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

AUG: Mandatory New GTA Training



9 am - 4 pm (Registration at 8:30 am)
Lory Student Center, Grand Ballroom

The goal of this annual required GTA Training is to equip every incoming GTA with basic institutional knowledge about CSU, review current learning and teaching "Best Practices," and introduce a wide variety of resources that will help further their career as a CSU graduate teaching assistant.

AUG: GDPE New Student Orientation



8 - 11 am
Avogadro's Number

Fall 2015 Cohort will meet with admin staff and senior students to discuss the many facets of GDPE.

AUG: Graduate School Orientation



9:30 - 11 am
Lory Student Center Ballrooms C & D

Orientation will be offered for all new graduate students with a continental breakfast at 9 am. Registration is not required. Contact Sandy Dailey at 970-491-6817 with questions.

AUG: GDPE Fall Picnic



4:30 - 8 pm
Club Tico, City Park

GDPE community comes together to kick off the new year.

2016-17 Distinguished Ecologists


GDPE Ecologists in the News

Study: Ptarmigan reproduction in Colorado varies, likely not linked to warming trends

Animals that live at high elevations are often assumed to be at risk for extinction as habitats warm and change. But a new study led by Colorado State University researchers found that ptarmigan, which live in cold ecosystems, are not strongly affected by fluctuations in seasonal weather at two populations studied in Colorado. The results, published July 15 in the journal PLOS ONE, are surprising, given the general perception of alpine animal populations as vulnerable to recent climate warming, study authors said. Ptarmigan are grouse that live in cold ecosystems, such as alpine and tundra habitats, said Greg Wann, PhD candidate in CSU's Graduate Degree Program in Ecology and a member of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. Wann and study co-authors, including CSU Associate Professor Cameron Aldridge, analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan. The team did not track seasonal temperatures, but noted warming at study sites during the spring and summer based on data from Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research.

OVPR announces Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is pleased to announce the designation of 21 Programs of Research & Scholarly Excellence (PRSE) for fiscal years 2017-2020. "These PRSEs were selected because they have achieved great distinction and set a standard for excellence in research, teaching and service both internally and externally. This designation provides enhanced visibility and enables advocacy in the context of the larger research and training missions of CSU," said Alan Rudolph, vice president for research. Winning programs will be appointed a graduate fellow annually to increase research capabilities and provide hands-on learning experience for graduate students. "The Graduate School is extremely pleased to provide an annual graduate fellowship to each program. Graduate research will bolster the momentum of these innovative programs while the fellows themselves will benefit from an experience that advances their ability to create pioneering research," said Jodie Hanzlik, dean of the Graduate School. Renewed PRSE programs include the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE).

CSU Professor of Horticulture hoppy to help Colorado breweries

The summer solstice is upon us and plants are happily soaking up the maximum amount of sunlight on the longest day of the year. Inside the Colorado State University Horticulture Center, however, plants don't know the difference between the summer solstice and the winter solstice - especially the hops. A collaborative partnership with Philips Lighting allows Bill Bauerle, professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at CSU, to produce and harvest hops five times a year - something unique in the United States. "This is the only location in the United States that is able to produce the product five times a year," said Bauerle. CSU's Horticulture Center is one of the only growing facilities in the country using the specialized Philips Horticulture LED Solutions lighting, which supports a much quicker growing cycle. "I had the idea to grow hops in our new facility," said Bauerle. "The timing was right because the new Horticulture Center provided a high-class facility to work in."