Environmental Science

  • Pair with any bachelor's degree
    • Minor

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Chemistry Club: Members share their love of chemistry with the community in an annual demonstration that draws hundreds.
    • Geology Club: The Geology Club is active in fundraising for student experiences, including field trips and attending professional conferences. 
    • Gunnison Valley Observatory: Faculty and students use this sophisticated facility for research and teaching.
    • Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory: Western biologists and students collaborate with the world-renowned research station seven miles north of Crested Butte.
    • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students collaborate with faculty (and can receive funding) on original research. 
    • Tri Beta and the Wildlife Society: Student-run clubs that provide professional development, training, networking, internships and field experiences. 


    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit western.edu/mars.

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Faculty & Staff


    Kevin Alexander, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Biology; Chair, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences
    Phone: 970.943.3405
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 143C
    Robert Fillmore headshot
    Professor of Geology
    Phone: 970.943.2650
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 16B
    Patrick Magee, Ph.D. headshot
    Assistant Professor of Wildlife & Conservation Biology
    Phone: 970.943.7121
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
    David W. Marchetti, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Geology
    Phone: 970.943.2367
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 224
    John Mason, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Physics
    Phone: 970.943.2142
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 116
    Jason E. Mullins, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Chemistry
    Phone: 970.943.3152
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 204
    Elizabeth Petrie, Ph.D. headshot
    Moncrief Chair in Petroleum Geology
    Phone: 970.943.2117
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 16D
    Suzanne Taylor, Ph.D. headshot
    Associate Professor of Physics
    Phone: 970.943.2155
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 118
  • Pair with any bachelor's degree
    • Minor


    The Environmental Science minor is a great way for students to round-out their degree with a stronger, more diverse scientific emphasis in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, math and environmental management. Graduates enter their careers or graduate school with technical research skills and an enhanced understanding of environmental issues.

    The Program

    Students in the Environmental Science minor work with faculty to design a program of study that complements their major. Many courses offer research opportunities and students often present their research at conferences or in public forums.

    With Western’s connections to natural resource agencies, professionals frequently interact with students during classes, on field trips and in internships and paid, local jobs.

    Careers & Opportunities

    Our graduates are often hired at local, state and national agencies, including:

    • Bureau of Land Management
    • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
    • National Park Service
    • Natural Resources Conservation Service
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • U.S. Forest Service

    Graduates also work with nongovernmental organizations, such as nonprofit environmental groups, Native American tribes, ecological consulting companies and for-profit consulting companies.

    Learn More

    Reach out to Kevin Alexander, Ph.D. for more information.