Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in HDNR

To learn more about DEI work within HDNR check out our Youtube Playlist.

Recent News

Women instructors make history leading CSU forestry class

More than the mountain location made the Forestry Field Measurements class held at the Colorado State University Mountain Campus special this summer — it was the first time the CSU course was taught by a group of women.


NRRT 463 – NonProfits and Conservation
Professor: Brett Bruyere

What students learn:

  • How conservation non-profit organizations can intentionally or unintentionally leverage their power in some parts of the world to enact conservation with uncertain or lack of support from communities where they work
  • Status of representativeness of diverse individuals on non-profit boards
  • Role of non-profits in elevating diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in conservation initiatives
NRRT 460 Tourism Event & Conference Planning
Instructors: Paul Layden and Emily LeBlanc

What students will learn:

  • How to define diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Several reasons why DEI is important in meetings, expositions, events and conferences
  • DEI considerations in planning, site selection and program development for meetings, expositions, events and conferences

Content you’ll engage in

NRRT 362 – Environmental Conflict
Professor Sarah Walker
  • What you’ll learn
    • The major drivers and of environmental conflicts
    • How environmental conflicts intersect with issues of environmental justice and equity
    • Inclusive and participatory tools for solving environmental conflicts
  • What you’ll learn
    • The science of the health and well-being benefits of spending time in nature
    • How to leverage this science to the healthy, happy and sustainable communities
    • How we can use the well-being benefits of nature to address environmental justice issues
    • The historical and present days injustice associated with access and inclusion public lands and outdoor recreation
  • What you’ll learn
    • The science of the health and well-being benefits of spending time in nature
    • Designing outdoor recreation opportunities that use this science
    • Design inclusive and equitable outdoor recreation opportunities for diverse audiences
    • Understand the role that nature-based tourism and outdoor recreation can play in supporting equitable access to nature.
Integrated Social and Ecological Field Methods in Kenya (Summer)
Professors: Brett Bruyere and Sarah Walker

What students learn:

  • How conservation non-profit organizations can intentionally or unintentionally leverage their power in some parts of the world to enact conservation with uncertain or lack of support from communities where they work
  • Status of representativeness of diverse individuals on non-profit boards
  • Role of non-profits in elevating diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in conservation initiatives


A Step in the Right Direction: Measuring Indicators of Responsible Community Engagement in Samburu, Kenya
Professors Brett Bruyere and Sarah Walker

The broader context to this work was how to nudge outsider researchers to be more collaborative and useful to the people in the places where the research is conducted. In this case, that place is Samburu County in northern Kenya. It’s is not unusual for researchers from universities in the West to come in, collect their data, and leave, never to be heard from again. In many instances, the research could be helpful to local/regional organizations, if only they knew the results or that the research was ever conducted to begin with.

So, in 2019 (article published in 2021; linked to title), we convened three community leaders from Samburu, and reviewed the titles and abstracts of ~75 articles, to get their input in terms of the relevance and their overall interest in the articles, given the needs and challenges of their community.  The articles weren’t limited to conservation – they could include research around public health, gender, etc.  Separately, we tabulated if there was anyone local/regional included in the article as a co-author, or acknowledged for research assistance, translation, etc.

Ideally, what we’re trying to do with the article is challenge researchers to do better when it comes to conducting research in settings like Samburu, where power differentials between researcher and community can be substantial, and where we have an opportunity to build capacity within those regions so at some point in the future, it’s Samburu researchers leading these efforts.

Taking stories: The ethics of cross-cultural community conservation research in Samburu, Kenya
Professors Brett Bruyere and Sarah Walker

Biodiversity is under threat at a global level, and many of the most biodiverse hotspots are in developing regions of the world. In many of these communities, livelihoods are often dependent on the same natural landscapes that support biodiversity. As a result, achieving global conservation and development goals is a priority in these regions, and therefore they attract the interest of both local and international researchers. However, research by outside, Western-based researchers can present ethical and practical challenges in these areas. Fortunately, community-based participatory research (CBPR), if managed well, can contribute to responsible conservation research in these regions. In this article, we investigate strategies to address ethical issues associated with cross-cultural conservation and development research. Our analysis draws on the experiences of a women’s village in northern Kenya and six Western researchers. Using qualitative methodologies, we identify common themes in ethical conservation and develop research including critical consciousness, relationship-building, reciprocity, and adaptive research processes. We discuss the implications for ethical CBPR and, specifically, the need for both researchers and funders to only conduct such research if they can devote the resources required to do so ethically.

Climate Adaption, pastoral well-being, and gender equity in Northern Kenya
Professors Brett Bruyere, Sarah Walker and Jen Solomon

Our work with the Samburu community in Northern Kenya has been ongoing since 2016. Much of this work has focused on understanding what well-being means to pastoral women and how climate adaptation strategies impact women’s well-being. Current work seeks to continue these themes as well as unpack tribal insecurity and changing gender roles in relation to gender equity, well-being and climate adaptation

Understanding the interactions between flooding adaptation and well-being and equity in rural New York
Professor Sarah Walker

This project is involving multiple studies focused on understanding climate justice in an adaptation context, specifically in the context of riverine flooding in rural New York. Partnering with local communities in the Catskills region of New York, this work largely relies on case-study research to investigate the equity implications of a flood buyout program and the influence of local floodplain protections on housing affordability. This work has been largely funded by The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Net Fellowship.


DEI Committee Mission

The DEI committee advances HDNR’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through support of students, and guidance on the department’s research, administration and teaching, to establish an environment which enables all students, faculty and staff to learn and thrive.

From our Strategic Plan:

We believe in

Diversity – respecting and connecting communities

We are committed to

Valuing diverse worldviews and knowledge systems

We will prioritize and measure our


Jamie Dahl
Assistant Professor

  • Research and outreach focus is on the engagement and inclusion of minoritized groups in various natural resource professions, including forestry and range. Utilizing mixed methods tools and environmental justice frames to understand experiences and craft recommendations to improve engagement and inclusion of minoritized groups, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community, among others.
  • Our research findings and outreach presentations have been utilized by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) and the Society of Range Management (SRM) and have since been shared with partner organizations. Engagement efforts and collaborations continue locally through the Women’s Forest Congress, Project Learning Tree, and the Center for Environmental Justice.
  • Dahl’s current courses infuse social science, communications, and justice in varied environmental contexts. Undergraduates in several majors take NR 400: Public Communications in Natural Resources offered each semester. Courses such as NR 569: Conservation Communication Fundamentals are also provided in the Communications for Conservation Certificate.
  • Students can get involved in all the organizations mentioned above both nationally and locally. See the websites below and contact Jamie for more information!


DEI awards for the 2022-2023 academic year


  • Dr. Christina Cavaliere ” is a global leader speaking out for equity / inclusion and impacting women’s roles and recognition for the better in our department and around the world… of note this year was her influence leading to greater representation by women as keynote speakers in the Tourism Naturally Conference [which had 1000+ registrants from over 50 countries] in October 2022.”

Graduate students:

  • Arianna Basto Eyzaguirre served as a TA for NR400. “The CSU Principles of Community, environmental justice, and social justice are a core component of NR 400….Arianna is a TA with experience in and passion for these areas. She challenges students to think critically and apply justice-related concepts. She also shares successes from her Master’s project, which is about Latinx fishers in Colorado and is a joint project with CO Parks and Wildlife. Arianna also goes the extra mile to support students struggling with mental health challenges and accommodation needs.”
  • Carly Quisenberry is “a graduate student in CLTL, and a member of the Cherokee Nation, who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to promoting DEI in our academic community. Carly’s thesis [uses Indigenous methodologies to examine] the workplace experiences of rangers who identify as Indigenous women. Carly was invited to be a panelist at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry’s “Indigenous Women’s Narratives as “Felt Theory” & Indigenous Methodology for Healing” event. She has also worked and volunteered for organizations committed to supporting underserved communities, including Homeward Bound, a leadership NGO focused on supporting women’s leadership in STEMM fields.”

Undergraduate Student:

  • Rebekah Moats “is minoring in Diversity & Inclusion and majoring in HDNR. In her classroom projects this year, she has been doing projects centered around DEI subjects, including on decolonization and equity in Warner College education”


Call for 2023 HDNR Diversity & Inclusion Award Nominations 



The Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources is seeking nominations for 2023 HDNR Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Please see award details below, and consider nominating yourself or others. 


Award Purpose: The award will recognize those who made outstanding efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in research, teaching, outreach, and administration, and/or any other actions that that foster an inclusive community on our campus. 


Eligibility: We will recognize up to three individuals in the current academic year (2022-2023), including HDNR faculty/staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Students must be enrolled in HDNR graduate or undergraduate majors to qualify. 


Recognition: Each recipient will be awarded a certificate and recognized on the HDNR website and other media. Awards will be presented at the end of spring semester. 


Nomination process and timeline: Please submit nominations by April 15, 2023. Your nomination should include specific examples that demonstrate the nominee’s effort to support diversity and inclusion. Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by another individual or group of individuals. Nominators may nominate up to 3 individuals. Please fill out the nomination form at the following link: HDNR Diversity and InclusionAward Nomination Form 


Evaluation process: Nominations will be evaluated by the HDNR Diversity & Inclusion Award selection team and be based on demonstrated commitment to DEI in teaching; DEI in research; DEI in administration; DEI in service; and/or other actions that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community, and for our HDNR culture. Evaluations will be adapted for nominee classification of faculty/staff, graduate student, and undergraduate student. Nominees will be notified of their selection status in April.

Bios coming soon!

CSU & WCNR Resources

CSU Land Acknowledgment

Colorado State University acknowledges, with respect, that the land we are on today is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations and peoples. This was also a site of trade, gathering, and healing for numerous other Native tribes. We recognize the Indigenous peoples as original stewards of this land and all the relatives within it. As these words of acknowledgment are spoken and heard, the ties Nations have to their traditional homelands are renewed and reaffirmed.

CSU is founded as a land-grant institution, and we accept that our mission must encompass access to education and inclusion. And, significantly, that our founding came at a dire cost to Native Nations and peoples whose land this University was built upon. This acknowledgment is the education and inclusion we must practice in recognizing our institutional history, responsibility, and commitment.

At Colorado State University, diversity, equity, and inclusion are more than words – they are a call to action. Through proactive efforts and meaningful progress, we are working towards our vision of an inclusive university community that welcomes and affirms diversity of people, perspectives, and ideas.

Warner College of Natural Resources is committed to exemplifying and embodying Colorado State University’s Principles of Community: inclusion, integrity, respect, service, and social justice – and working diligently toward inclusive excellence.