Green Research Opportunities at CSU

Cumulus mountain
Cumulus mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Colorado is known for its research in green energy and sustainability. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed a bill to fund $2 million to the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory. In an effort to spread the use and application of renewable energy, the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory works to commercialize new energy technologies. The collaboratory is a consortium among Colorado Sate University, the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The organization conducts research through research centers, each managed by members from the leading research institutions. Collaboration between the four institutions is crucial to the success of the organization. The collaboratory includes four research centers: Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion, Center for Research and Education in Wind, and Carbon Management Center. The body of the organization includes a board of directors, an executive board, institutional coordinators and research center leadership teams. The board of directors consists of leaders from the four institutions of research, the executive board members are the senior research officers, the institutional coordinators include highly respected researchers and research center leadership teams involve at least one representative from each of the research centers.


Well known for its efforts in maintaining sustainability, CSU has always taken an active role in solving global environmental problems. Also, CSU is highly recognized for its exemplary research facilities and its research capacities in renewable energy such as solar, wind, mart grid, hydrogen, and energy storage. Located at CSU’s new Powerhouse Energy Campus on North College in Fort Collins, the CSU Energy Institute offers plenty of opportunities for CSU faculty and students to do energy research. The CSU Powerhouse Energy Campus is a LEED Platinum Certified research center that was converted from the old 1936 Fort Collins Municipal Power Plant.

The Energy Institute offers a minor in Sustainability Energy for students who want to improve their understanding of the realities of energy production and consumption. The minor will equip students with the knowledge of energy issues and help them become active members of a clean energy economy. The learning process will involve both theory and practice. The Energy Institute also reaches out to K-12 students through STEM Fridays where local school students are helped by CSU students to explore rechargeable batteries and solar cells.

Together with the Energy Institute, the CSU School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) provides an excellent opportunity for research and education. Centered around sustainability, the school provides an interdisciplinary approach to solving global scale environmental issues. It gathers people from different colleges into research teams that engage in solving environmental problems.

SoGES offers a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. Students will have an opportunity to study about sustainability along with their own majors. Of course, for undergraduate students who are interested in learning the environment as their majors, colleges such as Agriculture, Engineering, Health and Human Science, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, and Natural Resources all offer some sort of environment related majors.

There are many opportunities for green research at CSU. Next time, if someone asks you about a place where you can study about the environment, suggest CSU.