Sustainable & Resilient Communities Track

Get Involved

There are many opportunities to work with faculty on projects around Western’s campus and in the Gunnison community, including:

Coldharbour Institute: Developing partnerships that empower international communities to address climate change on our 334-acre ranch site.

CS2I Lab: Incubating solutions to real-world problems for real partners.

Earth Tub: Diverting and composting food waste at Western to use at local farms.

Organics Guild: Growing and distributing local food to the community through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Renewable Energy: Promoting and maintaining local renewable energy programs on Western’s campus, including solar and wind efforts.

Sustainability Action Committee: Working to strengthen partnerships between Western and local stakeholders in a variety of sustainability initiatives.

Sustainability Marketing: Raising public awareness and inspiring action by promoting socially responsible purchasing and changes in consumptive behaviors. 

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



More than 140 nonprofit partners and our ICELab, a center for incubating new businesses, give you the opportunities to realize your dreams.

The Program

Through its action-oriented approach to learning, the Sustainable & Resilient Communities (SRC) track prepares students to work in renewable energy, food justice, nonprofit and for-profit management, climate action planning, sustainability consulting, alternative building, environmental education and more. As a student in the Sustainable & Resilient Communities track, you will be able to partner with our faculty in real-world and complex projects which can enhance your learning and leadership opportunities. On the back page is only a small sample of some of the organizations and projects students could work with. Our faculty can help you identify and connect with engaging opportunities tailor-made to your interests. 

What Skills Will I Acquire?

With an MEM degree, you will be able to scope, manage and execute a diverse set of environmental projects at various scales. Your extensive field training and applied experiences through the 600-hour master’s project—which can be completed anywhere in the world—will ensure your learning of the hard and soft skills most relevant for facilitating action-oriented projects globally, including:

  • Project and organizational management
  • The ability to understand and assess community infrastructure systems
  • Cultural dexterity
  • Climate action planning
  • Financial analysis
  • Environmental and social entrepreneurship
  • Life-cycle assessment

Quick Facts

  • More than 85 percent of graduates obtain environmental management careers.
  • Students gain on-the-ground and applied experience during our block scheduling.
  • Course schedules allow attendance of working professionals.
  • Our 8:1 student-mentor ratio provides personalized attention for course, project and career success.