ESS Undergraduate Program Curriculum and Course Offerings

Curriculum Highlights

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

students at research site

Curriculum Checklists

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.

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Transitional Advising Guide

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Bachelor of Science (Effective Fall 2018)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Bachelor of Science (Prior to Fall 2018)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Course Selection Elective List (Effective Fall 2018)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Course Selection Elective List (Prior to Fall 2018)

Honors Scholars Checklists

Honors Scholars (Track 1 or Track 2) have modified requirements in our degree programs and follow separate checklists. (Please visit the CSU University Honors Program for information on how to apply to be an Honors Scholar.)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Honors Track 1 (Prior to Fall 2018)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Honors Track 1 (NEW and Effective Fall 2018)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Honors Track 2 (Prior to Fall 2018)

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability – Honors Track 2 (NEW and Effective Fall 2018)

Watershed Science – Honors Track 1 (Prior to Fall 2018)

Watershed Science – Honors Track 1 (NEW and Effective Fall 2018)

Watershed Science – Honors Track 2 (Prior to Fall 2018)

Watershed Science – Honors Track 2 (NEW and Effective Fall 2018)

Departmental Professional Development and Engagement

All Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and Watershed Science majors in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) are required to complete a Professional Development and Engagement requirement in their degree program.

Watershed Science students must enroll in NR 220* Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements. Optionally, those Watershed Science 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.

Ecosystem Science and Sustainability students must complete one of the four options below, and as outlined in the ESS curriculum:

NR 220* Natural Resource Ecology & Measurements (5 credits)

ESS 487** Internship (5 credits)

ESS SUPER Program (ESS 220/ESS 221/ESS298, 5 credits total)

Department-Approved Study Abroad Program

Education Abroad

Pre-Approved Programs

*For those planning to complete NR 220, please visit the CSU Mountain Campus website for up-to-date information on summer course offerings.

**Students who wish to participate in an internship should make an appointment with Kaye Holman to learn more

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.

Some CSU Academic Department and Colleges provide standardized options for challenge exams including the CSU English Department and College of Business for the following exams:

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.

Course NumberTitleInstructorSyllabus
ESS Courses
ESS 130System Theory and Information ManagementJohn Moore
ESS/GR 210Physical GeographyMichael Lefsky
ESS 211Foundations of Ecosystem ScienceRandall Boone, Dennis OjimaSyllabus
ESS 220Skills for Ecological Research IStacy Lynn
ESS 221Skills for Ecological Research IIStacy Lynn
ESS 311Ecosystem EcologyJulia Klein, Matt WallensteinSyllabus
ESS 330Quantitative Reasoning for Ecosystem ScienceCameron Aldridge, Michael LefskySyllabus
ESS 400Sustainability and Ecosystem ScienceGillian BowserSyllabus
ESS 411Earth Systems EcologyJohn Moore, Dennis OjimaSyllabus
ESS 440Practicing SustainabilityJulia Klein, Robin Reid
ESS 486Ecosystem PracticumVarious
NR Courses
NR 322Introduction to GISRandall BooneSyllabus
NR/GR 323Remote Sensing of Natural ResourcesMichael Falkowski, Michael Lefsky
WR Courses
WR/GR 304Sustainable WatershedsVariousSyllabus
WR 406Seasonal Snow EnvironmentsSteven Fassnacht
WR 416Land Use HydrologyStephanie KampfSyllabus
WR 417Watershed MeasurementsTim Covino
WR 418Land Use and Water QualityTBD
WR 419Water Quality LabTBD
WR 440Watershed Problem AnalysisVariousSyllabus
WR 474Snow HydrologySteven Fassnacht
WR 486Watershed PracticumVariousSyllabus
WR 492Seminar: Issues in HydrologySteven FassnachtSyllabus