FB Pixel Skip to Main Content

Sustainable & Resilient Communities Track

Master in Environmental Management

Gain the knowledge, experience and connections you need to land your dream job in renewable energy, food justice, nonprofit management, climate action planning and more

Program Overview

Make a difference in communities around the world.

Through its action-oriented approach to learning, the Sustainable & Resilient Communities (SRC) track will prepare you to work in nonprofit and for-profit management, climate action planning, sustainability consulting, alternative building, environmental education and more. In the Sustainable & Resilient Communities track, you can partner with our faculty in complex, real-world projects, so you can apply your knowledge and expand your leadership skills. Below are examples of some of the organizations and projects you could work with. Our faculty can help you identify and connect with engaging opportunities based on your interests.

Connect and engage

As a student in the Sustainable & Resilient Communities track, you will be able to partner with our faculty in real-world and complex projects which can enhance your learning and leadership opportunities.

Program Requirements

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.

Program Requirements

All Biology majors require the 26-credit Biology Nucleus.

Biology Nucleus
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
BIOL 151Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory)4
BIOL 301General Ecology3
BIOL 310Cell Biology3
BIOL 312Genetics (with recitation)4
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3
CHEM 112General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Laboratory II1
Total Credits26

(beyond required Core courses)

Nine Credits of:

Select one or both of the following:1-9
ENVS 623
Studies in Environmental Management
ENVS 620
Studies in Sustainable and Resilient Communities
Master's Project Requirement
ENVS 690MEM Project Development5
ENVS 694Master's Project and Portfolio 19
Total Credits15-23

Faculty & Staff


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.

What Skills Will I Acquire?

Gain invaluable, real-world experience.

An MEM degree will allow you to scope, manage and execute a diverse set of environmental projects at various scales. Your extensive field training and applied experiences through the 600-hour master’s project—which can be completed anywhere in the world—will be relevant for facilitating action-oriented projects globally, including:

  • Project and organizational management
  • The ability to understand and assess community infrastructure systems
  • Cultural dexterity
  • Climate action planning
  • Financial analysis
  • Environmental and social entrepreneurship
  • Life-cycle assessment

Choose your path

Our faculty can help you identify and connect with engaging opportunities tailor-made to your interests – including in renewable energy, food justice, nonprofit and for-profit management, climate action planning, sustainability consulting, alternative building, environmental education and more.


Take advantage of these immersive experiences.

There are many opportunities to work with faculty on projects around Western’s campus and in the Gunnison community, including:

  • Coldharbour Institute: Developing partnerships that empower international communities to address climate change on our 334-acre ranch site.
  • CS2I Lab: Incubating solutions to real-world problems for real partners.
  • Earth Tub: Diverting and composting food waste at Western to use at local farms.
  • Organics Guild: Growing and distributing local food to the community through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
  • Renewable Energy: Promoting and maintaining local renewable energy programs on Western’s campus, including solar and wind efforts.
  • Sustainability Action Committee: Working to strengthen partnerships between Western and local stakeholders in a variety of sustainability initiatives.
  • Sustainability Marketing: Raising public awareness and inspiring action by promoting socially responsible purchasing and changes in consumptive behaviors.

Coldharbour Institute

Coldharbour Institute (CI) is a unique nonprofit closely tied to Western’s Master in Environmental Management program. CI’s mission is to facilitate others’ “doing” for the education, incubation, and demonstration of regenerative living practices. The areas of concentration include agriculture, building, energy production, and wildland management.

News & Research

Western featured in ’Guide to 399 Green Colleges’ by The Princeton Review

Western featured in ’Guide to 399 Green Colleges’ by The Princeton Review

Read More about Western featured in ’Guide to 399 Green Colleges’ by The Princeton Review
Western receives 2017 Tree Campus USA award

Western receives 2017 Tree Campus USA award

Read More about Western receives 2017 Tree Campus USA award

Additional Resources


Application Deadlines MEM program May 1: Applications due (application fee waived) May 20: Deposits due Start date for MEM distance summer course June 1 NOTE: For all 3+2 applications, …

Learn More

Program Prerequisites

All three tracks (Global Sustainability, Integrative and Public Land Management and Sustainable and Resilient Communities) requires a B.A. or B.S. degree and the following prerequisites which must be…

Learn More

Residential and Distance Options

Globalizing a sense of place The MEM program at Western Colorado University offers a globally informed, place-based, environmental leadership education to its students. The MEM presents a hybrid …

Learn More

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition & Financial Aid Credits Tuition/Credit Fees/Credit* Total Tuition & Fees Year 1 Summer 5 $730.03 $50.40 $3902.15 Fall 9 $730.03 $50.40 $7023.87 Spring 9 $730.03 $50.40 $7, …

Learn More

Our Curriculum

Description of the Master in Environmental Management Program Your academic journey begins in an online ENVS 601 summer class through dialog with your faculty mentor considering …

Learn More

Community Events

The Headwaters Conference Every fall, Western Colorado University hosts a gathering of scholars, writers, poets, journalists, public officials, community activists, social and natural scientists and …

Learn More

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.

Learn More

Fellowship Opportunities in MEM

Fellowship Opportunities in the Master in Environmental Management (MEM) Program Western’s MEM offers a suite of graduate fellowships to reduce tuition, to enhance organizational partnerships, to …

Learn More

Peace Corps Fellowship

All RPCV’s who are interested in developing projects in conjunction with organizations abroad may be considered for the Global Sustainability Peace Corps fellowship. The Fellowship comes with up …

Learn More

MEM Sponsor/Partner Testimonials

Matt Feier Director of Planning at Crested Butte Mountain Resort “I had the opportunity to work with a group of Western MEM, developing a sustainability proposal for Crested Butte Mountain …

Learn More

Sustainability Professionals

According to the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, a “…sustainability practitioner [is] a professional who works to advance sustainability in organizations and communities. …

Learn More

MEM Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop Tutors 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 …

Learn More

MEM 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, …

Learn More

Center for Mountain Transitions

Empowering students to advance just and sustainable mountain communities, from the Rockies to the world.

Learn More

Center for Public Lands

The Center is a hub for cross-boundary land management work and study.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

Interim Dean

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

Intermin Dean of Clark Family School of Environment & Sustainability, Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability, Center for Public Lands Director

Contact Information



Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81230

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

Apply to Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit Western

Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.