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Outdoor Environmental Education

Master in Environmental Management (MEM)

Fellowship Opportunities in MEM

Fellowship Opportunities in the
Master in Environmental Management 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. Over 80% of our master’s students, regardless of residential or distance student status, receive some financial assistance through fellowships, internships, and grants. If you are applying to the MEM program, please indicate your interest in specific fellowships in your personal statement. The number of program fellows will be determined each year by the quality and quantity of the candidate pool. Note that only a few require additional application processes.

Track Specific Fellowships

Integrative and Public Lands Management (IPLM) Track Fellowships

Contact Dr. Micah Russell (mrussell@western.edu) for more information.

Each year the IPLM track selects five first-year students for $5,000 fellowships ($25,000 total) that reduce tuition.  Students are selected based on the strength of their application, their potential for leadership within the program, and the professional skills and interests they bring with them. These fellowships do not require working or subject-matter commitments. Rather, they are simply an incentive to join our graduate school community. Previous awardees have conducted masters project work that involves watershed restoration, environmental monitoring, geospatial data applications, endangered species recovery, wildlife-recreation interactions, mining reclamation, land management governance and policy, and so much more.

Global Sustainability (GS) Track Fellowships

Contact Dr. Jesse Baker (jbaker@western.edu) for more information.

Each year the GS track selects five first-year students for $5,000 fellowships ($25,000 total) that reduce tuition.  Students are selected based on the strength of their application, their potential for leadership within the program, status as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and the professional skills and interests they bring with them. These fellowships do not require working or subject-matter commitments. Rather, they are simply an incentive to join our graduate school community. Previous awardees have conducted masters project work that mitigates the impacts of globalization on indigenous communities, provides platforms for marginalized communities to communicate their stories, examines alternative systems of governance and infrastructure, and so much more.

Sustainable and Resilient Communities (SRC) Track Fellowships

Contact Dr. Ricardo Vazquez-Perales (rvazquezperales@western.edu) for more information.

Each year the SRC track selects five first-year students for $5,000 fellowships ($25,000 total) that reduce tuition.  Students are selected based on the strength of their application, their potential for leadership within the program, and the professional skills and interests they bring with them. These fellowships do not require working or subject-matter commitments. Rather, they are simply an incentive to join our graduate school community. Previous awardees have conducted masters project work that involves innovative food and water systems, green energy and infrastructure, municipal sustainability plans, conflict resolution and collaboration models, and so much more.

Earthship Biotecture Academy Fellowship: $5,000
The GS and SRC track fellowships include this partnership with the Earthship Biotecture Academy for students wishing to utilize Earthship inspired training and techniques in their graduate project. All accepted MEM students also receive a $1,000 discount to attend the Earthship Biotecture Academy. Applicants from GS or SRC tracks are welcome to apply.

Solar Energy International Fellowship: $5,000
The GS and SRC track fellowships include this partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI) for students interested in doing their masters project with the organization and providing up to 6-10 hours a week of internship work during their first year. In addition, SEI provides fellows with up to an additional $5,000 to be applied toward SEI courses. Applicants from GS or SRC tracks are welcome to apply.

Telluride Cohort Fellowships

Contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer (jhausdoerffer@western.edu) for more information.

The Telluride Institute is collaborating with the MEM program to recruit a cohort that can earn their degree while living in Telluride and working on masters projects for TI or other regional organizations. Students are provided with office space and a room for virtual classes, as well as unique team building experiences, presentations from regional organizations and individuals, and collaborative group projects to create an experience that is a mixture of online learning and place-based education. A general $5,000 fellowship is available for this opportunity, as is a specific $30,000 fellowship to help San Miguel County develop a composting program with the US Dept. of Agriculture (9/1/23-3/1/25).

National Service Fellowships

Peace Corps / Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship: $5,000
Western’s Master in Environmental Management and MS in Ecology programs offer the only “Design your own Coverdell Fellowship” option in the nation.  Some awards include housing options, as well as access to several local partners interested in working with Coverdell awardees.  We have a vibrant Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) community.  For specific Coverdell application steps, please visit here. Contact Dr. Ricardo Vazquez-Perales (rvazquezperales@western.edu) for more information.

AmeriCorps Education Award: $6,300
Ten accepted MEM students who have finished AmeriCorps, are midway through AmeriCorps, and/or who are committed to AmeriCorps service in the coming year are eligible for this award.  Please describe your eligibility and interest in your MEM program application. Contact Dr. Micah Russell (mrussell@western.edu) for more information.

Fellowship Award for Veterans, Active-Duty Personnel and Military Retirees: $5,000
Veterans who receive the fellowship will receive a one-time payment to be applied to their tuition for their first year in the program. Contact Dr. Micah Russell (mrussell@western.edu) for more information.

AmeriCorps VISTA position: $6,300
The Clark School of Environment and Sustainability facilitates MEM students opportunities to take on a VISTA position during the program. Positions come with modest monthly living stipend, $6300 education award, professional development opportunities, health care supplement, and a year of “non-compete” status for federal job. Recipients must work 40-hour weeks as a VISTA and may blend this work with their second-year project requirements. Currently we anticipate being able to fund one or two fellowships for students interested in working with the Western Allicance for Restoration Management (WARM) in the field of mine reclamation. Students with backgrounds in the earth sciences and engineering are especially encouraged to apply. In addition, WARM may also be able to offer summer internships to students interested in field work associated with environmental characterization of abandoned mine sites.  Contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer (jhausdoerffer@western.edu) for more information.

Other funding opportunities

EMPLOYS Traineeship: tuition waiver (year one)
Western Colorado University seeks outstanding applicants for a National Science Foundation-funded graduate traineeship to prepare diverse future scientists for public land management careers. Over three years, these scholars earn both a Master of Science in Ecology degree and a Master in Environmental Management degree, with an emphasis in Integrative and Public Land Management.  A limited number of competetive EMPLOYS assistantships are available each year to applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents. Assistantships are generally awarded for a one-year term and include a tuition waiver and stipend. Applications must be received by February 15 to be considered for an assistantship. Please contact Dr. Jonathan Coop (jcoop@western.edu) for more information.

Coldharbour Institute Fellowships: $10,000
Recipients of a Coldharbour Clark Fellowship, available to both first and second year MEM students, aid the Coldharbour Institute in realizing its mission on the Coldharbour property. June through May, students work 10 hours per week with Coldharbour staff in one of four areas: applied sustainability, the Colorado Regenerative Network, research, and outreach. For more information contact MJ Pickett (mj.pickett@coldharbourinstitute.org). To apply, send MJ your resume and a cover letter expressing your interest, qualifications, and alignment of these opportunities with career goals. Applications must be received before 5pm MT on February 1st.

LEAD Office Sustainability Mentor: $5,000
The MEM program and Western’s 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. Please contact Dr. Kate Clark (kclark@western.edu) for more information.

Environmental Justice Fellowship: $5,000

The MEM program is committed to addressing issues of environmental justice in its curriculum, masters projects, and relationships across campus and with external organizations. MEM applicants with a strong and demonstrated interest in environmental justice, as well as a desire to express leadership in this area while in the program, are encouraged to contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer (jhausdoerffer@western.edu) for more information.

Gunnison Public Lands Initiative Fellowship: $5,000

The Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) is a collaborative body instrumental in drafting the Gunnison Outdoor Resources Protection Act. MEM applicants interested in public lands governance and advocacy, as well as involvement with Western’s Center for Public Lands, are encouraged to contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer (jhausdoerffer@western.edu) for more information.

Writing Center Tutors: up to $1,000
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. For more information, please contact Karen Hausdoerffer, khausdoerffer@western.edu.

High Country News (HCN) Digital Intern: up to $2,500
The HCN digital intern helps develop and execute strategies to reach and grow our HCN readers using social media. Please contact the MEM program facilitator at mem@western.edu for more information.

Elsewhere Studio: up to $1,000
Are you passionate about both art and the environment? Please contact the MEM program facilitator at mem@western.edu for more information about our special partnership between MEM students and artists in Paonia studios.

Clark School Social Media and Outreach Fellowships: up to $5,000
Selected MEM students assist the Clark School with public events and social media.  Please contact the MEM program facilitator at mem@western.edu for more information.

Teaching Assistants: variable amounts
Selected MEM students assist Clark Family School of Environment and Sustainability (ENVS) faculty with course delivery, scheduling and logistics, and more at $18/hour.  Opportunities to TA in undergraduate or graduate courses are advertised to MEM students on an as-needed basis prior to each term. Please contact the MEM program facilitator at mem@western.edu for more information.

Second-year MEM project Funding: variable amounts
Unspent track-specific funding is periodically made available to second-year MEM students for the purpose of funding direct project expenses (e.g., equipment, travel, training, etc.).  These opportunities are advertised to MEM students when funds become available. Similarly, second-year MEM students have the opportunity to apply for up to $3000 in project funding through the internal Margie and John Haley Environmental Project Fund on April 15th or September 15th.  Finally, second year students are encouraged to work with their mentor to identify grant funding and/or funding available through their project community sponsor to support project work. For more information, contact Dr. Micah Russell (mrussell@western.edu).

Mining Reclamation Fellowship: $7,500
Recognizing the growing needs and opportunities in the field of mining reclamation,
the MEM program invites students with an interest in this subject, and experience in relevant fields of study (e.g., earth science, environmental monitoring, engineering), to apply for this fellowship. The awardee is encouraged to explore opportunities to serve the Western Alliance for Restoration Management (WARM) through their masters project work. In addition, WARM may also be able to offer summer internships to students interested in field work associated with environmental characterization of abandoned mine sites. Please contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer (jhausdoerffer@western.edu) for more information.

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