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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News & Events

MAY: GDPE Commencement and Reception



2:30-8:00 pm
Moby Gym and LSC Grey Rock Room

Graduation exercises begin at 3:00. GDPE students and advisers gather at 2:20 for pictures. Reception immediately following in LSC GreyRock Room for graduates, family, and friends. RSVP to Sara.Rose@colostate.edu.

2015-16 Distinguished Ecologists

  • Bill Parton

    Bill Parton, a Senior Research Scientist and Professor, is a 40-year researcher studying the impacts of human activity on ecosystems and the environment. [read more]

  • Jesse Nippert

    Jesse Nippert is an Associate Professor in the Division of Biology at K-State with expertise in ecophysiology, focusing on physiological responses of plants to environmental variability and water availability. [read more]

  • Osvaldo Sala

    Osvaldo Sala is the Julie A. Wrighley Professor at Arizona State University, where he contributes to both the School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability. [read more]

  • Deron Burkepile

    Deron Burkepile is an Associate Professor in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. [read more]

  • Mark Boyce

    Mark Boyce is the Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta. [read more]


GDPE Ecologists in the News

MLK Scholarship winner's passion, generosity lead to success

Passion, generosity, and diligence create a great recipe for success. This recipe closely resembles the life path of Theresa Barosh, a 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship recipient and a second-year PhD student in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University. Designed to support graduate students at CSU who excel academically and contribute to the education of underrepresented students, the scholarship is awarded to only one CSU student each year and consists of tuition coverage for one year and $9,000. "Much of my life I have benefited from the generosity of others," said Barosh. "Scholarships and grants allowed me to attend Willamette University as an undergraduate student, as my parents could not afford to put my nine siblings and me through college." Barosh's passion for making the world a better place started at an early age. She worked to help her community overcome inequalities by starting the Young Artists and Scholars, a non-profit that focuses on outreach, research, and student mentoring.

Celebrate! Colorado State award winners

Each year, Colorado State University celebrates the teaching, research and service achievements of CSU students, alumni and friends, academic faculty, administrative professionals and classified staff. Theresa Barosh, Ecology PhD student, was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a graduate student for outstanding achievement in academics and service to and advancement of diversity. Kate Huyvaert and Paul Doherty of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology were awarded the Office of International Program Distinguished Service Award which recognizes faculty or staff who have made a significant impact campus-wide on internationalization efforts of Colorado State University. Maria Fernandez-Jiminez of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship received the Interdisciplinary Scholarship Award-Team which recognizes her as a part of a team whose interdisciplinary scholarship has had a major impact nationally and/or internationally, or who have demonstrated their potential to do so. Congratulations to everyone!

Livestock producers can help lessen greenhouse gas emissions

The global livestock sector supports about 1.3 billion producers and retailers around the world, and is a significant global economic contributor. This sector is also an important source of greenhouse gases, which includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Now, a new study from an international team of scientists - including Colorado State University's Richard Conant - has found that this sector could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a priority for organizations including the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This could be accomplished while maintaining the economic and social benefits from the livestock sector. Conant, associate dean and professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, is one of the authors on the new analysis, published March 22 in Nature Climate Change. Mario Herrero, chief research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, is the lead author. "Manufacturing livestock products requires emission of greenhouse gases," explained Conant.