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

THIS MONTH: Grad Student Professional Development Conference



9 am - 1 pm (Registration at 8:30 am)
Behavioral Sci Bldg rm 131

This workshop, "Striking a Balance in Graduate School," is the first of two workshops offered by the Graduate School and TILT. Registration is free, so sign up now.

THIS MONTH: GradShow Submissions



GradShow will be accepting submissions on a first come basis with a limited number of acceptances available. Proposal submission is open until Friday, September 25th at 5 pm. You can use the same research in GradShow and FRSES and it is a great way to practice for conferences and defenses.

OCT: GDPE Resident Distinguished Ecologist Bill Parton



3 - 4 pm
Lory Student Center, Cherokee Park Ballroom

Join us in honoring GDPE Resident Distinguished Ecologist, Dr. Bill Parton. His seminar will be held in the Lory Student Center, Cherokee Park Room. Immediately following, a University Club reception will be held in his honor.

NOV: GDPE Honor Alumnus Jesse Nippert



3 - 4 pm
Lory Student Center, Cherokee Park Ballroom

Dr. Jesse Nippert, GDPE graduate, will be speaking about his current work as well as his road from graduate school to his current position. Immediately following, a University Club reception will be held in his honor.

NOV: GradShow



9 am - 6 pm
Lory Student Center, Grand Ballroom

Showcase your research and creativity while connecting with other graduate students and faculty at CSU, learn about other disciplines and gain conference experience.

2014-15 Distinguished Ecologists

  • Jill Baron

    Jill Baron is an ecosystem ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and a Senior Research Ecologist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. Baron was President of the Ecological Society of America in 2014. [read more]

  • John Sanderson

    Dr. Sanderson is Director of Conservation Science for the Nature Conservancy of Colorado. John manages a staff of scientists and project directors working on conservation challenges. [read more]

  • Rick Karban

    Rick Karban, an ecologist at the University of California at Davis, is interested in understanding how plants behave in their environments. Karban is currently looking at how plants communicate using volatile chemicals to adjust their defenses against herbivores. [read more]

  • Peter Vitousek

    Peter Vitousek's research interests include evaluating the global cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus, and how they are altered by human activity; supporting agronomists in China in their development of high-yielding but low-impact cropping systems. [read more]

  • Julian Olden

    Julian Olden's research explores the structure and function of freshwater ecosystems spanning the fields of conservation biology, biogeography, invasion ecology and biostatistics. [read more]