Understand and Innovate

Develop and deliver relevant science that benefits nature and landowner livelihoods.


Understanding the effectiveness of conservation actions is critical to achieving benefits for people and nature on private lands. Yet, most organizations and landowners lack the capacity to undertake the  science to achieve conservation. We will harness the diverse expertise of our faculty and researchers to generate and deliver innovative science with direct relevance to conservation practices. 

Priorities include measuring the social, economic, and ecological impacts (and consequences) of conservation actions, evaluating the efficacy of current and emerging conservation finance strategies, and identifying evidence-based solutions to important challenges faced by today’s land stewards.

“Since CSU has long been at the forefront of private lands conservation in the West, it is fitting that a new initiative for that purpose will be housed at the  university”  

- Bill McDonald, Rancher and Founding Member of the Malpais Borderlands Group 


  • Partner with landowners and conservation organizations to identify priority areas for generating new knowledge to support conservation on private lands using evidence-based science
  • Investigate the suite of conservation tools and financial incentives to assess alternative models for private lands conservation in diverse contexts
  • Bring scientists, the conservation community, and business experts together to develop novel market-based approaches to conservation

 Indicators of Success

  • Integration of scientific insights into practice and policy
  • Application of innovative approaches to conservation into working landscapes