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The Global Sustainability Track will prepare you for a meaningful career serving nonprofits, businesses and government entities that seek place-based sustainable solutions.

Program Overview

Help cultivate a more socially and environmentally sustainable future.

Western’s MEM students have completed 80,000+ hours of projects on five different continents to create a more just and sustainable future. Just some examples of student projects include: natural resource conflict management; environmentally sustainable urban and rural development; scalable, place-based climate mitigation and adaptation strategies; international conservation biology; and promoting the use of local knowledge in the co-creation of environmental solutions.

Citizens of the world

A group of students installs solar panels in Peru. Global Sustainability students explore societies beyond our borders, help find solutions to global problems and become inspired to make a difference in the world.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

(beyond required Core courses)

Nine credits of (choose any combination with a global theme):

ENVS 620Studies in Sustainable and Resilient Communities3
ENVS 623Studies in Environmental Management1-6
ENVS 625Studies in Integrative and Public Land Management3
Masters Project Requirement
ENVS 690MEM Project Development5
ENVS 694Master's Project and Portfolio 19
Total Credits21-26

Faculty & Staff


Global Sustainability Track

Rachel Weakland


"Rachel Weakland has dedicated her professional efforts towards environmental education and creating global leaders here in Colorado and abroad."

Global Sustainability Track

Jade Swor


"Jade Swor is exploring potential projects at the interface of tribal relations, mycology, and biomimicry."

Global Sustainability Track

Francis Mitalo


“As an international student, I felt welcomed into the MEM community. I regularly consulted with my accessible professors and fellow students while implementing my graduate project in the Gunnison community with passion, experience and newly gained knowledge.”


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Get Involved

A world of opportunities and partnerships awaits.

The Global Sustainability track is the home of numerous international institutions for social and environmental change. Western’s Clark Family School of Environment and Sustainability co-founded the Mountain Resilience Coalition to facilitate the United Nations Mountain Partnerships in the North American, Central American and Caribbean Region. We are also the lead university partner with international sustainability organizations such as Earthship Biotecture Academy, Solar Energy International, Sustainable Development Strategies Group, Eco2librium, Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows, Foundation for the Contemplation of Nature and Joint European Master in Environmental Studies. As a Global Sustainability student, you can provide service to these and other organizations in your second-year MEM Project anywhere in the world.

Our students recently attended the United Nations Mountain Partnership meetings in Europe and reported on their project progress to the in Rome, sharing their vision for turning dreams into actions for the world’s mountain communities.

Please watch these videos about our United Nations Mountain Partnership, student opportunities with Earthship Biotecture and Solar Energy International and our class experiences in India.

Mountain Resiliency

Students help to restore a traditional irrigation ditch, called an acequia, as part of a trip to the Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association.

Peace Corps

Earn your master’s degree while serving in the Peace Corps.

The MEM has a vibrant community of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers many of whom are Paul D. Coverdell Fellows. We are one of the only programs in the nation where you can receive your master’s degree while doing Peace Corps service. Whether you’re currently in the Peace Corps or interested in joining, we can aid you in getting your graduate degree.

Working for the world

At Western, students can receive their master’s degree while doing Peace Corps service — one of the only such programs in the nation. If you are inspired to make an impact while earning your graduate degree, Western’s Global Sustainability Track may be a great fit for you.

News & Research

Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Read More about Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Additional Resources


Application Deadlines MEM program May 1: Applications due (application fee waived) May 20: Deposits due Start date for MEM distance summer course June 1 NOTE: For all 3+2 applications, …

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Program Prerequisites

All three tracks (Global Sustainability, Integrative and Public Land Management and Sustainable and Resilient Communities) requires a B.A. or B.S. degree and the following prerequisites which must be completed no later than …

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Residential and Distance Options

The MEM program at Western Colorado University offers a globally informed, place-based, environmental leadership education to its students.

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Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition & Financial Aid Credits Tuition/Credit Fees/Credit* Total Tuition & Fees Year 1 Summer 5 $730.03 $50.40 $3902.15 Fall 9 $730.03 $50.40 $7023.87 Spring 9 $730.03 $50.40 $7, …

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Our Curriculum

Your academic journey begins in an online ENVS 601 summer class through dialog with your faculty mentor considering important ideas and readings.

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Global Sustainability Electives

International Conservation Strategies and Solutions – Global mountain regions provide the basis for human livelihood and ecosystem services as they provide 80 percent of the water we use, possess 25 percent of the biodiversity and…

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Community Events

The Headwaters Conference – Every fall, Western Colorado University hosts a gathering of scholars, writers, poets, journalists, public officials, community activists, social and natural scientists and …

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ENVS Network

The ENVS Network documents people, organizations, and projects involved with the School of ENVS. Each year, Master in Environment Management students complete a 600 hour project, connecting people and organizations worldwide.

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Fellowship Opportunities in MEM

Western’s MEM offers a suite of graduate fellowships to reduce tuition, to enhance organizational partnerships, to elevate master’s project quality and to improve career competitiveness for select MEM students.

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Peace Corps Fellowship

All RPCV’s who are interested in developing projects in conjunction with organizations abroad may be considered for the Global Sustainability Peace Corps fellowship.

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MEM Sponsor/Partner Testimonials

Matt Feier – Director of Planning at Crested Butte Mountain Resort – “I had the opportunity to work with a group of Western MEM, developing a sustainability proposal for Crested Butte Mountain Resort…

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Sustainability Professionals

According to the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, a “…sustainability practitioner [is] a professional who works to advance sustainability in organizations and communities. …

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MEM Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop Tutors Writing Workshop tutors offer assistance at any point in the writing process: brainstorming, outlining, polishing a final draft, or preparing a piece to submit for publication …

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MEM Success Stories

Over 85% of Western MEM students are placed in environmental management careers after graduating. Our curriculum is applied and relevant, providing skills such as managing projects, …

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Center for Mountain Transitions

Empowering students to advance just and sustainable mountain communities, from the Rockies to the world.

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Center for Public Lands

The Center is a hub for cross-boundary land management work and study.

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Center for Cold-Climate Food Security

The School of ENVS seeks funding for the Center for Cold-Climate Food Security to amplify experiential educational opportunities around high-alpine and cold-climate food production, while addressing hunger in the Gunnison Valley.

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Interim Dean

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

Intermin Dean of Clark Family School of Environment & Sustainability, Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability, Center for Public Lands Director

Contact Information



Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81230

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