Sustainability Skill Workshops are focused on practical skill-building along with applied knowledge, to improve understanding in the practice of sustainability, and advance career readiness. There are currently 5 workshops planned for Fall 2019 Semester.

  • Most workshops are aimed at newcomers and beginners with little to no experience. More advanced offerings will be indicated. 
  • Students may participate in any number of these events, from one to as many as you have time for.  
  • Any pre-requisites will be noted and transportation, if needed, is provided.
  • A small fee is charged to cover materials and guest instructors, and will be indicated in the listing. In most cases, students will not be turned away for lack of funds. 
  • Workshops are half day and combine in-class concepts with hands on practice whenever possible. 
  • Priority is given to enrolled CU Boulder students. Staff, faculty, and alums are admitted on a space available basis, just prior to the date, for $50. (Please contact us). 

​If there is a topic we haven't offered, or past course you'd like to see again, please reach out to us! - sustainability@colorado.edu 


Fall 2019 Upcoming Workshops

  • Sustainable Greenhouse Design (and Tour) with Marc Plinke of Ceres Greenhouses. - Friday, September 20, 1pm - 5pm. $15 with discounts available. This workshop will cover how to design a super-efficient greenhouse using passive solar strategies, designing and using a climate battery to optimize growing year-round in hard-to-grow climates, powering your greenhouse off-grid, growing advice and greenhouse building plans.  The workshop includes a tour of a tropical commercial solar greenhouse located at The Golden Hoof Farm (designed by architect Alice Starek) and a small backyard greenhouse at Sunflower House Permaculture.
     Enroll Here 

  • Tree Care and Tree Planting with Vince Aquino, CU Campus Arborist  - Friday, October 18, 1pm - 4 pm. $15 with discounts available. Trees play an important role in reducing climate change and making a hot world more comfortable. This workshop will cover CU's urban forest, and how to properly plant and care for trees.
    Enroll Here

  • Your Personal Carbon Footprint with Kelly Simmons - Friday, October 25, 1pm - 5 pm. $15 with discounts available. Concerned about climate change? Want to do more? This workshop will cover understanding your personal carbon footprint and all the ways (big and small) that you can use to reduce your impact. 
    Enroll Here

  • GIS for Sustainability Part 1 with Mehdi Heris - Friday, November 8, 1pm - 5pm. $50 with discounts available.
    This workshop is an introduction to the use of GIS for beginners, including a working understanding of spatial data, tools and resources and how best to use them, as well as the practice and art of GIS spatial tools in sustainability. A certificate of completion will be awarded to everyone who completes both workshops.
    Enroll Here

  • GIS for Sustainability Part 2 with Mehdi Heris - Friday, November 15, 1pm - 5 pm. $50 with discounts available.
    This workshop will continue the work from Part I and include Interpretation and outputs of spatial information and the most effective avenues for continuing management of data. A case study with a working sustainability oriented GIS professional is included. A certificate of completion will be awarded to everyone who completes both workshops. 
    Enroll Here


Past Workshops: 

Spring 2019

  • Advanced Edible Mushroom Growing - this workshop focused on the process of growing edible mushrooms, from start to finish, including the ecology of cultivated edible mushrooms, and their role in sustainable food systems. 
  • Carbon Farming and Soil Fertility - This workshop focused on skills of building soil fertility and the benefts of carbon sequestration from these efforts, including an introduction to the basics of building soil fertility through soil stewardship and increasing organic matter, and the carbon sequestration techniques of compost, mulch, holistic range management, biochar, and agroforestry. Hands on practice in building compost and worm bins was included.
  • LEED Green Associate Exam Prep - This workshop focused on an in-depth overview of LEED including all topics covered on the exam and a focus on heavily weighted topics, how to register, prepare for, and pass the LEED GA exam, and included mock exams and a study guide. 
  • Introduction to Beekeeping - This workshop focused on the incredible world of the honeybee, the seasons of beekeeping as a practice, the different types of hives for keeping bees and the equipment you need, along with how to care for bees to keep them healthy, and how to encourage the multiple benefits of pollination and honey production in your backyard.
  • Basics of Colorado Gardening - This introductory course included understanding the needs and requirements of a variety of culinary and edible plants in the high desert mountain West, and included techniques for building soil, garden planning, seed selection, seed starting tips and scheduling, planting tips and caring for edible plants in the garden. Participants learned to read seed packets and planted 2 pots of seeds to take home and nurture for their own garden. 

 Fall 2018

  • Introduction to Mycology and Mushroom Growing - This workshop focused on the ecology of cultivated edible mushrooms, and their role in agriculture and soil health, including the basics of edible mushroom growing techniques at home, types of mushrooms, what they need and how to care for them. 
  • Principles and Approaches of Environmental Education - This workshop explored the fundamentals of theory and practice in environmental education and guided students in developing a working knowledge of environmental education goals, approaches and career opportunities. It included applying new knowledge toward starting a professional portfolio to be submitted to Colorado Alliance for Environmental Educator Certification program 
  • Basics of Sustainable Behavior Change -  This workshop focused on behavior change models and how to use this understanding of human behavior to successfully implement sustainability initiatives towards changing people's behavior. The research-backed framework and tools of Community Based Social Marketing were featured. 

Spring 2018

  • Introduction to Mycology and Mushroom Growing - This workshop focused on the ecology of cultivated edible mushrooms, and their role in agriculture and soil health, including the basics of edible mushroom growing techniques at home, types of mushrooms, what they need and how to care for them. Innoculation of a medium with an edible mushroom spawn that to take home and care for was included.
  • GIS for Sustainability Part 1 and Part 2 -  This series of workshops included an introduction to the use of GIS for beginners, including a working understanding of spatial data, tools and resources and how best to use them, as well as the practice and art of GIS spatial tools in sustainability. Interpretation and outputs of spatial information and the most effective avenues for continuing management of data was covered and case studies with 3 working sustainability oriented GIS professionals was included. A certificate of completion was awarded to everyone who completed both workshops. 
  • Basics of Colorado Gardening - This introductory course included understanding the needs and requirements of a variety of culinary and edible plants in the high desert mountain West, and included techniques for building soil, garden planning, seed selection, seed starting tips and scheduling, planting tips and caring for edible plants in the garden. Participants learned to read seed packets and planted 2 pots of seeds to take home and nurture for their own garden. 

Fall 2017

  • Graywater System Design - This workshop focused on how to reuse water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, including common and popular greywater systems, soap and product considerations, design criteria,  building codes and career opportunities with instructors from Colorado Graywater. The workshop included hands-on experience installing a demo greywater system from a washing machine for landscape irrigation.
  • Introduction to Beekeeping - This workshop focused on the incredible world of the bee, how to care for bees and how to encourage the multiple benefits of pollination and honey production in your backyard with Backyard Hive instructor Corwin Bell. This workshop focused on how to keep European honeybees as a backyard hobby, including types of hives, what bees need, and caring for a hive. 
  • Introduction to Carbon Emissions Inventory - This Workshop focused on the first part of Greenhouse Gas Accounting, known as a Carbon Emissions Inventory, and included an introduction to the international standard for Greenhouse Gas Accounting - The Greenhouse Gas Protocol - and its principles and requirements. Hands-on skill building included assessing and calculating a baseline of carbon emissions for a household including  3 scopes of carbon, setting organizational and operational boundaries, converting the Kyoto 6 greenhouse gases to carbon dioxide equivalents and more.
  • Advanced Carbon Emissions Accounting - Forecasting and Reductions - This Workshop focused on the second part of Greenhouse Gas Accounting.  Hands on skills building in calculating carbon reductions from various initiatives and forecasting emissions growth from organizational growth was included. Pre-requisite was Intro to Carbon Emissions Inventory. Participants completing both workshops received a certificate in Greenhouse Gas Accounting. 

Spring 2017 

  • Carbon Emissions Inventory - This Workshop focused on the first part of Greenhouse Gas Accounting, known as a Carbon Emissions Inventory, and included an introduction to the international standard for Greenhouse Gas Accounting - The Greenhouse Gas Protocol - and its principles and requirements. Hands-on skill building included assessing and calculating a baseline of carbon emissions for a household including  3 scopes of carbon, setting organizational and operational boundaries, converting the Kyoto 6 greenhouse gases to carbon dioxide equivalents and more.
  • Basics of Building Soil Fertility and Carbon Farming - This workshop focused on the efficacy and skill of building soil fertility and the impacts of carbon sequestration from these efforts, including an introduction to the basics of building soil fertility through soil stewardship and increasing organic matter, and the carbon sequestration techniques of compost, mulch, holistic range management, biochar, and agroforestry. Hands on practice in building compost and worm bins was included.  
  • Basics of Colorado Gardening - This introductory course included understanding the needs and requirements of a variety of culinary and edible plants in the high desert mountain West, and included techniques for building soil, garden planning, seed selection, seed starting tips and scheduling, planting tips and caring for edible plants in the garden. Participants learned to read seed packets and planted 2 pots of seeds to take home and nurture for their own garden.

​Fall 2016

  • Graywater System Design - This workshop focused on how to reuse water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, including common and popular greywater systems, soap and product considerations, design criteria,  building codes and career opportunities with instructors from Colorado Graywater. The workshop included hands-on experience installing a demo greywater system from a washing machine for landscape irrigation.
  •  Fundamentals of Environmental Education - This engaging half-day workshop guided students in developing a working knowledge of environmental education goals, approaches, and career opportunities. Small and large group activities were used to apply new knowledge towards starting a professional portfolio that can eventually be submitted to Colorado's Environmental Educator Certification program. This mini-workshop is designed for students interested in learning more about the field environmental education. Students completing the workshop received a resume-building letter of completion, information on further training, and access to a network of environmental education professionals across Colorado.
  • Sustainable Greenhouse Design - This full-day greenhouse immersion workshop dove into smart greenhouse design with instructors from Ceres Greenhouses. Topics included how to design a super-efficient greenhouse using passive solar strategies, designing and using a climate battery to optimize growing year-round in hard-to-grow climates, powering your greenhouse off-grid, growing advice and greenhouse building plans.  The workshop included a tour of a tropical commercial solar greenhouse located at The Golden Hoof Farm (designed by architect Alice Starek). Participants also received building designs and plans for a backyard energy-efficient greenhouse. 
  • Basics of Colorado Gardening - This introductory course included understanding the needs and requirements of a variety of culinary and edible plants in the high desert mountain West, and included techniques for building soil, garden planning, seed selection, seed starting tips and scheduling, planting tips and caring for edible plants in the garden. Participants learned to read seed packets and planted 2 pots of seeds to take home and nurture for their own garden.