Integrative and Public Land Management Track

Faculty & Staff


Melanie  Armstrong, Ph.D.  headshot
Assistant Professor & Public Lands Coordinator
Office Location: Kelley Hall 109
D. Scott Borden, Ph.D. headshot
Director, Outdoor Industry MBA
Phone: 970.943.2294
Office Location: Kelley Hall 108
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 Hall 104 and Taylor Hall 322
Kate Clark, Ph.D. headshot
Director of Undergraduate Environment & Sustainability Program; Graduate Faculty in Master in Environmental Management programs, Environment & Sustainability and Sociology programs
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 Sustainable Development Chair in Environment and Sustainability
Phone: 303.912.0855
Office Location: Kelley 206
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
Office Location:
Suzanne Ewy, JD headshot
Coldharbour Chair in Environment & Sustainability, Executive Director, Coldharbour Institute
Phone: 970.943.2023
Office Location: Kelley Hall 114A
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
Corrie Knapp, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 970.943.3154
Office Location: Kelley Hall 116
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
Phone: 970.943.3954
Office Location: Kelley Hall 108
Brooke Moran, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education for MEM Graduate Program, Adjunct 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
Sally Thode headshot
Lecturer in Environment & Sustainability
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
  • Emphasis



Western is the ideal place for an education in integrative public lands management, with 82 percent of Gunnison County being public land.

The Program

The Integrative & Public Land Management (IPLM) track focuses on building resilient social and ecological systems and navigating the complex realities of project management, climate action and collaborative solutions with diverse communities. Students immerse in applied projects, field experiences and a self-designed, 600-hour master’s project; they leave prepared for careers in public lands management, private lands conservation and conservation advocacy.

The MEM faculty have extensive experience working for conservation nonprofits, environmental consulting companies and agencies. These practical experiences inform their approach to teaching, their mentorship style, as well as providing networks students can tap for their future careers. Our faculty help students find their niche in land management and climate adaptation.

Why Western? 

The MEM takes full advantage of the abundance of public land in Gunnison County where diverse ecosystems, natural resources, participation in conservation easement agreements and enthusiastic community partners abound. Our faculty have interests ranging from ecology and wildlife biology to recreation management and geography to strategies in the face of climate chaos and bring a wealth of connections with local, regional and national environmental organizations. MEM students are immersed in a matchless outdoor laboratory with true experts in lands management guiding them along the way.

More than 90 percent of our graduates are employed in an environmental position either prior to or immediately following graduation at organizations such as:

  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • National Park Service
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Teton Science Schools
  • Jeffco Open Space Parks and Trails
  • Crested Butte Land Trust

What Skills Will I Acquire?

Western’s IPLM track was created in response to interviews with federal and local agencies, nonprofit executive directors and environmental consultants who identified the skills and experiences they wish to see in their employees. In-demand skills that you will acquire in the program include:

  • Understanding how to analyze and manage social and ecological systems
  • Applying scientific knowledge and methods to environmental management questions
  • Navigating complex and challenging problems with diverse stakeholders
  • Transforming land management institutions to respond better to social and ecological change