Graduate Certificate in Climate Adaptation and Risk Management

The Climate Adaptation and Risk Management (CARMA) Online Graduate Certificate is a unique, interdisciplinary program that addresses the global climate change crisis. Unlike other programs in the market, CARMA focuses on adaptation, risk management, and innovative solutions with an emphasis on natural resources. It meets the critical need for high-quality training in climate change response strategies. 

The Climate Adaptation and Risk Management (CARMA) Graduate Certificate is a comprehensive online program designed to equip graduate students and professionals with advanced skills and knowledge in addressing the challenges of climate change. The program focuses on climate adaptation strategies and managing natural resources for climate resilience. Spanning 10-13 credits, this certificate offers a cutting-edge curriculum that prepares individuals to navigate diverse ownerships, economic sectors, ecosystems, and spatiotemporal scales. 

CARMA provides students with a solid scientific foundation, practical tools, and contemporary methodologies to identify, evaluate, and implement climate-adaptive management and community engagement strategies. With a strong emphasis on environmental justice and risk management, graduates will gain the expertise to make informed decisions based on current scientific information, integrate ethics and social equity into policymaking, effectively communicate vulnerability assessments, and engage in proactive risk-scenario planning. 

The program consists of four core courses, totaling 9 credits, which form the foundation of knowledge. Additionally, students can customize their learning experience by selecting department-approved elective courses (ranging from 1-4 credits) that align with their specific interests and career goals. This flexibility ensures a tailored educational journey for each student. 

With CARMA, you’ll gain the necessary expertise to address the urgent and complex challenges posed by climate change. Stand out as a leader in your field, equipped with the skills to implement sustainable and equitable climate adaptation strategies. 

Learn more

Talk to a prospective student coach, request info, or apply


This certificate requires the completion of 10 credits (minimum) and includes four required courses.

Note: Some courses are still in development.

Required courses (9 credits):

  • ESS 516/NR 516 – Climate Policy and Justice (2 cr.)
  • NRRT 517/NR 517 – Climate Change Communication and Engagement (2 cr.)
  • NR 518 – Climate Impacts and Risk Management (3 cr.)

Electives (1 – 4 credits):

Total program credits: 10-13


Career Opportunities/ Job Titles 

  • Climate Adaptation Specialist 
  • Risk Management Analyst 
  • Environmental Policy Advisor 
  • Sustainability Program Manager 
  • Climate Change Researcher 
  • Natural Resource Planner 
  • Climate Resilience Coordinator 
  • Environmental Consultant 
  • Climate Adaptation Officer 
  • Conservation Scientist 
  • Climate Impact Analyst 
  • Environmental Justice Advocate 
  • Climate Risk Assessment Specialist 
  • Sustainability Coordinator 
  • Climate Change Mitigation Specialist 
  • Resilience Planning Consultant 
  • Environmental Project Manager 
  • Climate Policy Analyst 
  • Ecosystem Restoration Specialist 
  • Environmental Educator 

In government: 

Scientist, Researcher, Analyst, Specialist, Field Technician  

Supervisory Lead, Director, Deputy, Administrator, Risk Officer, Planner  

Salary range: $60k – $150k+  

In business and non-profit: 

Analyst, Organizer, Program/Project Manager, Program/Project Assistant/Associate, Specialist, Coordinator, Fellow  

Climate officer/director, Sustainability officer/director, Program officer/director  

Salary range: $60k – $150k+ 

How to Apply

Application Process


This graduate certificate requires that students have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution. Applicants must also meet or exceed the Graduate School minimum GPA.

Application Deadlines:

Fall semester – July 15

Spring Semester – December 1

Step 1 – Prepare Application Materials:

Statement of Purpose
Your statement should be written in 12-point font, double-spaced, and address the following:

  • What do you hope to learn from this certificate program?
  • How do you think it will benefit your career?
  • What do you anticipate being the biggest challenges to your participation in (and successful completion of) this program?
  • What is your plan for addressing these challenges?

Step 2 – Apply:

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). Once you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Choose “Climate Adaptation and Risk Management (Certificate) – Distance” when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select “Certificate” at the top.)

Click on the above link and create an account. Follow the application instructions that are listed there. Note: There is a $60 application fee and tuition is $685-771 per credit. Same in-state tuition for all.

Step 3 – Request transcripts:

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062


Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via e-mail are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.


Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check your application status:

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

Our Faculty


Andrea Baudoin Farah

Assistant Professor: Warner College of Natural Resources, ESS Dept.

Prior to her work at CSU, Farah spent time as a postdoctoral scholar working with NatCap on ecosystem services and scenarios in the Llanos de Moxos region in Beni, Bolivia. She is particularly interested in exploring ways to better integrate indigenous perceptions into assessments of ecosystem services. Andrea obtained her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida, where she studied the relations between indigenous conceptions of autonomy and natural resource governance in the Bolivian Amazon. She holds an M.Sc in Agricultural Development and Compared Agriculture from AgroParisTech, France; a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia; and a double B.Sc in Agronomic Engineering from AgroParisTech and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Sarah Walker

Assistant Professor: Warner College of Natural Resources, HDNR Department

Dr. Sarah Walker’s work is based on the idea that understanding human well-being is critical for designing environmental solutions that work for both people and nature. Her research and teaching centers on the belief that environmental solutions should prioritize social justice in both process and outcome. Broadly, Sarah conducts environmental social science – exploring and measuring the human well-being impacts of various environmental problems and interventions. Much of her work is focused on equitable climate adaptation, rural livelihoods and changing environments, and the health and well-being effects of nature immersion.


Scott Denning

Professor: Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering, Atmospheric Science Dept.

Professor Denning received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine in 1984, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1993 and 1994. He studied radiometric geochronology, surface water geochemistry, and mountain hydrology before becoming interested in global climate and biogeochemical dynamics. After a two-year postdoctoral appointment modeling global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, he spent two years as an Assistant Professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined the Atmospheric Science faculty at CSU in 1998 and has served as Director of Education for CMMAP since 2006.


Robin Rothfeder

Assistant Professor: Warner College of Natural Resource, FRS Department

Dr. Rothfeder is an assistant professor in CSU’s Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department. Rothfeder has a diverse interdisciplinary background, including undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Economics from the University of California-Berkeley, along with a Master’s in Environmental Humanities and a Ph.D. in Ecological Planning from the University of Utah.