Two exemplary field experiences that are included in our curriculum are:
A summer program at CSU’s Mountain Campus, our majestic retreat and outdoor laboratory located in the spectacular mountains west of Fort Collins.
A one-week field practicum prior to the Fall semester exploring Colorado’s ecosystems and visiting the state’s numerous management projects and natural areas.
The Department offers two undergraduate degree programs and a minor program of study. Learn more about these programs on our Undergraduate Degree Tracks page. Below you will find our curriculum checklists and supporting documents with degree elective options.
Watershed Science and Sustainability – Students enrolled prior to Fall of 2022
Watershed Science and Sustainability – Students enrolled Fall of 2022 or after
Are you an Honors Scholar? Honors Scholars (Track 1 or Track 2) have modified requirements in our degree programs and follow separate checklists. You can refer to your degree progress audit in Ramweb to view these requirements, as well as speak to your advisor directly. (Please visit the CSU University Honors Program for information on how to apply to be an Honors Scholar.)
Departmental Professional Development and Engagement
All Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and Watershed Science and Sustainability majors in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) are required to complete a Professional Development and Engagement requirement in their degree program.
Ecosystem Science and Sustainability students must complete one of four options as outlined in the ESS curriculum and on the ESS Professional Development and Engagement webpage.
Watershed Science and Sustainability students must enroll in NR 220 Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements.*
*Those Watershed Science and Sustainability students participating in specialized research programs, certain study abroad programs, or other eligible experiential learning placements may submit a request for substitution for NR 220 to pursue other research or professional development opportunities away from the CSU Mountain Campus.
Accelerated Master’s Program in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability
The Professional Science Masters in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (PSM-ESS) leverages world-leading greenhouse gas, climate change, water resource, and food-systems expertise from across Colorado State University (CSU) and helps students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to make a difference. The aim of the PSM-ESS program is to prepare young professionals to enter the field to put solutions into practice. The CSU PSS-ESS AMP allows undergraduates in certain CSU bachelor’s degree programs to begin studies in the PSM-ESS program while they are still undergraduates.
Starting the PSM-ESS program while still completing an undergraduate degree can save time and money! Up to 9 credits of 500-level graduate course work can be counted to both a bachelor’s degree and the PSM-ESS while paying undergraduate tuition rates.
Check out the Accelerated Professional Science Masters in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability page for more information about the program and application process!
Course Equivalency Credit and Challenge Exams
Students may earn credit for general introductory coursework through equivalency tests or challenge exams. These assessment options allow qualifying students to meet requirements for courses typically related to All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC). Although equivalency tests and challenge exams have costs and fees associated with them, student who earn credit through such tests or exams will typically have significant cost savings related to their undergraduate tuition. They may also accelerate their program of study to graduate early.
Colorado State University provides equivalency tests through the College-Level Examinations Program (CLEP), which offers general examinations in more than 30 areas of study. When a CLEP Exam is not offered for a particular course, a challenge exam can be requested from the CSU Academic Department or College offering the course.
CSU Academic Departments provide standardized options for challenge exams, including the CSU English Department for awarding credit through the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay related to CO 130 and CO 150 AUCC requirements.
Please visit the University Testing Center for the complete set of policies and procedures on CLEP and Challenge Exams.
ESS Course Offerings
The following courses are taught by Ecosystem Science and Sustainability faculty. Refer to the CSU General Catalog for additional information and course descriptions.
|ESS 120||Introduction to Ecosystem and Watershed Sciences||Steven Fassnacht, Monique Rocca||Syllabus|
|ESS 129||Information Management for Sustainability||Steven Fassnacht||Syllabus|
|ESS 130||Introduction to Systems Theory for Sustainability||John Moore||Syllabus|
|ESS/GR 210||Physical Geography||Wei Gao||Syllabus|
|ESS 220||Skills for Ecological Research I||Stacy Lynn||Syllabus|
|ESS 221||Skills for Ecological Research II||Stacy Lynn|
|ESS 311||Ecosystem Ecology||Ed Hall||Syllabus|
|ESS 312||Sustainability Science||Various||Syllabus|
|ESS 320||Internship and Career Preparation||Kaye Holman||Syllabus|
|ESS 330||Quantitative Reasoning for Ecosystem Science||Various||Syllabus|
|ESS 365||Global Climate Justice||Gillian Bowser||Syllabus|
|ESS 400||Global Perspectives on Sustainability||Gillian Bowser||Syllabus|
|ESS 401||Sustainability of Park and Protected Places||Gillian Bowser||Syllabus|
|ESS 411||Earth Systems Ecology||Daniela Cusack||Syllabus|
|ESS/MIP 432||Microbial Ecology||Ed Hall||Syllabus|
|ESS 440||Practicing Sustainability||Julia Klein, Robin Reid||Syllabus|
|ESS 474||Limnology||Ed Hall||Syllabus|
|ESS 486||Ecosystem Practicum||Various||Syllabus|
|ESS 487||Internship||Kaye Holman||Syllabus|
|NR 322||Introduction to GIS||Elizabeth Tulanowski||Syllabus|
|NR/GR 323||Remote Sensing of Natural Resources||Various|
|NR 426||Programming for GIS I||Elizabeth Tulanowski||Syllabus|
|NR 427||Programming for GIS II||Elizabeth Tulanowski||Syllabus|
|NR 493||Seminar on GIS and Remote Sensing Applications||Elizabeth Tulanowski||Syllabus|
|WR/GR 204 (formerly WR/GR 304)||Sustainable Watersheds||Various||Syllabus|
|WR 406||Seasonal Snow Environments||Steven Fassnacht||Syllabus|
|WR 416||Land Use Hydrology||Stephanie Kampf||Syllabus|
|WR 417||Watershed Measurements||Tim Covino||Syllabus|
|WR 418||Land Use and Water Quality||Matt Ross||Syllabus|
|WR 419||Water Quality Lab||Matt Ross|
|WR 440||Watershed Problem Analysis||Tim Covino, Stephanie Kampf||Syllabus|
|WR 474||Snow Hydrology||Steven Fassnacht||Syllabus|
|WR 486||Watershed Practicum||Various||Syllabus|