Potential Projects & Partners

The Conservation Leadership through Learning (CLTL) program invites partnerships with conservation organizations (e.g., public, private or non-governmental) to offer Capstone Projects that CLTL students can complete as part of the requirements for their Master's degree. Projects should facilitate application of skills and knowledge from CLTL coursework (see below for a list of course topics), as well as provide an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to conservation. Students participate in on-campus coursework during the Fall of 2017 and the Spring of 2018. During this time students conduct background research and planning for their projects. In June of 2018 students begin working at their project locations.
Core Learning Objectives
CLTL has seven core learning objectives for students in the program. Each final project would be expected to address at least three of the following objectives:
  1. Analyze a conservation issue from multiple perspectives and/or disciplines
  2. Collaborate with diverse audiences and stakeholders
  3. Apply systems thinking to analyze conservation and management issues
  4. Develop inter-disciplinary approaches for conservation-related problem-solving
  5. Identify social science tools and methods to effectively address conservation challenges
  6. Utilize various media and public speaking tools to communicate
  7. Demonstrate skills to successfully lead and participate in group environments
Preferred Project Criteria
CLTL also has preferred project criteria that organizations should consider when proposing a final project.
  1. Duration: a minimum of four months in-situ fieldwork. This can include an initial period of time for students to arrive, become oriented to the location, build relationships, etc., before beginning fieldwork.
  2. Community-based: on-the-ground work at a community/regional level, including interactions with and/or exposure to local stakeholders
  3. Multi-disciplinary: analysis and investigation of a conservation issue through multiple lenses (e.g., ecological, economic, social)
  4. Cross-cultural: opportunities for students to interact with individuals and/or in a culture vastly different than their own
  5. Networking: opportunities for students to interact with other conservation professionals
  6. Builds on coursework: students can apply skills and knowledge from CLTL coursework in more than one of the following areas:
  • Biodiversity
  • Systems thinking
  • Governance/Decision-making
  • Policy
  • Facilitation
  • Communication/Outreach
  • Ecosystem services
  • Spatial analysis
  • Collaborative conservation
  • Social science research methods
  • Ecological research methods
  • Multi-level views of conservation
  • Leading others
  • Participation on teams
Each Capstone Project must include a professional-level deliverable that requires significant analysis and effort by the student. Examples include a management plan, technical report, communication materials, series of policy briefs, etc. The project deliverable should be useful to the partner organization to further their conservation work.

Note: All students will complete a reflection of their projects as part of the requirements of the CLTL program, in addition to their project deliverables. We may also ask that partners fill out a brief form about their experience working with CLTL students.

Benchmarks for Partners 
Date Activity
August 1, 2016 Deadline to submit project proposal form
August 2016 CLTL reviews project proposal and partner revises proposal as needed
September 1, 2016 Revised project proposal posted on CLTL website
October 2016 - February 2017 CLTL and partners review and select applicants (In their application, students will rank their project preferences. Partners will be asked -though not required- to review applications in which their project is ranked as a top choice by the applicant.)
April 1, 2017 Applicant(s) deadline for committing to CLTL enrollment
August 2017 - May 2018 Students complete two semesters of on-campus coursework at CSU
June 2018 - September 2018 Students at project site working on final project
November 2018 Students give final presentation on project
December 2018 Students complete project deliverables

Partner Support
Our aim is for win-win partnerships in which partner organizations benefits from our students’ efforts, and students have a highly rewarding learning experience.

We prefer projects in which students receive full or partial in-kind support as a demonstration of commitment from the organization, and acknowledgement of student efforts for projects in which the organization will benefit.

In addition, during project review we are likely to give preference to organizations that provide some in-kind support for students.

Student and project costs to consider include:
  • Room and board (during field work or duration of stay)
  • Translators
  • Research assistant(s)
  • Travel to project location from home country
  • Travel within/around project location
  • Workspace
  • Orientation to area/project
  • Assistance with finding housing
  • Opportunities to support other projects
  • Research permits, if applicable
  • Data collection tools, if applicable
Propose a Project
If you are interested in proposing a project, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .