Our Research Baron and her team visiting Rocky Mountain National Park on Sept. 20, 2013 to collect samples after the historic Colorado floods. Our Program Our Curriculum Specialization Front Range Student Ecology Symposium Photo is courtesy of Caroline Melle. It was taken near her research site at Imnavait Creek by Toolik Lake field station, AK Diana Wall and crew in Antarctica Chris Funk and crew hiking in Oyacachi, Ecuador Kurogawa (Kuro Stream), a stream with native Japanese charr and salmon in the mountains of Shikoku Island, southern Japan – image by David Herasimtschuk

Our Program

Since its inception in 1992, GDPE has grown to become a principal organization that catalyzes cutting-edge and world-renowned ecological research performed at Colorado State University.

Our primary goal is to provide outstanding training for graduate students in the ecological sciences, and our students consistently earn recognition for their scholarship and academic achievement.

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GDPE PhD Area of Specialization

Human/Environment Interactions

Increasing rates of poverty, landlessness, and declining health are co-occurring with rapid shifts in land use, land cover, loss of biodiversity and global warming.

These interconnected human/environmental changes represent a clear risk to the well being of individuals, communities and societies now and in the future.

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Our Curriculum

GDPE's degree programs are rigorous and comprehensive offering both M.S. and Ph.D. tracks in addition to the Human/Environment Interactions specialization.

The GDPE curriculum is designed to provide a breadth and depth of training to MS and PhD students, who will emerge from the program as highly competent and skilled graduates.

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Our Research

The Graduate Degree Program in Ecology is recognized by Colorado State University as a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence (PRSE). Programs are awarded this designation because they have achieved great distinction and set a standard for excellence that may serve as a model for programs throughout the institution.

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Front Range Student Ecology Symposium

FRSES is a student-run symposium that provides an opportunity for Front Range students doing research in ecology to showcase their work and network in a friendly and supportive peer environment. Highlights include a keynote address by an invited speaker, a full day of poster and oral presentation sessions, an awards banquet to recognize exceptional student work, and a social gathering to celebrate student success.

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Why graduate school at CSU is for you!

"CSU has meant everything to my success. No other university I know of trains its students to work collaboratively across disciplines to solve societal issues. These were the gifts CSU gave me when I arrived and these are the gifts it gives students today. I was so fortunate to learn from the giants in ecosystem ecology how to think big and across disciplines, and apply that knowledge toward solving societal problems."
- Colorado State Scientist Jill Baron

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2016-17 Distinguished Ecologists

 

GDPE Ecologists in the News

Get your Earth Week on April 17-26

How big a deal is sustainability at Colorado State? We have so many green initiatives, we need more than a whole week to celebrate Earth Day! Earth Week is our chance to highlight some of the ways CSU is committed to sustainability every week of the year. Come celebrate all things green every day April 17-26, and check out the University-wide events calendar for more fun every day. And check out our State of Sustainability webpage that showcases what makes CSU so green, from our Platinum STARS rating to our interdisciplinary research and teaching. April 19th and 20th Ruth Shaw will be presenting as part of the GDPE Distinguished Ecologist Seminar Series at the Lory Student Center.

'Spectacular-looking' endangered frog species discovered in Ecuador's cloud forests

It's not every day someone gets to say, "I've discovered a new species." It's a claim that Colorado State University biologist Chris Funk can happily make. Funk and his collaborators, who've spent years exploring the tropical climes of South America to study the region's dizzying biodiversity, have documented a new species of rainfrog they've named and Ecuadorian rainfrog (Pristimantis ecuadorensis). The name, the researchers write, honors the "overwhelming beauty, and cultural and biological diversity" of the Republic of Ecuador, where the frog makes its home. The work is described in the journal PLOS ONE, published online March 22. The discovery sprouted from a field campaign, headed by paper lead author Juan M. Guayasamin, a professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), that was primarily intended to study a similar, threatened frog called the ornate rainfrog (Pristimantis ornatissimus). Funk and Guayasamin have been collaborators and friends for 20 years. In 2009, they discovered a species of frog in the eastern Andean slopes of Ecuador that they named Pristimantis bicantus, and in 2006 they described a new glassfrog (Nymphargus wileyi).

She's a hotshot: Sarah Whipple leads citizen science efforts

Colorado State University junior Sarah Whipple wasn't always a fan of bugs. But after going on her first bioblitz in 2015, she volunteered the next year to lead a team cataloguing insects at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. In bioblitz, researchers, students and citizen scientists visit a national park and count as many species as possible in 24 hours. "There were a ton of exotic insects and I really enjoyed it," said Whipple, who is majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Whipple said she intends to apply for the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU after she completes her undergraduate work. Gillian Bowser, research scientist at CSU, has served as a mentor to Whipple, and tapped her for 3dNaturalist and the Pollinator Hotshots. Bowser designed this project to introduce minority students to citizen science, community engagement and national parks by connecting them with big data projects through smartphone apps and other technological approaches.

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