The Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) certificate is an exciting educational opportunity at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), where Indigenous comprises the terms Native American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian Native. The ESIL certificate provides a unique training opportunity for students to combine a passion for protecting natural resources with a desire to communicate across diverse cultures and schools of thought. This unique program provides training, internships, and job placement for students interested in environmental issues involving tribal and non-tribal entities.
The certificate is available to current CU Denver undergraduate students, post-baccalaureate students, and transfer students. While the certificate is open to students from all educational backgrounds, ESIL targets students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with special emphasis on biology, civil engineering, and geography and environmental sciences. Accordingly, the ESIL certificate includes a broad and rigorous selection of STEM coursework.
Additionally, the ESIL certificate incorporates professional training through extracurricular activities and internships. The extracurricular activities provide students with culturally-relevant training in topics such as tribal sovereignty, environmental law, transcultural competency, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Both the STEM curriculum and these professional skills are applied during internships in which students practice facilitation as tribal liaisons with partner organizations including Indigenous tribes and government agencies (State and Federal).
These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by the ESIL certificate advisors. Exceptions and substitutions for individual cases will be made by ESIL advisors only. Students in the ESIL program are required to meet with their assigned advisor before the start of each semester to confirm best plans of study.
The ESIL program is offered at the undergraduate level.
This is an on-campus program, with an off-campus internship requirement.
Declaring This Certificate
Admission requirements: Students must officially enroll in the ESIL certificate program. Students eligible for the ESIL certificate (1) may have a previous STEM degree, (2) may be a current undergraduate student in biology, civil engineering, or geography and environmental sciences at CU Denver, or (3) may be a major in other academic disciplines willing and able to complete the coursework detailed below. All students are also required to complete any required course prerequisites.
Upon enrollment in the ESIL certificate program, students complete required coursework and one required internship as described below. Information on how to enroll in the ESIL certificate can be found at https://clas.ucdenver.edu/esil
Eligibility: While housed in the Departments of Integrative Biology, Civil Engineering, and Geography and Environmental Sciences, the training needed for a tribal liaison draws from diverse liberal arts and STEM fields. Thus, students in any discipline can enroll in the certificate as long as the certificate course prerequisites have been met.
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