Environmental Science and Management

Jul 24, 2013 admin
Study the interaction of physical, biological and social components of environmental problems. Also learn the legal, economic, political issues as well as the scientific basis for environmental decision-making.

The Environmental Science and Management (ESM) major is designed for students who are interested in solving environmental problems from an interdisciplinary perspective linking the natural and social sciences.

Students who choose this major will study the interaction of physical, biological, and social components of environmental problems. Students completing the program will understand the scientific basis for environmental decision making and the legal, economic, and political issues involved in management of the environment.

The program

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
  • (b) Natural Resource Management
  • (c) Climate Change and Air Quality
  • (d) Geospatial Information Science
  • (e) Watershed Science
  • (f) Soils and Biogeochemistry

A capstone course is required for all seniors and serves to integrate the science, policy/management and biology aspects of the ESM major. All students gain practical experience through field courses and a required internship. Selected students may also pursue an honors thesis in their senior year.

The ESM major is jointly administered by the Departments of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) and Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR). Any student in good standing is eligible to transfer to the major; to do so, please see one of the student affairs officers listed below.

Note: Major advising is split by last name.

  • Students with last names beginning with A-L, contact Melissa Whaley in 2134 Wickson Hall, (530) 752-7183.
  • Students with last names beginning with M-Z, contact Elizabeth Shull in 1152 Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, (530) 752-1603.


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

Career options

  • Ag Advisor
  • Community Organizer
  • Conservationist
  • Ecological Researcher
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Impact Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • GIS Technician
  • Government Executive and Legislator
  • Natural Resources Manager
  • Park Ranger
  • Preserve Manager
  • Public Interest Advocate
  • Public Interest Lawyer
  • Soil Scientist
  • Watershed Manager

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Advising office

Melissa Whaley
2134 Wickson Hall
(530) 752-7183

Elizabeth Shull
1152 Plant and Environmental Sciences
(530) 752-1603


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