Master in Environmental Management (MEM)

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 elevate master’s project quality and to improve career competitiveness for select MEM students. If you have applied to the MEM program, please indicate your interest in specific fellowships in an email to the corresponding faculty fellowship supervisor listed below. The number of program fellows will be determined each year by the quality and quantity of the candidate pool.

Matching AmeriCorps Education Award ($6,300)
Three accepted MEM students who have finished AmeriCorps, are midway through AmeriCorps, and who are committed to AmeriCorps in the coming year are eligible and selected during the general application process.

You must be able to provide one of the following forms of documentation:

  • Letter from AmeriCorps supervisor
  • Certification of Service
  • Acceptance of Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
  • VISTA Certification Letter

AmeriCorps volunteers who receive the fellowship will receive it as a one-time fellowship match of the current AmeriCorps education award to be applied across two years of their graduate tuition. For students who choose a second AmeriCorps term during the period of the MEM, a second match is possible, although would require a competitive application process.

First preference is given to AmeriCorps VISTA members who specifically serve as part of the Stewards Individual Placement Program. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu, for more information.

School of Environment and Sustainability AmeriCorps VISTA
This VISTA position comes with modest monthly living stipend, $6300 education award, professional development opportunities, health care supplement and a year of “non-compete” status for federal jobs. Recipients of this AmeriCorps VISTA position must work 40-hour weeks as VISTA for a 12-month period but may blend this work with their second year 600+ hour MEM project and count hours toward both. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu, for more information.

Ralph “Butch” Clark and the Clark family have been very generous to Western’s School of Environment & Sustainability (ENVS) for over a decade.

Clark ENVS Center Outreach Fellowships: $5,000 applied toward student tuition (two to four students per year) and selected from student application.
Selected graduate students volunteer to assist the School of ENVS with public events and sustainability education programs. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu, with questions.

Coldharbour Institute Fellowships: $1,000 applied toward incoming student tuition (three to four students per year); $9000 toward second-year student tuition (three to four students per year).
Selected graduate students volunteer their expertise to aid the Coldharbour Institute realize its mission on the Coldharbour property. Please contact MJ Pickett, mj.pickett@coldharbourinstitute.org, about additional application processes for this fellowship.

Global Sustainability Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 for first year students

The Global Sustainability program seeks entering graduate student leaders committed to developing partnerships that empower local communities to address issues in environmental management. This fellowship will be offered to an incoming first-year Global Sustainability applicant whose past experience and service embodies this commitment and who shows significant promise to be a leader in the field. All GS track applicants are considered for this fellowship based on their existing application material. Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu, for more information.

Earthship Biotecture Academy Fellowship: provides up to $5,000
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s tracks are partnering with the Earthship Academy to create a Master in Environmental Management degree that integrates Earthship Biotecture training with MEM program courses and content for students wishing to utilize Earthship inspired training and techniques for their graduate project. Fellows will receive up to a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their first year MEM tuition. Please note that the Earthship Biotecture Academy will also provide a $500 tuition discount to any MEM graduate student to attend their field academy (not to be combined with other of their scholarships) and will reduce their online academy tuition by $250 for MEM students. Please note that the Earthship is also offering a full tuition and lodging scholarship as part of their minority outreach program. To learn more and apply visit here.  Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu, for more information.

Solar Energy International Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 towards tuition
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s programs are partnering with Solar Energy International (SEI) to create a Master in Environmental Management degree that integrates SEI training with MEM program courses for students interested in doing their 600+ hour second year project with the organization and providing up to 10 hours a week of internship work during their first year. SEI provides industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities and businesses worldwide. Access to affordable, reliable energy is key to providing a just and sustainable pathway to economic development and opportunity globally. We seek SEI Fellows that will complete projects that empower people in the United States or throughout the world. Fellows will receive a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years and up to a $5,000 fellowship from SEI to be applied toward SEI courses (e.g. PV101, 203, 201L and up to two other courses based on project interest and course availability). Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu, for more information.

Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG) Fellowship: provides up to $2,500 towards tuition
SDSG is a collaborative group of researchers, consultants and other experts whose goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of sustainable development concepts in solving real, practical problems at the local, regional, national and international levels. SDSG is both a research organization and a practical source of policy, institutional and capacity building advice, particularly in the area of management of nonrenewable natural resources. It works principally with developing country governments. SDSG is headquartered in Gunnison, Colorado, but works with collaborators in many regions of the globe. If interested in pursuing a project serving SDSG’s global community please contact Professor Luke Danielson, ldanielson@western.edu, president of SDGS, for more information.

Savory Institute Hub Fellowship: provides up to $2,000 towards tuition (this used to be its own fellowship category – please eliminate that category and include here)
The Global Sustainability and Integrated and Public Land Management program are partnering with the Savory Global Network to create a Master in Environmental Management fellowship that integrates regenerative holistic management and systems thinking to support Savory Hubs throughout the world. There are now nearly 50 global Savory hubs with another 50 slated to join in the next seven years. Hubs offer accredited workshops and courses in holistic management; biological, social and financial monitoring services; and consulting to land managers, governments and organizations.

Savory Global and the Savory Network have recently developed the Land to Market and Ecological Outcome Verification program to reward regenerative food producers with exclusive markets in the food and fashion industries. MEM Fellows will apprentice their first year with the Savory Global Network or with an individual hub giving five hours a week toward their internship. If selected to receive a second-year fellowship, fellows will develop their 600+ hour project with the Savory Institute or the individual Savory Hub. Savory Global Hub Fellows will receive a $2,000 fellowship to be applied to their first fall and spring tuition, access to the exclusive online collaboration platform and free tuition to attend three Savory Institute courses or trainings. Fellows that develop their second-year project in conjunction with the Savory Global Hub Network are eligible for a second-year award and encouraged to apply to the John and Margie Haley fund for project support. Coldharbour Institute, a close affiliate of Western’s MEM, is the Colorado Savory Hub. Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu.

Global Sustainability Project Fellowship Matches: provides up to $2,500 from MEM with project matches 

These funds are provided as a tuition discount to second-year students who have a project match from their project sponsor. Interested second-year students should sent a one page letter of interest explaining the proposed project, its importance and the matching partner, with contact information, to Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu. Deadline for fellowship will occur after project proposals have been completed for 690 and funds from a project partner secured.

The Gupta Mountain Transitions Corps members create novel, scalable and dynamic products, modeling how a small mountain university can provide a “garage” for testing mountain-based climate solutions worldwide. Each student leader selected will receive entrepreneurship training and project incubation support from our network of expert faculty and community leaders. Each project leader will receive a fellowship of $10,000 for the duration of the academic year. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu, with questions.

IPLM Community Leadership Fellowship
We offer a number of fellowships at varying amounts each to offset tuition costs for students entering the IPLM program. Please contact Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu.

MEM Wetland Restoration and Monitoring Fellowship: provides up to $5,000
This fellowship opportunity is designed for a student interested in ecosystem restoration, restoration effectiveness monitoring, wetland science, water resources and remote sensing.  The student will collaborate with experts from local land management agencies to work in two possible areas:

  1. wetland restoration planning and implementation (e.g. project scoping, design, permitting, volunteer coordination, installation, etc.), and
  2. wetland restoration effectiveness monitoring (e.g. coordination of various multi-agency efforts, data collation and dissemination, original data collection and analysis, etc.).

Experience in, or a strong interest in, project management, field-based data collection and analysis, and remote sensing-based (e.g. satellite, lidar, drone) data collection and analysis is preferred.  The applicant must be highly self-motivated and organized, as well as an effective communicator.  This fellowship will provide $5,000 from the MEM program, with the potential for matching funds from agency partners.  If you are interested in this fellowship, please contact Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu.

MEM Public Lands Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 from MEM with potential for match
The fellowship provides an opportunity for an outstanding graduate student to engage in the research, project design and leadership of a significant project related to the management of public lands locally, nationally or internationally. The fellowship is also a launching point for advanced study of issues surrounding public lands management, supporting innovative thinking about the particular issues facing public lands managers in the 21st century. If interested please contact Melanie Armstrong, Director of the Center for Public Lands, marmstrong@western.edu.

MEM Open Space Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 with potential for match
City and county open space jobs are a growing and important component of integrated land management as they provide open space and recreational opportunities for people living in urban areas. The city or county open space fellowship is reserved for current employees of city or county open space organizations, or people who desire to work for these entities in the future. The fellowship is designed for students who will focus their MEM project on some aspect of open space management. The intention is to leverage these funds to find a match through either a current open-space employer or other entity. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to secure a match. If matched, this fellowship would provide $10,000 over the course of the program. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates. If you have a potential match that you would like to discuss, please contact Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu.

MEM Land Trust Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 with potential for match
Land trusts are a critical link to conservation on private lands. The land trust fellowship is reserved for current employees of land trust organizations, or people who desire to work for these entities in the future. The fellowship is designed for students who will focus their MEM project on some aspect of land trusts. The intention is to leverage these funds to find a match through either a current land trust employer or other entity. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to secure a match. If matched, this fellowship would provide $10,000 over the course of the program. We will consider all applicants for this fellowship based on your application materials. If further information is needed, we will reach out to potential candidates. If you have a potential match that you would like to discuss, please contact Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu.

Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) Fellowship: provides up to $2,000
This fellowship will engage a motivated student in a community-driven initiative to protect public lands and enhance a strong and sustainable economy in Gunnison County. The fellow will support GPLI in public education and outreach to generate visible public support for wilderness and public lands conservation, advancing a consensus-based proposal from a community working group towards legislative action. Candidates for this fellow must exhibit professionalism in interactions with the public and will gain valuable experience in policymaking and community collaboration. ​Please contact Melanie Armstrong, marmstrong@western.edu.

Wilderness Stewardship Fellowship
This fellowship offers the opportunity for a hardworking and independent student to gain valuable experience with wilderness management in partnership with the Gunnison Ranger District of the USFS. The USFS is currently implementing new wilderness stewardship performance activities, which include education planning, assessment of opportunities for solitude and other activities. Students with interest in this opportunity please contact Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu or Melanie Armstrong, marmstrong@western.edu.

Defenders of Wildlife Wolf Restoration Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 toward tuition
Defenders of Wildlife desires to build a strong foundation for wolf restoration in Colorado. They are looking for two graduate students interested in a project using camera traps to document potential wolf presence in Colorado. The project would provide interaction and training from known wolf biologists. There is an opportunity to work with wolf biologists in the field to ground-truth habitat modeling and position the camera traps. Data collection would be year-round, but most intense during June-September. To receive the fellowship, you would need to commit to doing your MEM project on this subject in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife. If you are interested in either of these projects, please contact Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu. To be considered for this fellowship we will ask for a letter of interest and your current resume.

Savory Institute Hub Fellowship: provides up to $2,000 towards tuition
The Global Sustainability and Integrated and Public Land Management  program are partnering with the Savory Global Network to create a Master in Environmental Management fellowship that integrates regenerative holistic management and systems thinking to support Savory Hubs throughout the world. There are now nearly 50 global Savory hubs with another 50 slated to join in the next seven years. Hubs offer accredited workshops and courses in holistic management; biological, social and financial monitoring services; and consulting to land managers, governments and organizations.

Savory Global and the Savory Network have recently developed the Land to Market and Ecological Outcome Verification program to reward regenerative food producers with exclusive markets in the food and fashion industries. MEM Fellows will apprentice their first year with the Savory Global Network or with an individual hub giving 5 hours a week toward their internship. If selected to receive a second-year fellowship, fellows will develop their 600+ hour project with the Savory Institute or the individual Savory Hub. Savory Global Hub Fellows will receive a $2,000 fellowship to be applied to their first fall and spring tuition, access to the exclusive online collaboration platform and free tuition to attend three Savory Institute courses or trainings. Fellows that develop their second-year project in conjunction with the Savory Global Hub Network are eligible for a second-year award and encouraged to apply to the John and Margie Haley fund for project support. Coldharbour Institute, a close affiliate of Western’s MEM, is the Colorado Savory Hub. Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu.

IPLM Project Matching Fellowships: provides up to $2,500 from MEM with potential for match
These fellowships are provided to second-year students who have a potential match from the project sponsor. Prior matching fellowships have been awarded to students working with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service, however we are open to matching contributions from any land management entity (public, non-profit, or private). Interested second-year students should sent a one page letter of interest explaining the proposed project, its importance, and the matching partner with contact information to Micah Russell, mrussell@western.edu. There are two deadlines for letters of interest, which correspond with Haley Fellowship deadlines, April 15 and September 15. Letters will be read after the deadlines and decisions made within two weeks.


Please note: Internship and work opportunities are advertised throughout the year. Below are examples of regularly available positions.

LEAD Office Sustainability Mentors: two fellows per year, $5,000 stipend
Western Colorado University’s Master in Environmental Management (MEM) and the LEAD (Leadership, Engagement & Development) Office co-sponsor Sustainability Mentor positions to provide broad leadership and mentoring to undergraduate students serving as sustainability coordinators and leaders within the Western community. The positions are housed within LEAD Sustainability or the student-led Organics Guild.

The central focus of the MEM Sustainability Mentor positions is to collaborate with and support the undergraduates on engaging with their peers, faculty, and staff to promote sustainability across campus and institutionalize worthy initiatives. Western’s undergraduate sustainability coordinator program focuses on increasing sustainability awareness and inspiring behavior change through peer-to-peer leadership and education. These positions are intended to empower student leaders by instilling in them the skills they will need to bridge faculty research, student life and administrative operations to introduce new and continuing students to Western’s sustainability commitment. Please contact Sara Phillips, sphillips@western.edu.

Writing Center Tutors: four MEM students per year, up to $1,000 stipend
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. Students can reach the tutors by email or find them during their office hours. Each tutoring session aims to improve key aspects of a piece, not always to polish it to perfection.  Please contact Karen Hausdoerffer, khausdoerffer@western.edu, for more details.

High Country News (HCN) Digital Intern: two MEM students per year, $2,500 stipend
The HCN digital intern helps develop and execute strategies to reach and grow our readers using social media. The HCN intern helps to raise the profile of the publication in the digital realm. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu.

Elsewhere Studio
Are you passionate about art and the environment? Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu, about our special partnership between MEM students and artists in Paonia studios.


This fund is designed as a grant process in which second-year students can participate to fund aspects of their 600+ hour Master’s Projects. The request for proposals for these grants occurs twice a year: April 15, and September 15. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu, with questions.


Eligible individuals are active duty military personnel, honorably discharged veterans and military retirees. This includes all personnel listed in the Title 10 US Code, including DoD (USA, USAF, USMC, USN), Department of Homeland Security (USCG), Department of Commerce (NOAA) and the Department of HHS (UP Public Health Service). Eligible veterans are individuals honorably discharged in one of the previously mentioned organizations. Retirees are veterans who have served honorably for 20 or more years. You must be able to provide one of the following forms of documentation:

  • Recent Military Orders
  • Current Military ID Card
  • DD Form 214: Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty

Fellowship Award for Veterans, Active Duty Personnel and Military Retirees

Veterans who receive the fellowship will receive a one-time $5,000 fellowship to be applied to their tuition for that year. Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu.

Global Sustainability Peace Corps Fellowship

All Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) 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 to $5,000 in tuition support for the recipient’s first year and fellows may seek matches from organizations they serve globally. Preference is given to applicants with in-kind or financial matches from such organizations. Fellows can seek project funding support via the Haley fund for their 600+ hour second year projects and can complete part or all of their graduate education from anywhere in the world. To request consideration for this fellowship, please mention it in your general application materials.

Western’s Paul D. Coverdell Fellowships

Design Your Own Coverdell Fellowship

Western’s Master in Environmental Management program offers the only “Design your own Coverdell Fellowship” option in the nation. We encourage RPCVs who have a passion and relationship within a currently underserved American community to utilize their entrepreneurial skills and ability to innovate to seek sponsorship for either a fellowship and/or housing assistance that allows them to gain the education and support of a master’s degree while serving in a place of their choice. We also have local organizational and federal partners with assorted needs in public lands management interested in creating fellowship opportunities and filling AmeriCorps positions.

Some Current Coverdell Fellow Partners

Coldharbour Institute Coverdell Fellows

Fellowship in regenerative land management, wildlife management, sustainable building, solar energy gardens and outreach to underserved populations for an innovative learning center are available. Fellowship comes with a $5,000 tuition reduction for fall and spring semesters of their first year and possible $9,000 fellowship if their second-year project is done in conjunction with Coldharbour Institute.

Peace Corps Prep Program with Leadership and Engagement Office

Fellows help develop and implement the campus Peace Corps Prep program. Fellows work with other campus entities to promote sustainability, service and inclusivity across the campus and in the greater community. Fellowship comes with a $5,000 tuition reduction and a free shared campus apartment for fall and spring semesters. (a total of a $11,100 value). Fellowships may be renewed in the second year depending on performance.

Multicultural Center

Fellows contribute to helping develop intercultural programs and opportunities for the campus and community. Fellowship comes with a $5,000 tuition reduction and a free shared campus apartment for fall and spring semesters (a total of a $11,100 value). Fellowships may be renewed in the second year depending on performance.

Please note that all RP Coverdell applicants will be considered for fellowship support regardless of track choice.

To complete an application for a Coverdell Fellowship:

Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu, if you have questions.


SRC Community Leadership Fellowship: $5000
We offer a number of fellowships each at varying amounts to offset tuition costs for students entering the SRC program. Please contact John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer@western.edu.

Earthship Biotecture Academy Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 toward tuition
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s tracks are partnering with the Earthship Academy to create a Master in Environmental Management degree that integrates Earthship Biotecture training with MEM program courses and content for students wishing to utilize Earthship inspired training and techniques for their graduate project. Fellows will receive up to a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their first year MEM tuition. Please note that the Earthship Biotecture Academy will also provide a $500 tuition discount to any MEM graduate student to attend their field academy (not to be combined with other of their scholarships) and will reduce their online academy tuition by $250 for MEM students. Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu, for more information.

Solar Energy International Fellowship: provides up to $5,000 towards tuition
The Global Sustainability and Sustainable and Resilient Community’s programs are partnering with Solar Energy International (SEI) to create a Master in Environmental Management degree that integrates SEI training with MEM program courses for students interested in doing their 600+ hour second year project with the organization and providing up to 10 hours a week of internship work during their first year. SEI provides industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities and businesses worldwide. Access to affordable, reliable energy is key to providing a just and sustainable pathway to economic development and opportunity globally. We seek SEI Fellows that will complete projects that empower people in the United States or throughout the world. Fellows will receive a $5,000 fellowship to be applied toward their MEM tuition across their two years and up to a $5,000 fellowship from SEI to be applied toward SEI courses (e.g. PV101, 203, 201L and up to two other courses based on project interest and course availability). Please contact Jessica Young, jyoung@western.edu, for more information.