Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory


The US Department of Agriculture has awarded the Natural Resource Ecology Lab (NREL) a grant to support three PhD students in an innovative graduate program focusing on ecosystem science and environmental sustainability.Students enrolled in this program will integrate the latest science into real-world decision-making and public policy, with the ultimate goal of managing our planet's natural resources- air, water, land, and biological diversity upon which all life depends-sustainably into the future.

Students will be based in the NREL, but may earn their degree through the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE:] or through other departments with related programs.Rich Conant, John Moore, Heidi Steltzer, Matt Wallenstein, or other NREL faculty will serve as primary advisers to the fellows, and other professors and natural resource agency professionals will serve as mentors.We especially encourage applications from groups that have been historically underrepresented in natural resource disciplines: African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic, Native Pacific Islander, and individuals who are disabled.

Students interested in applying for a Ecosystem Science and Environmental Sustainability (ESES) Fellowship should contact Dr. Matthew Wallenstein or Dr. Heidi Steltzer. Prospective students should submit three admission forms by March 15th: 1) find the Graduate School's admission form at; 2) all graduate program applications can be found at their respective departmental websites (e.g., Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, GDPE:; 3) the ESES fellowship information & admission form is located at


STUDENTS Eligible for a ESES Fellowship

  • Are US citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Plan to pursue their doctorates and seek careers in ecosystem sustainability, especially agroecosystems
  • Have been admitted to the CSU Graduate School and a graduate program. Students will need to identify potential faculty advisor(s) from the graduate program.
  • Are committed to contributing to CSU's diversity plan
  • Should apply to ESES program no later than March 15th


REQUIREMENTS For Fellowship:

  • Maintain status as a full-time student and a 3.00 GPA
  • Participate in all program activities


Benefits to Fellows:

  • >$24,500 annual base stipend & additional summer assistantship for three years
  • Guaranteed assistantships for remainder of successful tenure at CSU
  • Fellows pay in-state tuition first year; can establish in-state residency following years.
  • Research opportunities in the US & abroad supervised by world-renowned scientists
  • Service learning & internship opportunities
  • Critical thinking skills developed through coursework and nurtured through active mentoring
  • Opportunities for leadership roles in agroecosystem ecology research