Instructor in Sustainability Planning and Management

University of Colorado-Boulder
Boulder, CO, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Masters of the Environment (MENV) graduate program, within the University of Colorado Boulder’s Environmental Studies Program, seeks a full-time non-tenure-track Instructor and Specialization Lead for the Sustainability Planning and Management (SPM) track, to begin in June 2019. This full-time position is comprised of a nine-month academic year Instructor appointment and a three-month summer appointment that includes advising, administrative duties, and research/professional service. MENV is an innovative, transdisciplinary graduate degree program that sits within CU Boulder’s Environmental Studies Program, and is distinct from thesis-based graduate programs in its focus on preparing students for professional environmental and sustainability careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The program is cohort-based, accelerated, and intensive, including both demanding coursework and a year-long group capstone project with an external partner organization. In addition to a core curriculum focused on leadership, systems thinking, and ethics, students in the program must choose one of four subject-matter specializations: environmental policy, sustainability planning and management, renewable and sustainable energy, and sustainable food systems.

Who We Are

Masters of the Environment program: The Masters of the Environment (MENV) Graduate Program in the University of Colorado Boulder’ Environmental Studies Program is an interdisciplinary professional master’s degree that equips students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to address complex environmental challenges. The MENV program prepares students to become leaders in a wide range of careers in the environment, energy, natural resources and sustainability. Through our comprehensive approach to professional education, MENV students receive a graduate degree from one of the world’s top universities in environmental and natural sciences, while simultaneously gaining valuable professional experience with an external client organization. The Masters of the Environment Graduate Program values diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. More information here:          


Environmental Studies Program: The Environmental Studies (ENVS) program at CU-Boulder is a hub for facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration in environment and sustainability. The program nurtures interdisciplinary academic training for undergraduate and graduate students, provides guidance for students with career aspirations in environment and sustainability venues, promotes diverse professional education experiences, fosters fundamental and applied research, forms meaningful connections with communities beyond the university, and integrates innovative, interdisciplinary programs unified by the themes of environmental research. ENVS offers both research-based and professional graduate programs. 


University of Colorado Boulder: The University of Colorado Boulder is the state’s flagship university and a Tier 1 research institution. CU Boulder is the only school in the Rocky Mountain region recognized by the prestigious Association of American Universities, a group of the nation’s leading research universities. MENV students are able to reach their full potential at CU Boulder through the countless academic opportunities we offer, as well as through our established industry partnerships along the Front Range. The MENV graduate program is housed in the new Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC). Located on the university’s East Campus in Boulder, SEEC brings together more than a dozen programs and external partners under one roof.


Boulder, Colorado: In addition to living in one of the most spectacular natural settings in the country, CU Boulder MENV students are embedded in a scientific, entrepreneurial and environmental ecosystem that is unrivaled anywhere in the world. Boulder has earned countless accolades and awards for the quality of life it offers residents.  Examples include number one college town in America (American Inst. for Economic Research - 2017), healthiest city in America (Niche - 2016), most educated city in the U.S. (Forbes - 2016), most active city in the U.S. (Trulia - 2016), number one economy in the U.S. (U.S. News & World Report - 2017), and number one place for entrepreneurs (Livability - 2016). The region also has the most federal employees due to the number of government labs and agencies.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

We seek a candidate to teach in the MENV Program, lead the Sustainability Planning and Management (SPM) specialization, make substantive creative contributions that relate to professional work, perform a variety of advising and administrative responsibilities, as well as participate in innovative, and impactful professional activities. The successful candidate will possess significant academic as well as practical experience in addressing challenges in sustainability. Professional and academic experience should focus on community resilience, community engagement, sustainability assessment or strategy in the public or private sector, and/or urban and regional planning, especially pertaining to social change, diversity and inclusiveness. The position includes the following five primary responsibilities:

  1. Instructing three professional graduate courses per year.
  2. Serving as the faculty lead for the 12-credit (4 courses) SPM specialization. This involves: 
    • Evaluating all specialization courses for both academic quality and job market relevance, and modifying and improving the specialization where necessary.
    • Academic advising and mentoring of SPM specialization students throughout their time in the program.
    • Supporting the MENV program through participation in a variety of administrative activities, including student recruitment.  
  3. Engaging in creative work related to professional practice. This involves:
    • Demonstrating a deep understanding of professional practices.
    • Developing and facilitating relationships with external organizations.
    • Demonstrating impact in developing innovation within professional practice.
  4. Serving as an MENV Capstone Advisor. The incumbent will advise MENV students in capstone projects. These student capstone projects will focus on SPM-related topics, but will not be limited to this area, since student teams often are drawn from multiple specializations.
  5. Assisting with MENV program administration, as needed. 

We seek candidates with significant experience in professional activity and creative work, a record of teaching, and a passion for student mentoring are encouraged to apply. We seek candidates who will support and encourage a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Since MENV is a professional graduate program, we value a variety of accomplishments and qualities in a candidate, including publications, professional experience, interpersonal skills, and an entrepreneurial spirit befitting a young and vibrant program. Candidates will be expected to make substantive creative contributions in teaching and the profession, and their work will be expected to be consistent with the stated mission of the MENV Program. They will also be expected to contribute toward program efforts to address dimensions of underserved communities, justice and equity, and race, gender, and/or class influence as it relates to community resilience, community engagement, sustainability assessment, and/or urban and regional planning. Criteria for appointment and subsequent advancement will include the originality and importance of the incumbent’s work and its impact on the community of their peers as well as those they serve in their practice; impact will be measured in ways that are inclusive of the different forms of creative work, such as invited talks, competitions, scholarly publications, computer software, or sustainability plans, any of which could demonstrate impact on fostering sustainability within professional practice.  Personal qualities should include a passion for learning and the requisite humility that is required when working in an emergent field with creative, professional students. Strong interpersonal skills and self-directedness are a must for this team-based program with a startup mindset. 


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Collaborative. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Minimum Qualifications:


A Ph.D. or a J.D. in an environmentally-related field. Candidates will have at least two years of significant relevant experience through innovative professional practice directly related to any of the four areas of sustainability planning and management named above (community resilience, community engagement, sustainability assessment or strategy, and/or urban and regional planning). Candidates must have at least one year of teaching experience in an institution of higher education.

What We Would Like You To Have

Preferred Qualifications:


Three or more years of teaching experience and/or five years or more professional experience directly related to any of the four areas of sustainability planning and management named above (community resilience, community engagement, sustainability assessment or strategy, and/or urban and regional planning).

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Current Curriculum Vitae 
  3. List of References
  4. Course Description (Description of three classes the candidate would propose teaching)
  5. You will need to submit 3 references for this position. These individuals may be contacted and asked to submit a letter of recommendation at a later time. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

In the application materials, the applicant must demonstrate professional and/or academic experience in at least one of the following four areas:  community resilience, community engagement, sustainability assessment or strategy, and/or urban and regional planning. The applicant should also describe how their professional and academic experience has engaged, and will continue to engage, diverse communities and themes of social change, diversity, and inclusion.

Review of applications will begin on March 1, 2019; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: