FB Pixel Skip to Main Content

Integrative & Public Land Management Track

Master in Environmental Management

Nearly 82 percent of Gunnison County is surrounded by public land. Western’s beautiful setting is the ideal environment to learn about integrative public land management and sustainable practices.

Program Overview

Help build resilient social and ecological systems.

The Integrative & Public Land Management (IPLM) track will teach you how to balance project management, climate action and collaborative solutions across diverse communities. In the program, you’ll have the unique opportunity to participate in applied projects, field experiences and a self-designed, 600-hour master’s project. In addition, the MEM faculty members’ extensive professional networks in conservation nonprofits, environmental consulting companies and agencies will help you find your niche in land management and climate adaptation.

Through a combination of immersive educational experiences, intensive coursework and industry networks, you’ll be prepared to launch your career in public land management, private land conservation, conservation advocacy and more.

Vast outdoor laboritory

Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) students are able to take full advantage of the abundance of public land in Gunnison County where diverse ecosystems, natural resources, participation in conservation easement agreements and enthusiastic community partners abound.

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

All Biology majors require the 26-credit Biology Nucleus.

Biology Nucleus
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
BIOL 151Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory)4
BIOL 301General Ecology3
BIOL 310Cell Biology3
BIOL 312Genetics (with recitation)4
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3
CHEM 112General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Laboratory II1
Total Credits26

(beyond required Core courses)

Nine Credits of:

Select one or both of the following:1-9
ENVS 623
Studies in Environmental Management
ENVS 625
Studies in Integrative and Public Land Management
Masters Project Requirement
ENVS 690MEM Project Development5
ENVS 694Master's Project and Portfolio 19
Total Credits15-23

Faculty & Staff


Integrative & Public Land Management Track

Gabby Zaldumbide


“Opportunities abound in the West, and the best escape from the ‘real world’ can be just minutes from my doorstep."


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.

Why Western?

An ideal learning environment.

The MEM takes full advantage of the abundance of public land in Gunnison County where diverse ecosystems, natural resources, participation in conservation easement agreements and enthusiastic community partners abound. Our faculty have interests ranging from ecology and wildlife biology to recreation management and geography to strategies in the face of climate chaos and bring a wealth of connections with local, regional and national environmental organizations. In the program, you’ll be immersed in an extraordinary outdoor laboratory with true experts in land management guiding them along the way.

More than 90 percent of our graduates are employed in an environmental position either prior to or immediately following graduation at organizations such as:

  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • National Park Service
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Teton Science Schools
  • Jefferson County Open Space Parks and Trails
  • Crested Butte Land Trust


Volunteers built a new segment of trail during the midland trail build party.

What Skills Will I Acquire?

Gain the skills necessary for an in-demand career in land management.

Western’s IPLM track was created in response to interviews with federal and local agencies, nonprofit executive directors and environmental consultants who identified the skills and experiences they wish to see in their employees. In-demand skills that you will acquire in the program include:

  • Understanding how to analyze and manage social and ecological systems
  • Applying scientific knowledge and methods to environmental management questions
  • Navigating complex and challenging problems with diverse stakeholders
  • Transforming land management institutions to respond better to social and ecological change

Charting a course

Integrative & Public Land Management students are immersed in applied projects, field experiences and a self-designed, 600-hour master’s project—leaving prepared for careers in public land management, private land conservation, and conservation advocacy.

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, …

Learn More

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…

Learn More

Residential and Distance Options

Globalizing a sense of place The MEM program at Western Colorado University offers a globally informed, place-based, environmental leadership education to its students. The MEM presents a hybrid …

Learn More

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, …

Learn More

Our Curriculum

Description of the Master in Environmental Management Program Your academic journey begins in an online ENVS 601 summer class through dialog with your faculty mentor considering …

Learn More

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 …

Learn More

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.

Learn More

Fellowship Opportunities in MEM

Fellowship Opportunities in the Master in Environmental Management (MEM) Program Western’s MEM offers a suite of graduate fellowships to reduce tuition, to enhance organizational partnerships, to …

Learn More

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. The Fellowship comes with up …

Learn More

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 …

Learn More

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. …

Learn More

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 …

Learn More

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, …

Learn More

Center for Mountain Transitions

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

Learn More

Center for Public Lands

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

Learn More

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.

Learn More

Interim Dean

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

Interim 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

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

Apply to Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit Western

Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.