• Kurt Fausch and Dr. Hiroya Kawanabe (the E. O. Wilson of Japan) at Kibune Shrine in the mountains near Kyoto, July 2012.  Kibune Stream nearby is the site of much early community ecology research by Kyoto University ecologists – image by Jeremy Monroe, GDPE alumnus. Photographer: Jeremy Monroe
  • Cameron Ghalambor and LeRoy Poff collecting in a stream.
  • Boris Kondratieff working with students in the field.
  • Michael Antolin and a deer in the palm of his glove.
  • Chris Funk and student Monica Paez ziplining over a river.
  • Cameron Ghalambor and his crew.
  • Student Dave Hoover explains the results from his climate change experiment to Professor Melinda Smith and her Dillon, future GDPE student. Photographer: Alan Knapp
  • Professor Gene Kelly and Student Tony Swemmer in the field in South Africa (Kruger National Park) discussing sampling. Note the rifle Tony is carrying...this is because there are many large animals in the area (from elephant to lion) and Tony is a trained game guard as well as a scientist.
  • Student Jenny Soong and Professor Francesca Cotrufo take CO2 flux measurements in the field at Konza Prairie in Kansas where we have our litter decomposition experiment set up.
  • Barry Noon stands aside an Asian elephant while traveling to India to conduct research on conservation planning for threatened and endangered species.


The mission of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology is to provide the highest quality education in ecology through advanced training in current ecological methods, theories, controversies, applications, and teaching methods by drawing on the great depth and breadth of ecological expertise at Colorado State University and in our local community of scientists.

The GDPE Community

Students and faculty in GDPE are located across the CSU campus, both physically and departmentally, making GDPE sponsored activities an important opportunity to get to know students and other faculty within the program. We expect our faculty to help maintain and enhance the quality of the GDPE community by attending GDPE seminars and social events, participating in the Front Range Student Ecology Symposium (e.g., serving as a judge, attending talks, posters, panel discussions, and the awards banquet), and occasionally teaching courses (e.g., participation in ECOL courses and seminars, and departmental courses with substantial ecological content).

GDPE Organizational Structure

The program is led by the Director, with the Senior Ecologist providing vision and leadership and teaching in the core curriculum. An Executive Committee guides the program direction; this committee comprises representatives from each of the Colleges, two at-large members and two student representatives. The Director reports to the Deans of the College of Natural Sciences and the Warner College of Natural Resources. The Program Coordinator works with current and prospective faculty and students in the daily operations of the program.

GDPE Faculty Admissions Guide

The GDPE Faculty Admissions Guide provides details on how to gain access to Slate (the CSU admissions system), accepting an applicant into GDPE, searching for a student in Slate on the main page, and how to accept/deny and applicant.

The Letter of Commitment is a template for you to use to request that an applicant be admitted to the GDPE program.