The world needs a new kind of scientist: one whose ability to conduct exemplary research and solve problems is matched only by their skills in collaborating with affected communities. At Western, you’ll learn how to incorporate citizen science into your research to create accessible studies that can be utilized by both policy-makers and the public.

Program Overview

Immerse yourself in the natural and social ecosystems of the Gunnison Valley.

As a student in the M.S. in Ecology program, you’ll have a variety of opportunities that are unique to Western Colorado University. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the program offers unparalleled access to public lands—including 80 percent of the land surrounding Western’s campus. This includes a broad network of diverse natural resources including forests, water, fire, land, fisheries and wildlife. You can also explore the 334 acres containing riparian, sage brush and grassland habitats thanks to our partnership with the Coldharbour Institute, nonprofit conservation organization.

You’ll also get to work with non-traditional research collaborators like ranchers, private land trusts and county planners. This provides you the opportunity to address critical information gaps at the local, regional and global levels, across a range of ecological systems vulnerable to climate change. At the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, you’ll collaborate with researchers around the world along with alumni, graduate students and over 15 faculty in the Master in Environmental Management program.

Abundant research opportunities

Western’s M.S. in Ecology students have the unique opportunity to explore numerous public and private lands from the sagebrush and lush riparian “lowlands” to deep forests and rocky alpine crags. The land that surrounds campus, including six wilderness areas, is a vast and wild laboratory.

Courses

Code Title Credits Description
BIOL 606 Ecological Research Methods 3 View
BIOL 613 Advanced Ecological Analysis 3 View
BIOL 620 Ornithology 4 View
BIOL 622 Mammalogy 4 View
BIOL 627 Filed Entomology 4 View
BIOL 630 Wildlife Ecology and Management 4 View
BIOL 631 Wildlife Techniques Workshop 1 View
BIOL 640 Conservation Biology 3 View
BIOL 652 Botany 4 View
BIOL 653 Rocky Mountain Flora 3 View
BIOL 662 Evolution 3 View
BIOL 667 Fisheries Biology and Management 3 View
BIOL 676 AQUATIC ECOLOGY W/LAB 3 View
BIOL 681 Forest Ecology 4 View
BIOL 690 Ecology MS Proposal Development 3 View
BIOL 692 Independent Study 1-6 View
BIOL 695 Ecology/ Conservation Thesis Research 1-9 View
BIOL 696 Fisheries/ Wildlife Thesis Research 1-9 View

Careers

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.

News & Research

Western appoints new adjunct faculty members in graduate Ecology program

Western appoints new adjunct faculty members in graduate Ecology program

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New partnership helps Red Rocks Community College students earn accelerated master’s degrees

New partnership helps Red Rocks Community College students earn accelerated master’s degrees

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Western Professor and Students Publish Study on Fire Ecology

Western Professor and Students Publish Study on Fire Ecology

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Western students travel to Pueblo for annual Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Conference

Western students travel to Pueblo for annual Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Conference

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Western launches Master of Science in Ecology

Western launches Master of Science in Ecology

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Additional Resources

MS in Ecology Fellowships, Grants and Scholarships

MS in Ecology Fellowships, Grants and Scholarships Eligibility, application requirements and deadlines vary widely across opportunities. Please make sure you read each description carefully. Internal …

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Prerequisites & Application

Prerequisites B.A. or B.S. degree in biology or related field with college courses in Statistics and upper-level Ecology with minimum grade of B, completed prior to the student’s first fall in the …

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Tuition & Fees

M.S. in Ecology Tuition & Fees Minimum Total Cost $25,754.19 (minimum 33 credits @ $780.43/credit) Credits Tuition/credit Fees/credit* Total Tuition & Fees Year 1 Fall 9+ $730.03 $50.40 $7,023 …

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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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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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Dean, School of ENVS

John C. Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Environment & Sustainability

Contact Information

970.943.2248

Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81230