Overview

An experiential undergraduate gap semester integrating climate change resiliency, sustainability, alpine ecosystems, wilderness expeditions, and mountain communities in partnership with the Center for Mountain Transitions at Western Colorado University. Students from across the nation are coming together in Colorado's mountains to explore this question: What does resiliency in mountain communities look like in the face of climate change? 

Students will immerse themselves in the landscape of Colorado’s Southern Rocky Mountains developing an understanding of what resilience for mountain peoples and ecosystems looks like in the 21st century, and how communities are transitioning to sustainable solutions in the face of climate change. 

Embracing a landscape-based multi-dimensional interdisciplinary approach, the Semester includes exploring diverse ecosystems, social and political communities, and the many ways ecosystems and communities foster resilience through art, local and regional sustainability initiatives, renewable energy, and conservation policy. 

The Mountain Resilience Semester offers a life-changing learning experience in the Southern Rocky Mountains while earning 16 undergraduate credits. Students with a wide variety of interests and passions come from across the United States and around the world to join faculty in the natural sciences, geography, arts, and outdoor recreation to investigate how people are transitioning to sustainable solutions in the face of climate change. On backcountry field trips, in classrooms and museums, on mountain peaks, around campfires, at mountain huts, and cross-country skiing on the world’s highest flat-topped mountain we confront critical environmental and social challenges of our time. It builds an extraordinary introduction into the world of environmental advocacy and action.

This program is a groundbreaking program of Western Colorado University’s Clark School of Environment & Sustainability, Center for Mountain Transitions, Extended Studies, and community leaders and organizations across the region.

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