What it means to be Western

What it means to be Western

The Western Community

Take a peek into campus life and explore the strong Western community. Our students push beyond their comfort zones because they know they have the support of fellow Mountaineers. 

What it means to be Western

Career Success

Within six months of graduation, more than 90% of the first MEM cohort had landed environmental jobs–including at the Environmental Protection Agency and Yosemite Conservancy, among others. 

What it means to be Western

Hands-on learning

Applied projects channel students’ passions and knowledge into meaningful workplace practice, which build communication, project-management and problem solving skills.  

Success Stories
Francis smiles in front of an Aspen tree

Francis Mitalo

Francis Mitalo came from Kenya to study energy efficiency. His master’s project focuses on conducting greenhouse gas emissions assessments and innovative mitigation measures for his home country.


Success Stories

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D.

Melanie Armstrong teaches courses on environmental policy, public lands and politics of nature. She joined Western as the Public Lands Coordinator following 15 years with the National Park Service.

Success Stories

Andres Esparza

Andres Esparza works as a diversity and inclusion instructor at Teton Science School and is Wyoming’s ambassador to Latino Outdoors, which aims to give more Latino children access to public lands.

Success Stories
John Hausdoerffer headshot

John Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.
MEM director

John Hausdoerffer is a Professor and Director of the Master of Environmental Management programs, Professor of Environment and Sustainability, Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Headwaters Project.  His research is in land justice and he is the author and editor of several books including the recently sold-out Wildness: Relations of People and Place. 

Success Stories
Kevin smiles while kneeling in waders outside

Kevin Alexander, Ph.D.
Biology professor

Kevin Alexander is a specialist in aquatic invertebrates and has taught a wide range of Biology courses from ZoologytoEnvironmental Science.  His ongoing research projects include his well-known studies of the most endangered butterfly in North America, biomonitoring and assessment of streams, biodiversity of aquatic insects in the West, riparian and watershed assessments, and baseline studies in conservation biology.

Success Stories
Brook Moran headshot

Brooke Moran, Ph.D.
MEM, Recreation & Outdoor Education professor

Brooke Moran’s focuses include leadership development, organizational sustainability and employee engagement. Moran serves on Western State Colorado University’s campus-wide Sustainability Action Committee, for which she was the chairwoman for four years. She also serves as the board president for Coldharbour Institute. 

Success Stories
Brian Bernhardt headshot

Brian Bernhardt, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Politics & Government

Brian Bernhardt teaches classes in a variety of topics including Local Food in the Gunnison Valley, Politics and the Environment and Politics of Social Movements. His research includes Anti-Authoritarian Social Movements, Democratic Theory and Practice and Environmental Politics.       

Success Stories
Matt Aronson headshot

Matthew Aronson, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Sociology

Matthew Aronson is an assistant professor of sociology and serves as faculty advisor for the Sociology Club/AKD, Spectrum and the Native American Student Council.  His applied research has included conducting interviews and focus groups among homeless youth in Denver, classroom observations of kindergarteners as they interact with science exhibits and in-depth interviews with environmental activists and high-level bureaucrats at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.