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Academics and Education

UC Merced offers these degree programs around sustainability:

  • Earth Systems Science Degree Program

The ESS major prepares students to understand and solve critical challenges facing our environment, such as climate change, pollution, conservation and resource management. UC Merced operates an interdisciplinary program that integrates the study of fundamental physical, chemical and biological processes that shape our environment with practical applications to real-world problems. Our students receive a firm foundation in the fundamentals of chemistry, biology, hydrology, ecology and Earth sciences, while upper-division elective courses allow students the flexibility to pursue a variety of topics related to Earth and environmental systems.

  • Environmental Engineering Degree Program

Environmental engineers are distinguished from other environmental professionals through their focus on problem-solving, design and implementation of technological or management systems. Environmental engineers search for creative and economical ways to use resources efficiently, limit the release of residuals into the environment, develop sensitive techniques to track pollutants once released and find effective methods to remediate spoiled resources. They serve as the vital links between scientific discovery, technological development and the societal need for protecting human health and ecological integrity. In the coming decades, environmental engineers will increasingly be called upon to address broader issues of environmental sustainability by minimizing the release of residuals through altered production processes and choice of materials; by capturing the resource value of wastes through recovery, recycling and reuse; and by managing natural resources to meet competing societal objectives.

  • Environmental Science and Sustainability Minor

Environmental science and sustainability is an interdisciplinary academic field that focuses on application of concepts and methods from the physical, chemical, biological and social sciences to the study of the natural environment and seeks solutions to environmental problems. Sustainability science aims to improve the quality of human life within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems. The Environmental Science and Sustainability minor at UC Merced allows students from diverse backgrounds to pursue interests in Earth and environmental sciences in some depth without requiring the breadth of coursework and extensive laboratory and field time required for the Earth Systems Science major.

For more information on academic sustainability please visit the website.