Colorado State University said today it's launching a new center named for former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to connect science and policy that informs conservation decisions.

The center will be called the "Salazar Center for North American Conservation" and will be housed in CSU's School of Global Environmental Sustainability.

Salazar — also a former U.S. senator, Colorado attorney general and director of the state Department of Natural Resources — "has been working with CSU officials for nearly a year to lay the groundwork for the Salazar Center," CSU said.

He also provided a founding gift of $500,000 to get the project off the ground, a university announcement said.

CSU said Salazar will have an advisory role at the center. It also said a search for the center's director will begin soon.

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