The world needs a new kind of scientist: one whose ability to perform research with immediate relevance for solving problems is matched by their skills in collaborating with affected communities. These researchers produce accessible, socially just, and scientifically relevant results for utilization by both policymakers and the public while also striving for inclusivity within the scientific community. Western Colorado University’s M.S. in Ecology program provides contemporary scientific training to address pressing questions in the ecology, conservation, and management of the earth’s biota, landscapes, and ecosystems.
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. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the program offers unparalleled access to public lands—including over 80 percent of the land surrounding Western’s picturesque campus. Students in the program conduct research in collaboration with local wildlife and land management agencies, ranchers, and researchers from the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory as well as from around the world.
You will also be provided the connections, knowledge and skills necessary to address critical information gaps at the local, regional and global levels, across a range of ecological systems vulnerable to human impacts including climate change.
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.
At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.
|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|
Heidi Steltzer, Ph.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Professor of Environment and Sustainability and Biology and Coordinator of Environmental Science Degree Program at Fort Lewis College
Jonathan Coop, Ph.D.
Professor of Environment and Sustainability, MS in Ecology and Master in Environmental Management
Jessica Young, Ph.D.
“I cannot think of a better place in the world to contribute to the field of applied ecology. Western students engage in meaningful research that improves our understanding of critically important issues in conservation biology and wildlife management.”
Jonathan Coop, Ph.D.
“We can produce high-quality research and publish papers in scientific journals with our students. We’re out on the cutting edge of our field learning the things we don’t know yet."
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