Pivotal Places

Where students transform scientific research into innovative solutions that promote resilient communities and healthy ecosystems


About Pivotal Places

Pivotal Places is a non-profit Developed by some of Colorado State University’s most innovative and motivated undergraduate students who participated in the Communities and conservation study abroad program. PIVOTAL PLACES AIMS TO IMPLEMENT research and TRANSFORM it into actionable change.

To do this, we first provide a forum for students to do ON-GROUND FIELD research with our partners abroad.  Then, using the knowledge gained, students return and create development campaigns that are targeted specifically to gaps identified in the research and BY THE local community.  This process builds a feedback loop between science and society, that provides our students with a unique opportunity to “make a difference” in the world.

the Colorado State UNIVersity Students from the 2018 Communities and Conservation study abroad program are working collectively to Develop this innovative non-profit TO BEGIN WORKING WITH THE municipality of HaMakuya.


May 2019

“The world needs conservation leaders that have expertise and skills to navigate the complex linkages between science and society.”

Conservation Champions / Read Full Article


Leadership Team


Natalie Miller- Director

Senior Biomedical Sciences student with a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability


Haiven furbush- Communications team specialist

B.S. in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability


tess scarborough- Communications team specialist

B.S. in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability


Madison Waggoner- Chief of Finance

B.S. in Animal Science with a minor in Biomedical Sciences


Kaitlyn Ammerlaan-start up director

B.S. in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

How to Get Involved

Join our Communities and Conservation Study Abroad Program to South Africa!

If you are a Colorado State University student and would like to join us on this 6 credit study abroad program, click here for application details. We are not currently accepting applications for the 2020 program, but keep an eye out for the updates on this year’s team of students departing soon! 

You can donate to support student scholarships, research opportunities, and development campaigns!

If you’re looking for an opportunity to support CSU students and promote unique research opportunities OR..

If you want to support student led campaigns, you can! These support initiatives are developed hand-in-hand with the local community to facilitate on-ground development in South Africa. Stay tuned for more information regarding donation opportunities! 

Interested in studying abroad with us?


Communities and Conservation- Study Abroad in South Africa