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Climate Adaptation and Risk Management Graduate Certificate

Earn your certificate in three semesters
Study online in a flexible program
Benefit from a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary curriculum
Apply what you learn out in the field with a capstone project
Overview Open Accordion

Build specialized knowledge to tackle the pressing challenges of climate change.

As a student in CSU’s online Climate Adaptation and Risk Management (CARMA) Graduate Certificate program, you will benefit from a comprehensive curriculum focused on current science-based climate adaptation strategies.

Become a more effective practitioner in the field

Learn how to strategically manage natural resources for climate resilience in a program that prepares you to navigate diverse ecosystems, landscapes, and economic sectors. Gain a solid scientific foundation, with practical tools and contemporary methodologies to identify, evaluate, and implement climate-adaptive management and community-engagement strategies.

This program prioritizes environmental justice and risk management, enabling graduates to make informed decisions based on current scientific information. You will also learn to:

  • integrate ethics and social equity into policymaking
  • effectively communicate complex vulnerability assessments
  • engage in proactive risk-scenario planning

Participate in a unique, interdisciplinary program

This online graduate certificate offers students:

Diverse Expertise and Curriculum: CARMA provides a distinctive blend of expertise across several fields, including atmospheric science, ecology, environmental policy, environmental justice, land management planning, and communication. This diverse range of faculty expertise and interdisciplinary curriculum ensures an engaging educational experience.

Real-World Application: Engage in a unique capstone course (NR 518) that will allow you to synthesize the knowledge acquired during the program as you create a place-based climate adaptation and risk-management plan for a real-world issue (at a location of your choosing). This hands-on experience enhances practical skills and prepares you for future challenges.

Integration with the Climate Adaptation Partnership (CAP): CARMA is closely interwoven with the Climate Adaptation Partnership (CAP) at CSU – a vibrant, collaborative community engaged in cutting-edge research, community engagement, policy initiatives, seminars, and networking events that strive to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice concerns. This integration provides you with unparalleled access to a supportive community and valuable networking opportunities.

Curriculum Open Accordion

This certificate requires the completion of 10 credits (minimum) and includes four required courses.

Note: Some courses are still in development.

Required courses (9 credits):

Electives (1 – 4 credits):

Total program credits: 10-13

Faculty Open Accordion
Robin Rothfeder

Robin Rothfeder
Assistant Professor: Warner College of Natural Resources, FRS Dept.

Dr. Rothfeder is an assistant professor in CSU's Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department. Rothfeder has a diverse interdisciplinary background, including undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Economics from the University of California-Berkeley, along with a Master’s in Environmental Humanities and a Ph.D. in Ecological Planning from the University of Utah.

Jeff Carroll
Post-doctoral Researcher and Coordinator: Warner College of Natural Resources, FRS Dept.

Carroll is a post-doctoral researcher and coordinator in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department at CSU. Carroll teaches a course on the ecology of disturbed lands.

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker (HDNR)
Assistant Professor: Warner College of Natural Resources, HDNR Dept.

Dr. Sarah Walker’s work is based on the idea that understanding human well-being is critical for designing environmental solutions that work for both people and nature. Her research and teaching centers on the belief that environmental solutions should prioritize social justice in both process and outcome. Broadly, Sarah conducts environmental social science – exploring and measuring the human well-being impacts of various environmental problems and interventions. Much of her work is focused on equitable climate adaptation, rural livelihoods and changing environments, and the health and well-being effects of nature immersion.

Andrea Baudoin Farah.jpg

Andrea Baudoin Farah
Assistant Professor: Warner College of Natural Resources, ESS Dept.

Prior to her work at CSU, Farah spent time as a postdoctoral scholar working with NatCap on ecosystem services and scenarios in the Llanos de Moxos region in Beni, Bolivia. She is particularly interested in exploring ways to better integrate indigenous perceptions into assessments of ecosystem services. Andrea obtained her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida, where she studied the relations between indigenous conceptions of autonomy and natural resource governance in the Bolivian Amazon. She holds an M.Sc in Agricultural Development and Compared Agriculture from AgroParisTech, France; a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia; and a double B.Sc in Agronomic Engineering from AgroParisTech and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Scott Denning

Scott Denning (ATS)
Professor: Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering, Atmospheric Science Dept.

Professor Denning received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine in 1984, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1993 and 1994. He studied radiometric geochronology, surface water geochemistry, and mountain hydrology before becoming interested in global climate and biogeochemical dynamics. After a two-year postdoctoral appointment modeling global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, he spent two years as an Assistant Professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined the Atmospheric Science faculty at CSU in 1998 and has served as Director of Education for CMMAP since 2006.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semesterJuly 15
Spring semesterDecember 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1 Review Admission Requirements

This graduate certificate requires that students have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution. Applicants must also meet or exceed Graduate School minimum GPA.

2 Prepare Application Materials

Statement of Purpose
Your statement should be written in 12-point font, double-spaced, and address the following:

  • What do you hope to learn from this certificate program?
  • How do you think it will benefit your career?
  • What do you anticipate being the biggest challenges to your participation in (and successful completion of) this program?
  • What is your plan for addressing these challenges?

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Choose "Climate Adaptation and Risk Management (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

4 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Morgan Parsley
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

$685-771 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Climate Adaptation and Risk Management
Time Frame
3 semesters (12-18 months)
Admission Reqs.
  • 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework
  • Math Entrance Exam scores recommended for applicants who have not taken the required prerequisites within the past 10 years

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 15
Spring semester
December 1

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