Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

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.

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

Anthropology

Major | Minor

Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Applied Physics/Pre-Engineering

Major | Minor

Biochemistry program Western

Biochemistry

Emphasis

Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Biology

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Cell biology

Cell & Molecular Biology

Emphasis

Chemistry

Chemistry

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Environmental Biology Ecology

Environmental Biology & Ecology

Emphasis

Geology

Environmental Geology

Emphasis

Environmental Science

Environmental Science

Minor

Geoarchaeology

Geoarchaeology

Emphasis

Geology

Geology

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Petroleum Geology

Petroleum Geology

Emphasis

Physics

Physics

Minor

Pre-nursing

Pre-Medicine

Advising Program

Pre-Nursing

Pre-Nursing

Emphasis

Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy

Emphasis

Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Wildlife & Conservation Biology

Emphasis

Scholarships

Eligibility

  • An outstanding undergraduate student who is majoring in Geology

Description

This scholarship is provided by Paul Rady, Peter Dea & Barrett Resources Corporation.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Geology Department Scholarship Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Applied or accepted Western student
  • Student is pursuing a major in Mathematics or related Natural Sciences
  • Applicant has demonstrated a need for financial assistance
  • Demonstrated an interest and is active in inter-collegiate athletics
  • Preference should be given to entering freshmen, however all classes are eligible
  • Preference should be given to applicants whose study time is limited by family obligations or the need to earn income
  • No preference shall be given based on the sex of the applicant
  • Preference will be given to applicant from Delta County, CO. or the Western Slope of Colorado

Description

Established with the Western Colorado University Foundation to perpetuate the memory of William Charlesworth, a 1954 graduate of Western Colorado University. The express purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to student-athletes pursuing majors in mathematics or related natural sciences.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected By: The chair of Mathematics and Computer Science and a representative from the Athletic Department appointed by the Athletic Director. A representative from the Natural Sciences Department shall be on the selection committee.

Application:

Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department or the Athletic Department for application and deadline information.

Mathematics & Computer Science Department: 970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128
Athletic Department: 970.943.2079 | Paul Wright Gym 201.

Eligibility

  • Full-time Western Students
  • Must be a declared Mathematics major
  • Must have a GPA 3.0 or greater

Description

This scholarship is provided by the estate and family to celebrate the memory of William E. Dorgan.

Award depends on funds available

Selected by: Western Mathematics faculty in consultation with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid as needed.

Application:

Contact the Paul Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Full-time student
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
  • At least sophomore status
  • Must demonstrate an interest and capability to pursue studies and/or research in the area of botany and native plant research (Biology)
  • Preference will be given to those with financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family and friends to honor Dr. Ferchau for the never-ending assistance he gave to students at Western.

Award depends on funds available (anticipated award $2400).

Selected by: Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Geology majors who are committed to the timely and enthusiastic pursuit of a Geology degree
  • Must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Description

This scholarship is provided by Art H. Menzer.

Amount: $500

Selected by: Western Colorado University Geology Faculty

Application:

Geology faculty review Geology majors for consideration. Contact the Department of Natural & Environmental Sciences for additional information. 970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Biology or Chemistry

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family and friends of Aubrey W. Lawrence who served as Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Science Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Recipient must be a full-time junior or senior
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • must be engaged in pre-medical studies

Description

This scholarship is provided by Dr. Mason Light, who served the college community for over forty years while he was a practicing physician in Gunnison. He and his wife established this scholarship.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Donor Scholarship Committee (Family of Mason Light) in cooperation with Western Colorado University Foundation and the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Geology
  • Demonstrate academic promise and financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Marquerite Davidson.

Award depends on funds available

Selected By: Geology Faculty

Application:

Applicants must write a letter stating their interest in Geology and explaining their financial need. Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for additional information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Full-time juniors or seniors (qualified juniors shall be given preference over seniors)
  • Must be declared major in the Natural and Environmental Sciences Department
  • Must maintain at least 3.2 GPA
  • Recipients must follow Casey’s example of academic promise, love for the outdoors and service to fellow students demonstrated by volunteering in the community and involvement in campus activities and service.

Description

this scholarship is provided by the gifts by Bill and Monica McKenny, Casey’s parents, as well as other family members and friends.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Natural & Environmental Sciences faculty in consultation with the Dean of Students and Bill and Monica McKenny.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Geology who have completed their junior year of study at Western Colorado University
  • Must be able to demonstrate high GPA and leadership potential within the field of geology

Description

This scholarship is provided by the parents and friends of Valerie Mitchell who died in an accident at the end of her junior year.

Award depends on funds available. (Anticipated award $200)

Selected by: Western Colorado University Geology Faculty.

Application:

Geology faculty review geology majors for consideration. Contact the Department of Natural & Environmental Sciences for additional information. 970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Learn more about Western’s Geology Program.

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Geology
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Must have academic promise and financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Richard W. and Belva Moyle.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Western Colorado University Geology Faculty.

Application:

Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Learn more about Western’s Geology Program.

Eligibility

  • Full-time Colorado residents who have a major in a field within the Natural & Environmental Science Department
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 minimum
  • Demonstrate financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Dr. James Nauman, who attended Western from 1945-49.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA at Western
  • Must be a returning student (sophomore or higher)
  • Must be a declared major in one of the Natural Sciences
    • Preference for Geology majors, or Science majors minoring in Business
  • Strong preference to assist minority, under-represented students, especially those from rural areas
  • A balance of academic potential and unmet financial need shall be the principal selection criteria

Description

The Stewart Family Scholarship has been established by Mark E. Stewart (’79, Geology) to provide scholarship assistance to Western Colorado University students in the Natural Sciences.

Amount: In a regular year, two scholarships of $2,500 will be awarded

Selected by: The Stewart Family in cooperation with Western Colorado University Foundation and the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Full-time students who have declared a major in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics

Description

This scholarship is provided by the gifts from members of the Walker family to perpetuate the memory and to commemorate the service and devotion of C. Ralph and Florence Walker, who both served Western and the Gunnison community in an exemplary manner for many years. Professor Walker was Chairman of Western’s then Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

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 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, 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 freshman 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 here (click). 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.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

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.

News & Research

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Faculty & Staff

Department Chairperson

Robin A. Bingham, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Administrative Assistant

Samantha Siegfried

Administrative Assistant for NES

Contact Information

970.943.2015

rbingham@western.edu

Campus Location

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