The School invests in highly innovative and interdisciplinary research and synthetic projects that are based on a rigorous scientific framework, and will make significant progress towards solving the most pressing environmental issues facing the global community. The School defines environmental sustainability broadly as humans coexisting with the natural world on a planet with finite resources.

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability invests in research activities at Colorado State University that cross conventional disciplinary boundaries and address the complex social, economic and environmental challenges of global sustainability science.

To address these pressing global sustainability issues, the School funds interdisciplinary research activities that tackle real world challenges. By bringing together leading researchers at CSU, the School helps create and further solutions toward environmental and sustainable challenges.

The School supports CSU faculty and researchers through SoGES Global Challenges Research Teams (GCRTs) and Resident Fellowships that collaborate on the School’s six research focal areas. Additionally, the School sponsors a Sustainability Leadership Fellows program, made up of a select group of leading senior PhD Candidates and Postdoctoral Fellows interested in communicating their science to media and the public.

Research Initiatives

The School supports faculty and student research campus-wide through the following programs:

Research Focal Areas

To strategically address CSU's research strengths, the School has six areas of focus for research endeavors:

  1. Climate Change and Energy
  2. Food Security
  3. Environmental Institutions and Governance
  4. Sustainable Communities
  5. Land and Water Resources
  6. Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management

Climate Change and Energy

Climate change and Energy issues are intricately linked together and infuse every part of our everyday lives. Thus understanding energy supply and demand and the demographic, socio-economic and technological forces that affect and are affected by climate change and energy issues is not merely an engineering challenge or an environmental challenge. Climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation feedback onto issues of energy; both are sustainability challenges that require insights from disciplines across campus.

CSU Climate Change and Energy resources:

Faculty | Centers and Research Teams | Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker*
*A project in partnership with the Center for the New Energy Economy and Advanced Energy Economy

Food Security

Commonly, the concept of food security is defined as the availability of food and physical, social, and economic access to food that meets a growing population's dietary needs as well as their food preferences. Food security is a complex sustainable development issue, to agriculture, climate, ecology, economics, trade, nutrition/health, and sustainable development. 

CSU Food Security resources:

Faculty | Centers and Research Teams

Environmental Institutions and Governance

Environmental Institutions and Governance includes—but is not limited to—research on environmental policies and management practices, community conservation programs, common property resource regimes, collaborative decision-making processes, and markets for environmental goods and services. Environmental governance research may investigate particular arrangements and/or address broader questions of authority, accountability, legitimacy, participation, and fairness and equity.

CSU Environmental Institutions and Governance resources:

Faculty | Centers and Research Teams

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable communities are organized so as to enable all their citizens to meet their own needs and to enhance their well-being while preserving Earth's life support systems or without endangering the living conditions of other people, now or in the future. It addresses the interactions between nature and society, and is linked to sustainable development and institutional innovations to assess sustainable trajectories into the future.

CSU Sustainable Communities resources:

Faculty | Centers and Research Teams

Land and Water Resources

As demand for food and energy grow, land and water resources are increasingly stretched to serve across diverse user and stakeholder groups. The dynamic nature of the complex customary, legal, and social constructs that regulate land and water use demand dynamic, diverse, and nimble interdisciplinary research teams capable of responding to emerging issues.

CSU Land and Water resources:

Faculty | Centers and Research Teams

Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management

Biodiversity conservation and management become more important every day and integral to a sustainable future. Biodiversity supports ecosystem services including air quality, CO2 sequestration, water purification, pollination, and prevention of erosion. Species loss has been accelerating, and has become an international political issue as scientific evidence builds on the global health implications of loss.

CSU Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management resources:

Faculty | Centers and Research Teams

For more information on SoGES research programs, please contact Aleta Weller at or by calling (970) 492-4160.