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Sustainable & Resilient Communities Track

Master in Environmental Management

Degree Type

Master in Environmental Management

Department

Clark Family School of Environment and Sustainability

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.

The Master in Environmental Management (MEM) is a professional terminal degree, specifically focused on the content understanding and methods necessary to manage environmental organizations, public lands agencies, and communities towards sustainable solutions. The program emphasizes entrepreneurial and systems-thinking approaches to environmental issues associated with increasing climate disturbances, natural resource demands, and socio-economic insecurity. The MEM offers a “hybrid” learning environment for full-residency students rooted in the learning laboratories of the Gunnison Country, combined with a low-residency option for select environmental professionals from all over the world.

Program Goals

  • Improving student understanding of environmental systems and services, of the human impact on those systems, and of the array of sustainable and resilient solutions to those impacts.
  • Developing students’ capacities for interdisciplinary critical thinking, entrepreneurial innovation, and collaborative environmental problem-solving with diverse stakeholders.
  • Enhancing career opportunities in environmentally related disciplines.

Student Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the complex interactions among human, climate, and ecological systems.
  • Access and evaluate information about environmental issues.
  • Critically assess the fundamental elements of environmental problems.
  • Develop and apply diverse management and adaptation strategies to solve environmental problems.
  • Effectively communicate the complexity of environmental problems as well as appropriate solutions to diverse audiences.
  • Collaborate with and build partnerships among diverse stakeholders in order to complete major environmental projects.

Program Prerequisites

(For admissions requirements for “3+2” programs, please refer to the guidelines outlined in the undergraduate academic catalog under ENVS, POLS, SOC, ROE, and BIOL)

  • BA degree, BS degree, or Provisional Admittance to the graduate program is required.
  • Minimum Prerequisites must be completed by end of first MEM Fall term:
    • college-level statistics course.
    • two college-level natural or environmental science courses (BIOL, GEOL, ENVS, PHYS, CHEM, SCI), at least one course with lab or field component.
    • two college-level social science courses.
  • Integrative and Public Land Management Recommended Prerequisites
    • one upper-level Ecology course
    • one GIS course
  • Sustainable and Resilient Communities Recommended Prerequisites
    • one course in Economics (Micro or Macro preferred)
    • Financial Accounting
  • Faculty Mentor may recommend further coursework or certifications for students to complete before Master’s Portfolio is due in Spring II, depending upon student career ambitions and professional career standards.
  • Admissions Criteria: a holistic package balancing academic excellence with environmental leadership experience encouraged. Admissions packages will include: academic transcripts showing a recommended 3.0 undergraduate GPA or above in relevant courses; a portfolio outlining environmental employment, leadership and volunteer experience; a statement of purpose describing the student’s intellectual and professional interests in environmental management; and three letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors in related fields.
  • Provisional Admission to the Master in Environmental Management Program: An applicant who does not meet the requirements for full admission to the Master in Environmental Management Program may be provisionally admitted or may be required to submit additional materials in order to be considered for provisional admission upon the recommendation of the program director and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. A provisionally admitted student will have a maximum of one calendar year to complete any pre-requisite academic coursework. The program director or Dean of Graduate Studies may set additional timeline requirements.
  • International Students: see Graduate Academic Catalog section, Criteria for International Admission.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 46 credits is required for the MEM degree.

All MEM students must complete the 20-credit Core.

Core Courses
ENVS 601Introduction to Environmental Management5
ENVS 605Science of Environmental Management3
ENVS 608Environmental Politics and Policy3
ENVS 611Integrative Skill in Environmental Management3
ENVS 612Quantitative in Environmental Management3
ENVS 615Science of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation3
Total Credits20

Integrative and Public Land Management Emphasis (beyond required Core courses)

ENVS 618Public Lands Management3
Select nine credits of the following (choose any combination within these areas):9
ENVS 623
Studies in Environmental Management
ENVS 625
Studies in Integrative and Public Land Management
Masters Project Requirement:
ENVS 690MEM Project Development5
ENVS 694Master's Project and Portfolio 19
Total Credits26

Sustainable & Resilient Communities Emphasis (beyond required Core courses)

ENVS 616Environmental Organization Development and Management3
Select nine credits of the following:9
ENVS 620
Studies in Sustainable and Resilient Communities
ENVS 623
Studies in Environmental Management
Masters Project Requirement:
ENVS 690MEM Project Development5
ENVS 694Master's Project and Portfolio 19
Total Credits26

Global Sustainability Emphasis (beyond required Core courses)

ENVS 617Global Sustainability3
Select nine credits of the following (choose any combination of global themes within these areas):9
ENVS 620
Studies in Sustainable and Resilient Communities
ENVS 623
Studies in Environmental Management
ENVS 625
Studies in Integrative and Public Land Management
Masters Project Requirement:
ENVS 690MEM Project Development5
ENVS 694Master's Project and Portfolio 19
Total Credits26

Faculty & Staff

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.

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.

Opportunities

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

Apply

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, …

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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…

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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, …

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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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Interim Dean

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

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

Contact Information

970.943.2248

ses@western.edu

Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81230

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