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Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

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Natural and environmental sciences include the study of anthropology, biology, chemistry, geology and physics–all of which seek to understand the natural world around us. Whether you want to become a renewable energy expert, physician, hydrologist or zoologist, you can apply your science education to benefit humanity and the natural world.

Geology student

Make a positive impact on the world around you.

Some of the most complex and urgent issues of the 21st century have to do with the way we interact with our environment. This includes everything–from finding ways to feed earth’s growing population while maintaining the balance of ecosystems–to meeting the challenges posed by increasing global temperatures. To resolve these challenges will require a new generation of leaders with expertise in natural and environmental sciences.

At Western Colorado University, you can apply what you have learned in the classroom to the natural world around you. You can seize the opportunity to conduct original fieldwork in the expansive Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and discover native species in Western’s chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Extraordinary learning opportunities

Natural & Environmental Sciences students conduct original research while exploring the vast learning laboratories of the Gunnison Valley.

Areas of Study

Anthropology degree program, table with bones displayed

Anthropology

Major | Minor

Anthropology
Teacher writing on whiteboard for students in class

Applied Physics/Pre-Engineering

Major

Applied Physics/Pre-Engineering
Girl student examining her work in the lab

Biochemistry

Emphasis

Biochemistry
Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Biology

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Biology
A student looks through a microscope during a Biology lab.

Cell & Molecular Biology

Emphasis

Cell & Molecular Biology
Chemistry

Chemistry

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Chemistry
Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Cultural Resource Management

Certificate

Cultural Resource Management
Environmental Biology Ecology

Environmental Biology & Ecology

Emphasis

Environmental Biology & Ecology
Geology

Environmental Geology

Emphasis

Environmental Geology
Environmental Science

Environmental Science

Major | Minor

Environmental Science
NEW
Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Fisheries & Aquatic Ecology

Emphasis

Fisheries & Aquatic Ecology
Geoarchaeology

Geoarchaeology

Emphasis

Geoarchaeology
Geology

Geology

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Geology
Petroleum Geology

Petroleum Geology

Emphasis

Petroleum Geology
Physics

Physics

Minor

Physics
Pre-nursing

Pre-Health Advising

Advising Program

Pre-Health Advising
Pre-Nursing

Pre-Nursing

Emphasis

Pre-Nursing
Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy

Emphasis

Pre-Physical Therapy
Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Wildlife & Conservation Biology

Emphasis

Wildlife & Conservation Biology

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Access to apply for scholarships through the portal is open through April 1.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Access to apply for scholarships through the portal is open through April 1.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2023. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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 our scholarships page.

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.

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 our scholarships page.

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Faculty & Staff

Department Information

Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Department Chairperson

Anne W. Ryter, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry

Administrative Assistant

Lori Clement

NES Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.2015

rbingham@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Hurst Hall 128
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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