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).
Additionally, the ESIL certificate incorporates professional training through extracurricular activities and internships. The extracurricular activities provide students with culturally-relevant exposure to topics such as tribal independence, environmental law, transcultural competency, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Both the STEM curriculum and culturally-relevant knowledge 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.
ESIL Academic Advisors
- Dr. David Mays (David.Mays@ucdenver.edu) in the Department of Civil Engineering
- Dr. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez (Rafael.Moreno@ucdenver.edu) in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences
- Dr. Timberley Roane (Timberley.Roane@ucdenver.edu) in the Department of Integrative Biology
This is an on-campus program, with an off-campus internship requirement.
Declaring This Certificate
Students must officially declare their interest in enrolling in the ESIL certificate program following the link at https://clas.ucdenver.edu/esil/.
Upon enrollment in the ESIL certificate program, students participate in the ESIL program activities, complete at least one ESIL internship, and take the ESIL coursework. In addition to the certificate requirements, students are also required to complete any STEM courses identified by the ESIL program director.
Students in any discipline are eligible for admission in the certificate. Students from a non-STEM background may have to complete STEM coursework to meet the STEM expectations of the certificate.
Students must satisfy all requirements as outlined below.
- Click here for information about Academic Policies.
- Students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of approved courses.
- Students must complete a minimum of six upper division level (3000-level and above) credits from approved courses.
- Students must earn a minimum grade of C- (1.7) in all certificate courses taken at CU Denver and must achieve a minimum cumulative major GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the certificate GPA. Students cannot complete certificate course requirements as pass/fail.
- Students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of approved course with CU Denver faculty.
Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations
- it is expected that students have a STEM background for completion of the certificate. For most STEM students, the STEM degree serves as the background needed. For non-STEM students, additional certificate related STEM coursework may be required.For the certificate recognition to appear on the student's transcript, students must meet all curricular and co-curricular requirements and meet with an ESIL advisor no later than the start of the semester of graduation.
- Students must be enrolled in one course per year to maintain active status in the certificate program.
- Participation is required in ESIL workshops and seminars.
- ESIL internships are designed to expose students to the professional practice of facilitation and offer important connections and networking opportunities directly with agencies who hire tribal liaisons. Assignment and completion of the internship must be pre-approved by an ESIL advisor. The ESIL certificate requires a written report and presentation to demonstrate proficiency for each internship. The ESIL certificate requires at least one internship through the ESIL program. All students must work with their ESIL advisor for the placement in the required ESIL internship. Some majors may allow students to earn and apply internship credit toward their degree.
- The ESIL certificate requires the courses listed below. Each course applied to the ESIL certificate may carry prerequisites that must be met prior to course enrollment.
|Take one of the following||3|
|CVEN 3611||Engineering Statistics||3|
|CVEN 5381||Introduction to Geographic Information Systems||3|
|GEOG 4770||Applied Statistics for the Natural Sciences||3|
|GEOG 4080||Introduction to GIS||3|
|MATH 2830||Introductory Statistics||3|
|MATH 4830||Applied Statistics||3|
|All students must complete an ESIL approved internship or equivalent coursework.||3|
|BIOL 3939||Internship 1||3|
|GEOG 3939||Internship 1||3|
Students must work in advance with their ESIL advisor to have their internship or other coursework approved.
|Take two of the following:||6|
|Communication and Diversity 2|
|American Indian Cultural Images 2|
|Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion in Business 2|
|Federal Law and American Indians|
|Indigenous Political Systems|
These courses fulfill the core curriculum requirement for cultural diversity.
To learn more about the Student Learning Outcomes for this program, please visit our website.