Why Ecosystem Sustainability at CSU?

Many physical, ecological and social factors interact to shape the future of our ecosystems and societies. CSU’s innovative new graduate program in Ecosystem Sustainability enables students to develop core competencies in ecosystem science—the study of organisms and the environment—and apply that knowledge to address real-world issues.  We help develop leaders in sustainability science: a new generation of practitioners able to address complex, integrated social and ecological problems, in collaborative partnerships with researchers, resource users and decision-makers.

Our graduates have the tools to understand complex scientific questions in sustainability, and the leadership and collaborative skills required to address current and future issues in sustainability. The program serves as a foundation for a wide range of careers, including academic and scholarly professions, and work in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and corporate and entrepreneurial environments.

A focus on solutions

Join us, and you will work at the cutting edge of new research on ecosystem sustainability.  Collaborating with some of the world’s leading ecosystem and sustainability scientists, you will explore solutions to global problems related to water resources, food supplies, energy, greenhouse gas management, land use change, climate change, and environmental justice, amongst others.

What students can expect to gain

This specialized degree training will help you to acquire:

  • Detailed knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods
  • An understanding of complex ecosystem functioning
  • A transdisciplinary understanding of social-ecological processes
  • The ability to work in teams across disciplines and with decision makers, resource users and team members outside the academic arena
  • The skills to conduct integrated assessments using systems approaches, conceptual, mathematical, geospatial, and statistical models, and innovative collaborative processes.
  • The ability to apply critical thinking in the development of sustainable systems at local and global scales
  • Advanced training in the methods of urban ecology, and on managing the sustainable cities of the future

Local and Global Relevance

Our graduate community benefits from a highly networked program with close working links to the city governments of Fort Collins, Boulder, and Denver, and to local agencies, farming communities, and non-profits across the Front Range. We work at the highest elevations of the Rockies, and in the lowest short grass steppe regions, and on cities and in neighborhoods. Our active research programs are spread around the globe: from north, east, and southern Africa, to China, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet, Honduras, and Mexico.