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.
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.
|BIOL 606||Ecological Research Methods||3||View|
|BIOL 613||Advanced Ecological Analysis||3||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 653||Rocky Mountain Flora||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|
Russel Japuntich, M.S.
Adjunct Faculty; Southwest District Fisheries Biologist, Bureau of Land Management
Jessica Young, Ph.D.
Professor of Environment & Sustainability, Master in Environmental Management and Master of Science in Ecology
Ian Breckheimer, Ph.D.
Adjunct Faculty; Research Scientist in Spatial Ecology and Data Synthesis, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
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.
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