Environmental Science and Management

The Major Program.
Do you want to understand the functioning of our natural resources? Do you want to influence how air, water, and land are used and protected? Majors will learn to solve environmental problems from an interdisciplinary perspective linking the natural and social sciences. By studying the physical, biological, and social components of environmental problems, students will understand the scientific basis for environmental decision making and the economic implications involved in management of the environment.

The major was formed from the combined Environmental and Resource Sciences (ERS), Environmental Biology and Management (EBM) and Soil and Water Science (SSC) in 2008. It offers a contemporary perspective for solving environmental problems and understanding human dimensions of the environment. Students gain exposure to real world problem solving and learn how to use cutting edge technology and tools.

Course Curriculum.
Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, economics, and calculus form the lower-division foundation of the curriculum. These are then tied together with Environmental Science and Policy 1, “Environmental Analysis” which provides an inter-disciplinary analysis of several environmental problems. The upper-division core consists of foundation courses in physical, biological, and social sciences, as well as applied courses in environmental monitoring, GIS, impact reporting, and statistical analysis. In their junior year, students must choose a specialized track from the following six options:

a) Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation
Natural Resource Management
Climate Change and Air Quality
Geospatial Information Science
Watershed Science
Soils and Biogeochemistry

Career Alternatives.
Graduates from this program are prepared to pursue careers as practicing environmental scientists, resource analysts and planners working for public agencies and private firms specializing in environmental quality, natural resources or ecological research. The major is also an excellent preparation for graduate or professional training in physical and/or biological environmental science graduate programs, as well as in environmental law, administration and environmental policy.

Advising Resources.
The ESM major is jointly administered by the Departments of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) and Land, Air, and Water Resources (LAWR).

  • Master Advisor- Marissa Baskett can be reached at mlbaskett@ucdavis.edu
  • Master Advisor- Terry Nathan can be reached at trnathan@ucdavis.edu
  • Last Name A-L - Student Advisor - Melissa Whaley can be reached at mmwhaley@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-7183 in 2134 Wickson Hall.
  • Last Name M-Z - Student Advisor - Lacole Brooks can be reached at lawradvising@ucdavis.edu. or (530) 752-1603 in 1150 Plant and Environmental Sciences Building.

Students should meet with their major adviser on a regular basis. We recommend that students should meet at least once with a major adviser or a faculty track leader by the end of their sophomore year (90 units) . Students must declare their tracks by the end of their junior year (135 units) if not earlier. Please discuss your interests and questions with your major adviser or with the faculty track leader if you need assistance in choosing a track.

A Faculty Perspective.
In the twenty-first century we are increasingly concerned about the health and wise management of our land, air, and water. This major provides a combination of basic science and public policy. Students address the management of natural resources for human and ecosystem health and for the interrelated needs of food production and industry. The instructional program is coupled to internship opportunities that prepare the students for careers in resource management and also for graduate study in basic science.
- Professor Wendy Silk