This program begins with nine months (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters) of on-campus coursework at CSU followed by approximately four months of living and studying at the selected project site, which may be domestic or international. The number of students working on a partner project will vary, depending on the needs of the partner organization. This option allows students to select a capstone project from projects proposed by Conservation Leadership partner organizations.
Note: financial aid for U.S. students during the project portion of this option is available for tuition costs, and students will work with a financial aid advisor to create a financial aid package for travel abroad and other project expenses.
Is this option for you?
This option is good for students who need or prefer the structure for getting set-up with a capstone project in a desired region and have an interest in the specific geographic locations, conservation topics, and/or organizations presented in the projects. This option is also suited for students who prefer to work independently or in smaller groups (some projects may be in small teams of 2-4 students), and can take initiative to plan and pursue co-curricular field experiences on their own. Students participating in the partner projects abroad should also feel comfortable making their own housing arrangements and being self-reliant in a foreign country.
Click on the Partner Project theme to learn more about the proposed project:
|Logo||Name of Organization||Thematic Topics||Project Description||Project Location|
|Big Thompson Watershed Coalition||Responding to Climate Change||Creating a forest management and community engagement program, community science and stewardship initiatives, and a river envisioning strategic planning project.||Loveland, CO|
|Bluff Lake Nature Center||Protected Area Management (Urban), Conservation Education and Outreach||Developing a site monitoring plan, carrying capacity report, and a multicultural engagement and information campaign.||Denver, CO|
|Bureau of Land Management||Conservation and Development, Protected Area Management, Responding to Climate Change||Developing wilderness and climbing management plans, as well as data collection on plants.||Grand Junction, CO|
|CSU Center for Protected Area Management||Protected Area Management, Conservation and Development, Responding to Climate Change||Capacity building and training with Mexican National Park Service to reduce illegal logging.||Central America|
|Colorado Haiti Project||Conservation and Development, Responding to Climate Change||Designing, evaluating, and implementing a carbon sequestration program of mangrove planting and conservation for a community revenue source and climate change mitigation.||Louisville, CO / Haiti|
|Continental Divide Trail Coalition||Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Protected Area Management||Programs centered around the stewardship of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.||Golden, CO|
|Denver Zoo||Human Dimensions of Wildlife||Using applied research to develop community engagement and education initiatives for capacity building, protected area management, and policy promotion.||Denver, CO|
|Eagle Valley Land Trust||Protected Area Management||Strategic development of natural resource protections in tandem of sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities.||Edwards, CO|
|Friends of the Yampa||Responding to Climate Change, Protected Area Management||Develop the Yampa River Scorecard Project, as well as address conservation and recreational use concerns.||Steamboat Springs, CO|
|Gorilla Guardians and Red Rocks Initiative||Conservation and Development, Protected Area Management||Developing community livelihood & enterprise projects including their Goats for Gorillas initiative and community-based tourism.||Musenzi, Rwanda|
|Isla||Conservation and Development, Protected Area Management, Human Dimensions of Wildlife||Wildlife rehabilitation including reintroduction, restocking and wildlife education projects.||Bulgaria / Kosovo|
|IUCN Conservation Planning Group||Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Protected Area Management||Evaluation of CPSG's program alumni training programs around wildlife conservation.||Remote|
|Lacy Consulting Services||Conservation and Development, Human Dimensions of Wildlife||Consulting projects that incorporate social science, JEDI, and conservation.||Denver, CO|
|Metro Denver Nature Alliance||Conservation and Development, Climate Justice||Conduct an equity assessment in the Denver metro area, as well as development of strategic plan.||Denver, CO|
|Mountain Area Land Trust||Protected Area Management||Conservation easement monitoring and landowner outreach, grant writing and development; strategic planning update.||Evergreen, CO|
|Northern Colorado Foodshed Project||Responding to Climate Change, Conservation and Development||Comparison of food system interventions to relocalize purchasing and develop infrastructure.||Fort Collins, CO|
|Rocky Mountain Wild||Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Protected Area Management||Advancing the Colorado Bat Watch program and/or study impacts of human recreation on elk.||Denver, CO|
|Trees, Water & People||Conservation and Development||Development of a community-based forestry management plan; climate mitigation and adaptation strategies for farmers; use of appropriate technologies for poverty alleviation.||Central America*|
|WILDLABS||Conservation Technology, Human Dimensions of Wildlife||Examining trends in the field of conservation technology.||Remote|
|WWF's Markets Institute||Conservation and Development, Responding to Climate Change||Analyzing the business or financial case for changing behavior to reduce key environmental impacts.||Remote|
*Any students traveling to countries considered higher risk by CSU need to be approved by the CSU International Travel Oversight Committee. Students will need to provide extensive details on their relevant travel experiences and language abilities as well as plans related to project work, transportation, housing, and risk management prior to purchasing airfare or making firm plans for travel to higher risk destinations. This will be handled during the fall semester with the assistance of the partner and program staff. The partnership with Trees, Water and People requires Spanish fluency and at least two cohort members for the project.
POD PROJECTS: BELIZE
This program begins with nine months (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters) of on-campus coursework at CSU followed by four months (June through October 2024) of living and studying abroad in Belize. Conservation Leadership-Belize includes field trips in which students are immersed in topics related to terrestrial/marine protected area management, human-wildlife co-existence and conflict, conservation and development and sustainable tourism. The remaining time is spent working collaboratively on a capstone project. Capstone projects are likely to revolve around writing protected area management plans, social science research for conservation issues such as the invasive lionfish, and/or evaluation of programs. Students are likely to engage with different forms of social science research. Tools such as structured surveys, interviews, focus groups, participatory methods and community consultations for protected area management have been used in past projects. Former students have carried out nationwide survey research, co-authored management plans of large protected areas in the southern part of Belize and evaluated human-wildlife coexistence programs. Please note: Although Belize’s official language is English, students who are proficient in Spanish may be highly rated for projects in the northern part of the country. Most of those projects have involved social science research on invasive lionfish. All projects are in partnership with non-governmental organizations to address a local/regional conservation issue. Review our project map to learn more about past projects.
Note: Financial aid for U.S. students during the project portion of this option is available for tuition, travel and program costs.
Is this option for you?
This option is good for students who seek an intensive cross-cultural experience in Belize and prefer working abroad with the support and camaraderie of 5-7 Conservation Leadership peers. A faculty advisor will work with students and provide mentoring from abroad as well as through in-country field visits. This is also a good option for students who want to build a professional network of conservation professionals in this region and/or have interest in international/tropical conservation related issues. Living and working in Belize is suited particularly well for individuals with a high degree of flexibility, humility and adaptability.
This program begins with nine months (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters) of on-campus coursework at CSU, after which time students undertake an independent conservation project in a region with which they are familiar and in partnership with an organization which they have a relationship. Locations can be domestic or international.
Note: Financial aid for U.S. students during the project portion of this option is available for tuition costs, and students will work with a financial aid advisor to create a financial aid package for travel abroad and other project expenses.
Is this option for you?
This option is good for students with an existing idea and who have relationships in place with relevant organizations to collaborate with for their Capstone project. This could include employees or volunteers of a conservation organization who can take a nine month leave for coursework and then return to the organization and complete a project that meets the Conservation Leadership requirements. This option is also better suited for students who prefer to work independently on the capstone project or who’s life circumstances are better suited to an independent project in a location and with a topic of their choice.