Western launches Master of Science in Ecology

Ecology student measuring a tree in a burnt forest

Western launches Master of Science in Ecology

Carley Clegg
Photo by Jan 29, 2019

The School of Graduate Studies at Western Colorado University recently announced a new addition to its offerings. Starting in fall 2019, Western will offer a Master of Science in Ecology.

The two-year, residential program offers tracks in Ecology & Conservation and Fisheries & Wildlife Management, both of which will put students in collaboration with agencies and institutions in the region. The program also emphasizes using the bioclimatic diversity and abundant public land in the southern Rocky Mountains to conduct research.

“The research that our students will train for will have immediate relevance and will inform decisions of federal, state and local policy-makers, ranch owners, city councils, developers, private business owners, nonprofit organizations and conservationists,” said program coordinator Matthew Benoit.

Ideal candidates may be recent graduates or professionals looking for a degree to advance their careers. In commitment to increasing the diversity of perspectives in the scientific community, applicants with nontraditional work and life experiences are encouraged to highlight their unique backgrounds even if they fall outside admission requirements.

“We want our students to learn how to bring the utility of ecological science to communities most affected by ecological problems. We’re focusing on communication of science outside of scientific circles, including government reports, documentaries, podcasts and community outreach, which will bring important scientific information to people who can use it. Our students will also learn how to hear the perspectives of affected communities to identify what kind of research will help them to make the best decisions,” Benoit added.  

A 3+2 option is also offered for students who want to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.

For more information, visit the Master of Science in Ecology page.