.943.2062
Office Location: Hurst Hall 31C
Sally Thode headshot
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
Phone:
Office Location: Kelley Hall 114A
Jessica Young, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Environment & Sustainability, Master in Environmental Management and Master of Science in Ecology
Phone: 970.765.8488
Office Location: Kelley Hall 143

Courses

For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 ENVS 601 - INTRO TO ENVIRONMTL MGMT (5 cred.)

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.

 ENVS 605 - Science of Environment Management (3 cred.)

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, databasing, statistical analysis, interpretation of results, written and oral communication, and peer review. Prerequisites: ENVS 601.

 ENVS 608 - ENVIRONMENTL POLITICS POLICY (3 cred.)

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

 ENVS 611 - INTEGR SKILLS IN ENVIRNMT MGMT (3 cred.)

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

 ENVS 611 - INTEGR SKLS IN ENV MGMT DISCUS (0 cred.)

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

 ENVS 612 - QUANT SKILLS IN ENVIRMTAL MGMT (3 cred.)

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, databasing, geographic information systems, and graphic presentation of results. Course empowers students to organize, analyze, and graphically present environmental data. Prerequisite: ENVS 601.

 ENVS 615 - SCI OF CLMTE MITAGTN ADAPTAT (3 cred.)

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. Prerequisite: ENVS 605.

 ENVS 616 - ENVIR ORG DEVELP AND MANAGMENT (3 cred.)

An introduction to developing organizations at the nexus of economic, social, and natural systems, and to the key skills necessary to succeed in this complex and highly competitive environment. Course discusses competitively advantageous strategies and practices organizations adopt to grow revenues, cut costs, improve market share, enhance brands, and redesign products and processes toward positive environmental and social impacts. Course examples will include sustainable innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship from around the world. Students learn to identify the best opportunities, generate innovative non-profit and for-profit business models, frame and reframe problems, produce creative solutions, and generate a culture of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship within an organization utilizing principles from a variety of thinking methods including systems, design, and group thinking. Prerequisites: ENVS 605; ENVS 608; ENVS 611

 ENVS 617 - GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY (3 cred.)

An exploration of how international governments, NGOs, and other entities join to move the world toward a more sustainable future. Addresses contemporary topics such as industrial ecology, international natural resource management, sustainable development, and other relevant areas of study. Students develop skills in accessing, assessing, and applying social, economic and environmental data and practices to global issues. Prerequisites: ENVS 605; ENVS 608; and ENVS 611.

 ENVS 618 - Public Lands Management (3 cred.)

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 620 - ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617.

 ENVS 620 - STUDYIN: MKT SOC CAUSES (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617.

 ENVS 620 - STUDYIN:BLDG PLANNING COMM (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617.

 ENVS 620 - STUDYIN:SUSTAIN LEAD CONSULT (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617.

 ENVS 623 - NEPA (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to environmental management. Topics will vary from semester to semester based on faculty interest and student need. This course is repeatable, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 623 - STUDYIN: CONFLICT RESOLUTION (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to environmental management. Topics will vary from semester to semester based on faculty interest and student need. This course is repeatable, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 623 - STUDYIN: STRATEGIC ALLIANCES (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to environmental management. Topics will vary from semester to semester based on faculty interest and student need. This course is repeatable, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 623 - STUDYIN:CONSERV CORRIDORS (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to environmental management. Topics will vary from semester to semester based on faculty interest and student need. This course is repeatable, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 623 - STUDYIN:GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to environmental management. Topics will vary from semester to semester based on faculty interest and student need. This course is repeatable, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 616 or ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 625 - ECO MONITORING AND ANALYSIS (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 625 - NEPA (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 625 - STUDYIN: PLANTS AND SOILS (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 625 - STUDYIN:SUST RANGELAND MGMT (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 625 - STUDYIN:WILDERNESS MANAGEMENT (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 625 - TBD (3 cred.)

An examination of selected topics covering the content understanding, analytical skills, and management approaches vital to cultivating sustainable and resilient communities. Topics include subjects such as Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Energy Futures, Sustainable Economic Development, Movements in Community Resilience, and Frameworks in Sustainability. This course is repeatable, since students are required to take this course three times, as long as the topic changes. Prerequisites: ENVS 617 or ENVS 618.

 ENVS 690 - MEM PROJECT DEVELOPMENT (5 cred.)

An introduction to the Master’s Project. Course examines environmental project design strategies, successful environmental solutions, and organizations/community stakeholder groups seeking environmental management assistance from MEM students in the Master’s Project. Students design, plan, and coordinate second year Master’s Project with faculty mentors and community stakeholders. Requires two-weeks residency in Gunnison during culmination of course. Prerequisites: MEM Core

Fellowships

Master in Environmental Management (MEM) Program Fellowships

Western’s MEM offers a suite of graduate fellowships to reduce tuition, to enhance organizational partnerships, to elevate Master’s Project quality and to improve career competitiveness for select MEM students. If you have applied to the MEM Program, please indicate your interest in specific fellowships in an email to the corresponding faculty fellowship supervisor listed below. The number of program fellows will be determined each year by the quality and quantity of the candidate pool.

Clark Environmental Fellowships

Ralph “Butch” Clark and the Clark family have been very generous to Western’s Center for Environment & Sustainability (ENVS) for over a decade. Most recently,

Clark ENVS Center Outreach Fellowships ($5,000 applied toward student tuition): selected graduate students volunteer to assist the ENVS Center with public events and sustainability education programs. Please contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer with questions, jhausdoerffer@western.edu

Coldharbour Institute Fellowships ($5,000 applied toward student tuition):  Selected graduate students volunteer their expertise to aid the Coldharbour Institute realize it's mission on the Coldharbour property. Please contact Suzanne Ewy with questions, sewy@western.edu

Mountain Roots Community Farm Fellowship

Mountain Roots Community Farm Fellowships are an opportunity for outstanding graduate students to engage in the research, project design and management, site planning, installation and beginning operations phases of a new 10-acre organic farm. Students will be able to see tangible results of their work across several areas of the food system. Community Farm Fellows receive $10,000 over two years. They make a commitment to apply their research skills and their graduate project focus to the Mountain Roots Community Farm.

Community Farm Graduate Fellowship

Global Sustainability Fellowships

Global Sustainability Fellowship.  Provides up to $5,000 from MEM.
The global sustainability program seeks entering graduate student leaders committed to developing partnerships that empower local communities to address issues in environmental management. This fellowship will be offered to an incoming first year global studies applicant whose past experience and service embodies these principles and who shows significant promise to be a leader in this field. We will consider all GS track applicants for this fellowship based on your existing application material. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates. Please contact Jessica Young, Ph. D (jyoung@western.edu) for more information.

Earthship Biotecture Academy Fellowship.  Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match. 
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s programs are partnering with the Earthship Academy  to create a master in environmental management degree that integrates the Earthship Biotecture training with MEM program courses and content for students wishing to complete their second year project serving communities anywhere in the world. Fellows will receive up to a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years of schooling. Please note that the Earthship Biotecture Academy will also provide a $500 scholarship to any MEM graduate student to attend their academy (not to be combined with other of their scholarships). Please contact Jessica Young, Ph.D or Scott Borden, Ph.D for more information. 

Solar Energy International Fellows.
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s programs are partnering with Solar Energy International (SEI) to create a master in environmental management degree that integrates  SEI training with MEM program courses for students interested in doing their 600+ hour second year project with the organization and providing up to 10 hours a week of internship work during their first year. SEI provides industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities and businesses worldwide. Access to affordable, reliable energy is key to providing a just and sustainable pathway to economic development and opportunity globally. We seek SEI Fellows that will complete projects that empower people in the United States or throughout the world. Fellows will receive a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years and up to a $5,000 fellowship from SEI to be applied toward SEI courses (E.g,  PV101, 203, 201L and up to two other courses based on project interest and course availability).

Global Mountain Resilience Fellowship.  Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match. 
The global sustainability program seeks entering graduate student committed to developing partnerships that empower international mountain communities to address issues in environmental management.  This fellowship will be offered to an incoming first year global studies applicant who is either from such a community or a second year student who’s project is designed to serve international mountain communities. Preference will be given to students who have created partnership matches.  Please contact John Hausdoerffer, Ph.D (jhausdoerffer@western.edu) for more information.

Global Climate Actions Fellow. Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match.
The global sustainability program seeks entering graduate student leaders committed to developing partnerships that empower international communities to address climate change. This fellowship will be offered to an incoming first year global studies applicant whose application materials demonstrate significant promise to be a leader in this field or to a second year student whose project is designed to alleviate climate change challenges in international settings. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to secure a match with project partners. If matched, this fellowship provides $10,000 over the course of the MEM program. Please contact Jessica Young, Ph.D., (jyoung@western.edu) for more information.

Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG) Fellowship. 
SDSG is a collaborative group of researchers, consultants and other experts whose goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of sustainable development concepts in solving real, practical problems at the local, regional, national and international levels. SDSG is both a research organization and a practical source of policy, institutional and capacity building advice, particularly in the area of management of nonrenewable natural resources. It works principally with developing country governments. SDSG is headquartered in Gunnison, Colo., but works with collaborators in many regions of the globe. Incoming MEM students interested in pursuing a project serving SDSG’s global community should contact Professor Luke Danielson (ldanielson@western.edu) for more information. Luke Danielson is the president of SDGS.

GS Project Fellowship Matches.  Provides up to $2,500 from MEM with project matches. 
These funds are provided as a tuition discount to second-year students who have a potential match from their project sponsor. Interested second-year students should sent a 1-page letter of interest explaining the proposed project, its importance and the matching partner with contact information to Jessica Young, Ph.D., (jyoung@western.edu).  Deadline for fellowship will occur after project proposals have been completed for 690 and funds from a project partner secured.

Sustainable and Resilient Communities Track Fellowships

SRC Community Leadership Fellowship:
We offer a number of fellowships each at varying amounts each. SRC Community Leadership Fellows will be asked to champion a high visibility community project during the year. At year’s end, each fellow will complete a product that serves the partner, such as a white paper, an action plan, or other deliverable of high value to the partner. There is the possibility for renewal of this fellowship in the second year, especially if it ties into the Master’s Project.

SRC fellowship opportunities will be linked to tangible projects across our community partners. Recipients of these awards will be asked to work closely with the project team consisting of MEM Faculty Mentors and relevant community partner(s). Please contact Scott Borden, Ph.D., (sborden@western.edu) if you have any questions about these fellowships, or SRC.

Earthship Biotecture Academy Fellows.
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s programs are partnering with the Earthship Academy  to create a master in environmental management degree that integrates the Earthship Biotecture training with MEM program courses and content for students wishing to complete their second year project serving communities anywhere in the world. Fellows will receive up to a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years of schooling. Please note that the Earthship Biotecture Academy will also provide a $500 scholarship to any MEM graduate student to attend their academy (not to be combined with other of their scholarships). Please contact Jessica Young, Ph.D., or Scott Borden, Ph.D., for more information.

Solar Energy International Fellows
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s programs are partnering with Solar Energy International (SEI) to create a master in environmental management degree that integrates SEI training with MEM program courses for students interested in doing their 600+ hour second year project with the organization and providing up to 10 hours a week of internship work during their first year. SEI provides industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities, and businesses worldwide. Access to affordable, reliable energy is key to providing a just and sustainable pathway to economic development and opportunity globally. We seek SEI Fellows that will complete projects that empower people in the United States or throughout the world. Fellows will receive a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years and up to a $5,000 fellowship from SEI to be applied toward SEI courses (E.g, PV101, 203, 201L and up to two other courses based on project interest and course availability).

Integrative and Public Land Management Track Fellowships

Defenders of Wildlife Wolf Restoration Fellowship. $5,000 Fellowship
Defenders of Wildlife desires to build a strong foundation for wolf restoration in Colorado. They are looking for two graduate students interested in a project using camera traps to document potential wolf presence in Colorado. The project would provide interaction and training from known wolf biologists. There is an opportunity to work with wolf biologists in the field this fall (between Sept. 25-Oct. 9) to ground-truth habitat modeling and position the camera traps. Data collection would be year-round, but most intense during June-Sept. 2019. To receive the fellowship, you would need to commit to doing your MEM project on this subject in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife. If you are interested in either of these projects, please contact cknapp@western.edu by Sept. 7th. To be considered for this fellowship we will ask for a letter of interest and your current resume. 

Integrative and Public Land Management(IPLM) Innovation Fellowship. Provides up to $7500 from MEM.
The Integrative and Public Land Management (IPLM) program embodies a spirit of cross-boundary collaboration to build social-ecological system resilience in the context of global and local change processes. This fellowship will be offered to an incoming student whose experience and service embodies these principles and who shows great promise to be a leader in this field. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates.  

MEM Public Lands Fellowship. Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match                               
The fellowship provides an opportunity for an outstanding graduate student to engage in the research, project design and leadership of a significant project related to the management of public lands locally, nationally, or internationally. The fellowship is also a launching point for advanced study of issues surrounding public lands management, supporting innovative thinking about the particular issues facing public lands managers in the 21st century.

MEM City or County Open Space Fellowship. Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match.
City and county open space jobs are a growing and important component of integrated land management as they provide open space and recreational opportunities for people living in urban areas. The city or county open space fellowship is reserved for current employees of city or county open space organizations, or people who desire to work for these entities in the future. The fellowship is designed for students who will focus their MEM project on some aspect of open space management. The intention is to leverage these funds to find a match through either a current open-space employer or other entity. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to secure a match. If matched, this fellowship would provide $10,000 over the course of the program. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates. If you have a potential match that you would like to discuss, please contact Corrie Knapp, Ph.D., at cknapp@western.edu.     

MEM Land Trust Fellowship. Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match.
Land trusts are a critical link to conservation on private lands. The land trust fellowship is reserved for current employees of land trust organizations, or people who desire to work for these entities in the future. The fellowship is designed for students who will focus their MEM project on some aspect of land trusts. The intention is to leverage these funds to find a match through either a current land trust employer or other entity.  Preference will be given to applicants who are able to secure a match. If matched, this fellowship would provide $10,000 over the course of the program. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates.  If you have a potential match that you would like to discuss, please contact Corrie Knapp, Ph.D., at cknapp@western.edu.    

Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) Fellowship. Provides up to $2,000
This fellowship will engage a motivated student in a community-driven initiative to protect public lands and enhance a strong and sustainable economy in Gunnison County. The fellow will support GPLI in public education and outreach to generate visible public support for wilderness and public lands conservation, advancing a consensus-based proposal from a community working group towards legislative action. Candidates for this fellow must exhibit professionalism in interactions with the public and will gain valuable experience in policymaking and community collaboration.​

MEM Environmental Consulting Fellowship. Provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match.
Environmental consulting companies provide valuable skills and services to both private and public entities. Many students interested in land management begin their careers working for these groups as seasonals, gaining hands-on experience in environmental monitoring. The environmental consulting fellowship is reserved for current or prior employees of consulting companies, or people who desire to work for these entities in the future. The intention is to leverage these funds to find a match through either a current environmental consulting organization or other entity.  Preference will be given to applicants who are able to secure a match. If matched, this fellowship would provide $10,000 over the course of the program. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates. If you have a potential match that you would like to discuss, please contact Corrie Knapp, Ph.D., at cknapp@western.edu.         

Wilderness Stewardship Fellowship with the United States Forest Service (USFS).
This fellowship offers the opportunity for a hard working and independent student to gain valuable experience with wilderness management in partnership with the Gunnison Ranger District of the USFS. The USFS is currently implementing new wilderness stewardship performance activities, which include education planning, assessment of opportunities for solitude and other activities. Students with interest in this opportunity should contact Corrie Knapp, Ph.D., (cknapp@western.edu) or Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D., (marmstrong@western.edu).

IPLM Leadership Fellowships. Provides up to $1,000.
These fellowships are provided to stellar incoming students in the Integrative and Public Land Management track who have either demonstrated or display potential leadership in this field through outstanding grades, service, or a combination. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials.

IPLM Project Matching Fellowships. Provides up to $2,500 from MEM with potential for match.
These fellowships are provided to second-year students who have a potential match from the project sponsor. Prior matching fellowships have been awarded to students working with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service, however we are open to matching contributions from any land management entity (public, non-profit, or private). Interested second-year students should sent a 1-page letter of interest explaining the proposed project, its importance, and the matching partner with contact information to Corrie Knapp, Ph.D., (cknapp@western.edu). There are two deadlines for letters of interest, which correspond with Haley dates, April 15 and Sept. 15. Letters will be read after the deadlines and decisions made within two weeks. 

AmeriCorps Volunteers

Eligible individuals will have been accepted into both the MEM and an upcoming 1700-hour-level AmeriCorps position and/or will have been accepted into the MEM program and actively engaged in their AmeriCorps Service and/or will have completed one full-time term of service (at least 1,700 hours over one year or less) prior to MEM acceptance.

You must be able to provide one of the following forms of documentation:

  • Letter from AmeriCorps supervisor
  • Certification of Service
  • Acceptance of Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
  • VISTA Certification Letter

AmeriCorps volunteers who receive the fellowship will receive it as a one time fellowship match of the current AmericaCorps education award to be applied across two years of their graduate tuition.  For students who choose a second AmeriCorps term during the period of the MEM, a second match is possible, although would require a competitive application process.  

First preference given to AmeriCorps VISTA members who specifically serve as part of the Stewards Individual Placement Program (https://stewardslegacy.org).  Please contact John Hausdoerffer, Ph.D with questions, MEM@western.edu

CS2I Lab Climate Action Fellowship

Western’s CS2I Lab seeks aspiring graduate trainees for its Climate Action Fellowship. As a fellow, not only will you work towards your MEM, you will also have the opportunity to assist in community-scale sustainability planning and infrastructure resilience assessments. The fellow will be asked to assist CS2I’s director in the scoping and execution of related projects across a series of community-scale partners. Desired qualifications include: bachelors degree, self-motivated, skilled in MS Excel, quantitative analysis, experience with and high levels of comfort with data, excellent time management abilities, curiosity for developing new and innovative partnerships.

Peace Corps Fellowships

All RPCV’s who are interested in developing projects in conjunction with organizations abroad may be considered for the Global Sustainability Peace Corps fellowship.  The Fellowship comes with up to a $5,000 in tuition support for the recipient’s first year and may be matched by organizations globally.  Preference is given to applicants with in-kind or financial matches from organizations.  Fellows can seek project funding support via the Haley fund for their 600 second year projects and can complete part or all of their graduate education from anywhere in the world.   To request consideration for this fellowship, please mention it in your general application materials.

Current partners who sponsor Western’s Paul D. Coverdell fellows include:

  • Peace Corps Prep Program with Leadership and Engagement Office at Western. Fellows help develop and implement the campus Peace Corps Prep program. Fellows work with other campus entities to promote sustainability, service and inclusivity across the campus and in the greater community. Fellowship comes with a $2,500 tuition reduction each year and a free shared campus apartment for fall and spring semesters. (a total of a $9,100 value).  Fellowships may be renewed in the second year depending on performance.  Available for 2020.
     
  • Multicultural Center at Western.  Fellows contribute to helping develop intercultural programs and opportunities for the campus and community. Fellowship comes with a $2,500 tuition reduction each year and a free shared campus apartment for fall and spring semesters. (a total of a $9,100 value).  Fellowships may be renewed in the second year depending on performance.  Available for 2020.
     
  • We partner with Solar Energy International (SEI) to create a master in environmental management degree that integrates SEI training with MEM program courses. Fellows may receive up to a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years ($2,500 a year) and up to a $5,000 fellowship from SEI to be applied toward SEI courses (E.g, PV101, 203, 201L, and up to two other courses based on project interest and course availability). Fellows will provide 10 hours a week to the organization during their first year of their graduate program and complete their 600+ hour second year project with the organization. Available for 2020.
     
  • Coldharbour Institute Coverdell Fellows. Fellowship in regenerative land management, wildlife management, sustainable building, solar energy gardens and outreach to underserved populations for an innovative learning center are available. Fellowship comes with a $1,000 tuition reduction for fall and spring semesters of their first year and possible $9,000 fellowship if their second-year project is done in conjunction with Coldharbour Institute. 
     
  • Please note that all RPCV applicants will be considered for fellowship support regardless of track choice.  

Design your own Coverdell Fellowship

Western’s Master in Environmental Management program offers the only “Design your own Coverdell Fellowship” option in the nation. We encourage RPCV’s who have a passion and relationship within a currently underserved American community to utilize their entrepreneurial skills and ability to innovate to seek sponsorship for either a fellowship and/or housing assistance that allows them to gain the education and support of a master’s degree while serving in a place of their choice. We also have local organizational and federal partners with assorted needs in public lands management interested in creating fellowship opportunities and filling AmeriCorps positions. 

To complete an application for a Coverdell Fellowship:

Please contact Jessica Young, Ph.D. if you have questions. 

Military personnel

Eligible individuals are active duty military personnel, honorably discharged veterans,

and military retirees.

This includes all personnel listed in the Title 10 US Code, including DoD (USA, USAF, USMC, USN), Department of Homeland Security (USCG), Department of Commerce (NOAA) and the Department of HHS (UP Public Health Service). Eligible veterans are individuals honorably discharged in one of the previously mentioned organizations. Retirees are veterans who have served honorably for 20 or more years.

You must be able to provide one of the following forms of documentation:

  • Recent Military Orders
  • Current Military ID Card
  • DD Form 214: Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty

Fellowship Award for Veterans, Active Duty Personnel and Military Retirees

Veterans who receive the fellowship will receive a one time $5,000 Fellowship to be applied to their tuition for that year.

Please contact Jessica Young, Ph.D., with questions, jyoung@western.edu

Haley Fund for Second Year Students

This fund varies from year to year in quantity, but is designed as a fund to which all second-year students can apply in order to fund specific aspects of Master’s Projects. The application process will come in two rounds: April 15, and Aug. 21. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, Ph.D with questions, jhausdoerffer@western.edu

Outside Fellowships

Sponsor: Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2018
Contact: Yulian Ramos 212.547.6926

Description: Support for up to two years of graduate study in the U.S. for new Americans who are either resident aliens; have been naturalized as a U.S. citizen; or are the children of two parents who are both naturalized citizens.

The recipients are chosen on a nationally competitive basis.
Thirty fellowships will be awarded each year.
Eligibility limited to those who are not over 30.
Fellows receive a maintenance grant of up to $25,000 and a $20,000 tuition grant each year.
Annual deadline: Nov. 1. See https://www.pdsoros.org/apply for details. Email: yramos@sorosny.org

ThinkRadio Fellowship

The ThinkRadio Fellowship is an opportunity for students interested in learning the art and craft of responsible communication in the age of digital media. "ThinkRadio Presents" is a trio of half-hour conversation-based shows produced for radio and podcast distribution. These include ThinkBusiness, ThinkPlanetand ThinkPeople — mirroring the “triple bottom line” emphasis on resilience as a multi-facet pursuit. The ThinkRadio Fellow will participate in various aspects of the shows’ production, including research assistance, scheduling, distribution and marketing.

Savory Institute Hub Fellowships

The Global Sustainability and Integrated and Public Land Management program are partnering with the Savory Global Network to create a Master in Environmental Management fellowship that integrates regenerative holistic management and systems thinking to support Savory Hubs throughout the world. There are now nearly 50 global Savory hubs with another 50 slated to join in the next 7 years. Hubs offer accredited workshops and courses in holistic management; biological, social and financial monitoring services; and consulting to land managers, governments, and organizations. 

Savory Global and the Savory Network have recently developed the Land to Market and Ecological Outcome Verification program to reward regenerative food producers with exclusive markets in the food and fashion industries. MEM Fellows will apprentice their first year with the Savory Global Network or with an individual hub giving 5 hours a week toward their internship. If selected to receive a second-year fellowship, fellows will develop their 600+ hour project with the Savory Institute or the individual Savory Hub. Savory Global Hub Fellows will receive a $2,000 fellowship to be applied to their first fall and spring tuition, access to the exclusive online collaboration platform, and free tuition to attend three Savory Institute courses or trainings. Fellows that develop their second-year project in conjunction with the Savory Global Hub Network are eligible for a second-year award and encouraged to apply to the John and Margie Haley fund for project support. Coldharbour Institute, a close affiliate of Western's MEM, is the Colorado Savory Hub.

Please mention your interest in this competitive fellowship in your application materials.

We are different from your typical master's program, offering a project and portfolio tailored to your environmental career vision, a distance exception for bringing in professional and global perspectives, and a commitment to experiential education through our unique block schedule allowing you to focus on one or two courses at a time.

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Reach out for more information about the program.

Dr. John C. Hausdoerffer
Dean, School of Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 
Office Location: 
Kelley Hall 142

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