Ecosystem Science & Sustainability

Bachelor of Science in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability

Grazing measurements in Tibet

The demand for professionals who understand and can manage natural resources to benefit current and future generations is growing rapidly. The Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) degree program provides students with the knowledge and ability to integrate the latest science into real-world decision making. Our affiliation with CSU's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, with a 45-year history of world-class ecosystem research, gives undergraduate students opportunities to gain hands-on research experience while developing solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. 

Learn about the challenges humans face in sustainably managing ecosystem services, but also about the amazing ways in which organisms interact with their environments to form complex ecosystems, and cutting-edge integrative solutions for sustainability. 

Students begin their degree with core courses that build a strong foundation in the physical and natural sciences. Courses in ecosystem science put that core understanding into the context of natural resources, with coursework in the classroom, laboratory, and field. Courses include:

  • Foundations in Ecosystem Science
  • System Theory and Information Management
  • Natural Resources Ecology and Measurements
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Earth Systems Ecology
  • Sustainability and Ecosystem Science

Opportunities to join in research, internships, practical and team exercises, and field experiences in the beautiful Rocky Mountains combine with an outstanding classroom education to build a solid foundation for applying sustainable resource management principles.

In the program, ESS students learn:
How to help people use natural resources in a sustainable way.

About environmental change at local and global scales.

How they can identify ways people can adapt to change and improve their lives.

The amazing connections between different earth system components.

How to conduct field work addressing questions important to sustainability.
Upon graduation, ESS students may:
Sustainably manage natural resources at city, state, or even global scales.

Communicate effectively with decision makers about policy issues.

Conduct analyses addressing real-world management questions.

Identify ways vegetation, animals, and people may co-exist and adapt to a changing environment.

Help identify ways to increase the amount of food grown in a sustainable way.

Research new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Teach elementary and secondary students about sustainability issues.

Enter a graduate program well-placed to excel, with a solid undergraduate education.

ESS Curriculum and Advising

Find curriculum highlights, checklists, and much more on our Undergraduate Program Curriculum and Course Offerings page.

Our Academic Success Coordinators provide advising and guidance for students. View their contact information and additional student resources on our Advising and Student Resources page.