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, navigating conflict, building climate change literacy and developing a suite of technical skills from GIS to life cycle assessment. Our “Field Fridays” connect classroom learning with real-world application, while our project-based learning allows students to gain professional experience. Each student also develops a portfolio of skills to make them competitive in their field. Alumni are placed in a diverse range of jobs highlighted below.

I would not be where I am today without the community of Western. The School of Environment and Sustainability has challenged me to dig deep and take a hard look at the complexities of navigating current environmental challenges; all while cultivating space to implement innovative approaches to build lives and livelihoods that are respectfully integrated with our landscapes.

Maddie Rehn Project Director, Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Looking for a MEM Project Partner to launch an environmental career of your own? Check out our network.


Jake Courkamp (MEM-IPLM, 2018) is working on a Ph.D. in rangeland ecosystem sciences at Colorado State University. His work involves testing the effectiveness of different landscape treatments to control invasive annual grasses, primarily cheatgrass.


Kathryn Gilson (MEM-IPLM, 2017) is an education specialist at Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey. The programs Kathryn organizes focus on building community environmental stewardship through understanding and fun.


Chelsah Thomas (MEM-SRC, 2015), is the founder of Sol Invictus Energy Services in Alberta, Canada. Sol Invictus is a residential energy consultation firm specializing in home energy analysis, passive house and net-zero home construction.


Ryan Walker (MEM-IPLM, 2018) is the environmental management and GIS specialist at Espinoza Consulting Services, an environmental and cultural resource consulting firm in southern Colorado. Their clients include federal land management agencies, tribal entities and nonprofit organizations.

Local Government

Alyssa Vogan (MEM-SRC, 2016) is a sustainability planner with the City of Lakewood, Colorado. This community-focused position coordinates the Lakewood Sustainable Neighborhoods Program, giving residents the opportunity to make Lakewood a vibrant and sustainable community.


Andrés Esparza (MEM-IPLM, 2016) is the Conservation Land Foundation’s grassroots engagement director. Andrés strives to engage diverse and often underrepresented populations with their public lands through education, recreation, advocacy and stewardship.