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An Innovative Master's Program to Prepare Leaders to Address Conservation Challenges

The goal of a sustainable future requires conservation practitioners with a strong foundation in science, leadership, and management. In addition, these practitioners will need to engage in inter-disciplinary problem-solving, understand cross-cultural and cross-boundary issues, and be comfortable operating adaptively in an environment of increasing complexity and uncertainty.

The Conservation Leadership through Learning program at Colorado State University is a Master’s degree which prepares leaders to address conservation issues around the globe. The program is built around principles of experiential learning, inter-disciplinary instruction and applied approaches. Working closely with a network of practitioners and organizations, CLTL is the option for individuals seeking to make a difference in the lives and ecosystems of our planet.  
Click here to start your application for Fall 2016! 

CLTL and Sustainability at Colorado State University

“The questions of sustainability are at the core of most of what we teach… That’s because they’re really at the core of what is the future of humanity and the environment and the world.” – Michael Gavin, Associate Professor
This October, Conservation Leadership through Learning students visited The Nature Conservancy Phantom Canyon Preserve to learn about ecosystems in Northern Colorado. Visiting the Preserve prepared the students for their Conservation Action Planning training with Colorado Nature Conservancy staff, where the students practiced developing mock conservation plans and strategies for important species and ecosystems. These skills will prepare the students to address conservation issues in their future careers. One group of CLTL students, currently in Belize, utilized their skills and knowledge from this training to develop a new management plan for a protected area, which will work to ensure sustainable management of natural resources and to preserve important cultural resources.
This is just one example of how CLTL, the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, and the Warner College of Natural Resource focus on sustainability at all scales. Michael Gavin, featured in the new video as part of a series on sustainability at CSU, is a professor for CLTL who teaches systems thinking concepts and bio-cultural conservation.
As Dr. Gavin explains, it is essential for students to recognize the interconnections between our communities and the natural world, so that we all can thrive. The Conservation Leadership through Learning program, the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, the Warner College of Natural Resources, and the University as a whole are all working to prepare our future conservation leaders who can work towards a sustainable future for all.


The CLTL program was awarded the Western Association of Graduate Schools Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Education. Read more.

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