Fall 2014 Watershed Science Graduates

Congratulations to our graduates!

Bachelor's of Science: Hunter Brill, Angela Coates, Evan Flemming, Jon Lindquist, Matt Menk, Allisyn Stanfield, and Xinnan Zhu

Minor: Tanner Bonham, PJ Murray, Jared Vaughn, and Charles Waddell

Master's of Science: Adam Pierce and Alexander Williams

New Master’s Degree in Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting

As industries from agriculture to manufacturing work to confront climate change issues – a new job market is emerging for professionals who can accurately quantify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of businesses. To help train people for these careers, Colorado State University has launched a new Masters of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting degree that combines environmental knowledge with quantitative and technical skills.

“Nearly every nation in the world has agreed that we must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but assembling the knowledge and skills to achieve that goal has been a challenge,” said Rich Conant, CSU professor of ecosystem science and sustainability and a leader of the MGMA program. “CSU has created a program that delivers that knowledge and trains graduates to lead sustainable business management plans that can calculate greenhouse gases and effectively reduce them.”

No. 1 in the Nation for sustainability
CSU is ranked as the top university in the nation for sustainability, and is home to leading researchers and programs dedicated to issues of environmental sustainability, climate change, and greenhouse gas issues. Most recently, CSU professors helped co-author the National Climate Assessment Report and the USDA report Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory. They are also leading the U.S. hub of FutureEarth, a 10-year international research initiative to address and respond to global environmental changes.

The MGMA program is offered by CSU’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, and showcases CSU’s diverse greenhouse gas expertise by combining curriculum from the University’s Warner College of Natural Resources and College of Business.

Interdisciplinary, Non-thesis Master's
The interdisciplinary degree enables students from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, such as environmental studies, business, engineering and agriculture, to develop the skills needed for professions in greenhouse gas management and accounting. The degree is coursework based (non-thesis), 37 credit hours, provides internship experience, and is typically completed in three semesters.

The MGMA program will start its first cohort of students in fall 2015, and is accepting applications now through February 2015.

For more information about the program and to apply, visit www.warnercnr.colostate.edu/mgma

Posted on Oct. 16, 2014 by Bryony Wardell

Students Dig up Science at CSU Summer Soil Institute

Underneath our planet’s surface is a world of minerals, microorganisms, and organic matter collectively known as soil, and humbly driving life on Earth.  Twenty-four students from around the world got to dig deep on soil science at Colorado State University’s 5th annual Summer Soil Institute (SSI) June 15-28, 2014 in Fort Collins, Colo.

Hosted by the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the unique course provides an integrated perspective of the interactions among living organisms in soils, the chemistry of organic and mineral matter, and the physical structure of soil. Participants got to work with an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned CSU soil experts like Diana Wall, M. Francesca Cotrufo, and John Moore to gain a strong understanding of soil ecology and current soil issues, such as carbon sequestration.

“Soils are Earth’s fragile skin and enable food production, provide clean water, and are fundamental to human well-being,” said Matthew Wallenstein, SSI instructor and professor at CSU. “The Summer Soil Institute is working to advance education opportunities that can help scientists and educators better understand this incredible, underground ecosystem and how to sustainably manage it for human and environmental well-being.”

SSI is designed for a range of participants including K-12 teachers, environmental professionals, graduate students, post-doctoral students and faculty. The program was initiated through a USDA grant and has trained 120 students worldwide so far.
Participants in the two-week course gain hands-on experience with a range of soil analytical techniques including soil chemistry, pedology, microbiology and ecology. Morning lectures and discussions are brought to life daily with field site visits to Colorado grassland and forested ecosystems where participants study and collect diverse soils. The class brings back samples to CSU laboratories where they get to practice a variety of cutting-edge analyses. 

The course also includes lectures and workshops from CSU faculty, and this year included three visiting experts sharing their knowledge and passion for soil science.

“The Summer Soil Institute was a great experience, and most importantly, I walked away understanding the status of the field of soil science,” said Sheila Saia, a 2014 SSI participant and graduate student at Cornell University. “It was tremendously beneficial to learn from and talk to soil experts like those at CSU and other leading universities and gain hands-on experience in soil analysis techniques, which could be used to answer pressing scientific questions.”

Past participants in SSI say the course is a great career investment, as it addresses emerging issues that are propelling future environmental research and industry trends.

“I think SSI is a fantastic opportunity for someone early in their graduate career to gain a broad, multi-disciplinary perspective on soil science. The instructors are all top-notch and it’s great to see the range of questions people are interested in and what tools they use to answer those questions,” said Kabir Peay, Assistant Professor at Stanford University and past SSI participant.

Dates and application deadline for 2015 are still being determined. For more information, visit soilinstitute.nrel.colostate.edu

Posted on July 14, 2014