Environmental Science, Policy and Management

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) Graduate Program provides a wealth of opportunities for students interested in careers in academia, government, and non-governmental agencies worldwide. Our faculty are internationally recognized, and ESPM is the campus hub for connections to other renowned Berkeley programs in the environment such as the Energy and Resources Group, Agricultural and Resource Economics, the Goldman School of Public Policy, Integrative Biology, Berkeley Natural History Museums, and Berkeley Law. The Berkeley campus maintains close ties to world-class research facilities at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, California Academy of Sciences, Stanford University, and many other institutions. Students admitted to our program work with their research mentor to select courses, individualize their training, and conduct research projects that meet their interests and goals. Our core graduate courses provide an introduction to the wide breadth and deep expertise of research on the environment within our department and help students apply for funding opportunities early in their graduate program.

The PhD program is the main graduate program in ESPM for students entering with or without previous masters degrees, though we also offer limited numbers of MS degrees in our specialized Master of Range Management and Master of Forestry programs. The goal of the program is to provide both a strong disciplinary education and broadly based experience in cross-disciplinary communication and problem solving. To achieve this, the program leading to the PhD in environmental science, policy, and management requires that students complete three core courses and take additional coursework in the following three areas: area of specialization, research skills, and experiential breadth.

Disciplinary Emphasis

The disciplinary emphasis is the broadest academic area encompassing the student's interests. The three disciplinary emphases within the department are ecosystem sciences, organisms & environment, and society & environment. A student pursuing a strongly interdisciplinary program may study more than one of these disciplines in depth. Specific coursework within each field will be chosen by the guiding committee in conjunction with the student and approved by the graduate mentor. 

Area of Specialization

The area of specialization is a narrower field within the context of the disciplinary emphasis. Some examples of these areas are: microbial community ecology, ecosystem function, arthropod population and community ecology, biological control of arthropods, arthropod biodiversity science, American environmental history and policy, international forest management, biogeochemistry, Mediterranean grassland ecosystems, remote sensing, and forest management, to name a few.

Application

Prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact directly a potential PhD  mentor prior to the application deadline and if possible, to visit the campus, department, and graduate program. As part of their application, each student will be asked to identify one of the three disciplinary emphases (ecosystem sciences, organisms & environment, and society & environment) most closely associated with her/his interests. If you have questions about which emphasis to choose, please ask your prospective mentor. It is not uncommon for students in ESPM to be co-mentored by two professors, often with different disciplinary emphases. The area of specialization is determined after entry into the program, in consultation with the guiding committee and PhD mentor.

Visit Department Website

Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

Applicants for admission to the graduate program must hold a bachelor's degree from a university or college with curricula and standards equivalent to those of the University of California. The completed undergraduate program should normally be in a field relevant to the disciplinary emphasis chosen. Applicants without this background may be admitted with the understanding that their coursework must compensate for deficiencies in their preparation. We suggest that prospective applicants consult with faculty or the Graduate Student Services Office for advice and course recommendations.

It is critical that all applicants identify on their application faculty whose research and work overlap with their strengths and interests. Without this information, the admission committee will not be able to evaluate your application properly. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty during the application process. Faculty sponsorship of entering graduate students will be determined once all applications have been reviewed and final admission offers have been made. The ESPM admission committee, not individual faculty, makes the final decisions on who will be offered admission to the program. Applications are accepted for the fall semester only.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Time to Advancement

Curriculum

Courses Required
Program of study decided by the Guiding Committee with the student per research interests requires four components:
Disciplinary Emphasis (broad area) from Ecosystem Sciences; Organisms & Environment; Society & Environment
Area of Specialization (narrower field within the Disciplinary Emphasis)
Research Skills
Experiential Breadth
ESPM 201AResearch Approaches in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management3
ESPM 201CEnvironmental Forum1
ESPM 201SEnvironmental Science, Policy, and Management Colloquium1

Courses

Environmental Science, Policy and Management

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Rodrigo P. P. Almeida, Associate Professor. Disease ecology, vector, plant disease, Xylella fastidiosa, emerging.
Research Profile

Miguel A. Altieri, Professor. Agriculture, environmental science, pest management.
Research Profile

Ronald Amundson, Professor. Pedology isotope biogeochemistry, impact of climate and life on earth processes, soils in biogeochemical cycles, human impacts on soils and ecosystems.
Research Profile

Gary Anderson, Adjunct Professor. Microbial ecology, genomics, diversity in extreme environments.

Jodi Axelson, Assistant Cooperative Extention Specialist. Forest Health, insect outbreaks, forest ecology, resource management, Dendrochronology and wood anatomy.

Dennis D. Baldocchi, Professor. Biometeorology, biosphere-atmosphere trace gas fluxes, ecosystem ecology, climate change.
Research Profile

Jillian Banfield, Professor. Nanoscience, Bioremediation, genomics, biogeochemistry, carbon cycling, geomicrobiology, MARS, minerology.
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John J. Battles, Professor. Forest Ecology and Ecosystem Dynamics.
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Steven R. Beissinger, Professor. Conservation, behavioral and population ecology.
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Gregory Biging, Professor. Forest Biometrics and Remote Sensing.
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Carl Boettiger, Assistant Professor. Theoretical ecology, ecoinformatics, modeling, data science, resilience, early warning signals, decision theory.
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Timothy Bowles, Assistant Professor. Agroecology, Sustainable Agriculture.

Justin S. Brashares, Associate Professor. Wildlife, biodiversity, ecology, conservation, human livelihoods.
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Eoin Brodie, Assistant Adjunct Professor.
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Thomas D. Bruns, Professor. Microbial biology, plant biology, fungi, nucleic acid sequences, basidomycetes, ectomycorrhizal fungi communities.
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Stephanie M. Carlson, Associate Professor. Fish ecology, freshwater ecology, evolutionary ecology.
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Claudia J. Carr, Associate Professor. International and rural resource development.
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Ignacio Chapela, Associate Professor. Agriculture, biotechnology, environmental science, microbial biology, policy and management.
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Paolo D'Odorico, Professor. Ecohydrology, surface hydrology, ecosystem ecology, Aeolian processes, desertfication, stohastic, nonlinear environmental dynamics, water and food security.
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Todd Dawson, Professor. Physiological plant ecology, evolutionary plant ecology, ecosystem processes, adaptations of plants, carbon, water, nitrogen.
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Kathryn De Master, Assistant Professor. Sociology and political ecology of agriculture, agrarian change, rural conservation and development, agri-environmental policy, food justice/sovereignty movements, heritage and terroir, diversified farming systems, participatory mapping.
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Perry De Valpine, Associate Professor. Population ecology, mathematical modeling and statistics.
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Richard S. Dodd, Professor. Tree genetics and systematics.
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Damian O. Elias, Assistant Professor. Neuroethology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary biology of arthropods.
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Mary K. Firestone, Professor. Soils, environmental policy, environmental science, policy and management, wildlife, miicrobial biology.
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Brian L. Fisher, Associate Adjunct Professor. Entomology, Ants.
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Gordon Frankie, Professor. Urban entomology, policy, environmental policy, environmental science, pest management, management.
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Inez Fung, Professor. Global change, environmental policy, ecosystem scienes.
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Matteo Garbelotto, Adjunct Professor. Forest pathology, forest mycology, forest and tree management.
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Wayne Marcus Getz, Professor. Africa, disease ecology, wildlife conservation, resource management.
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Rosemary Gillespie, Professor. Evolutionary ecology, systematics, spider biology, conservation.
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+ J. Gilless, Professor. Environmental policy, resource economics, forestry, forest economics, wildland fire.
Research Profile

Allen Goldstein, Professor. Global change, air pollution, environmental science, biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry.
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Charles Griswold, Adjunct Professor. Entomology.

John Harte, Professor. Global change, ecology, sustainability, energy policy, theoretical ecology, biodiversityl.
Research Profile

Susan Hubbard, Adjunct Professor.

Lynn Huntsinger, Professor. Rangeland conservation and management.
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Alastair Iles, Associate Professor. Science, technology and environment; green chemistry; sustainability learning; environmental policy.

David Kavanaugh, Adjunct Professor. Systematics, biogeography, evolution, and natural history of carabid beetles.
Research Profile

Maggi Kelly, Professor in Residence. Remote sensing, wetlands, ecosystem sciences, forests, geoinformatics, participatory web, GIS.
Research Profile

Siamak Khorram, Adjunct Professor. Remote sensing, image processing.

Claire Kremen, Professor. Conservation Biology, Pollination, Agroecology, Entomology.

Isao Kubo, Professor. Agriculture, insect biology, pest management.
Research Profile

Laura N. Lammers, Assistant Professor. Environmental geochemistry, crystal growth, mineral-fluid and fluid-fluid interfacial processes, contaminant transport.

Jonas Meckling, Assistant Professor. Climate policy, energy policy, political economy.
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Carolyn Merchant, Professor. Environmental history, philosophy and ethics.
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Adina Merenlender, Adjunct Professor. Conservation biology.
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Arthur Middleton, Assistant Professor. Wildlife ecology, management, and policy.

Nicholas J. Mills, Professor. Invasive species, Biological control, Population ecology, Entomology/Insect biology.
Research Profile

Katharine Milton, Professor. Tropical ecology of humans and non-human primates diet parasite-host interactions.
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Rachel Morello-Frosch, Professor. Race and class determinants of the distribution of health risks associated with air pollution among diverse communities in the United States.
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Patrick M. O'Grady, Assistant Professor. Population genetics and phylogenetics of Drosophila, adaptive radiation, biogeography.
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Kevin O'Hara, Professor. Stand dynamics silviculture forest management.
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Kate O'Neill, Associate Professor. International environmental politics/ global political economy.
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Dara O'Rourke, Associate Professor. Environmental justice, globalization, industrial ecology, labor.
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George Oster, Professor. Computational biology, developmental biology, mathematical modeling of molecular and cellular systems, protein motors, cell motility, spatial pattern formation in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, neural pattern formation.
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Celine Pallud, Associate Professor. Biogeochemistry, iron reduction, metals and contaminants, soil aggregates, selenium kinetics of organic matter degradation, nitrate reduction, soil and environmental biogeophysics, biogeochemical cycles, fate and transport of nutrients, sulfate reduction, wetland soils, littoral sediments, spatial variation in biogeochemical processes.
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Nancy L. Peluso, Professor. Political ecology/resource policy and politics/forests/agrarian change/property and access.
Research Profile

Matthew D. Potts, Associate Professor. Forest management, biofuels, plantation agriculture, land use planning, land use policy, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, tropical ecology, environmental economics.
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Robert Rhew, Associate Professor. Geography, terrestrial-atmosphere exchange of trace gases, atmospheric chemistry and composition, halogen biogeochemistry, stratospheric ozone depletion issues, coastal salt marsh, chaparral, desert, tundra, boreal forest, grassland.
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George Roderick, Professor. Invasion biology, Biodiversity science, Sustainability and global change, Insects.
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Erica B. Rosenblum, Assistant Professor. Evolutionary ecology, speciation and extinction, ecological genomics, herpetology, global change biology.
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Whendee SIlver, Professor. Ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry.
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Scott L. Stephens, Professor. Wildland fire science, fire ecology, forest ecology, forest policy, forest management.
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Mark A. Tanouye, Professor. Genetics, neuroanatomy, electrophysiology, mechanisms of nervous system structure and function, drosophila mutants.
Research Profile

Neil Tsutsui, Professor. Genetics and behavior of social insects.
Research Profile

Ian Wang, Assistant Professor. Landscape genetics, landscape ecology, ecological and conservation genomics.

Kipling Will, Associate Professor. Carabid beetles/ Insect Systematics/ Associate Director,Essig Museum of Entomology.
Research Profile

David E. Winickoff, Associate Professor. Biotechnology, bioethics, environmental regulation, Science and Technology studies, geoengineering, technology transfer.
Research Profile

Robert York, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Forest Ecology, Silviculture, Giant Sequoia restoration and ecology.
Research Profile

Specialists

Van Butsic, Assistant Specialist. Land systems science, conservation, environmental economics and policy, coupled human natural systems, GIS applications.
Research Profile

Kent M. Daane, Specialist. Control of insect pests in agricultural crops.

Christy M. Getz, Associate Specialist. Ethics, history, politics, rural development.

Ted Grantham, Assistant Specialist. Freshwater ecology, stream hydrology, climate risk assessment, California water management and policy.

Vernard Lewis, Specialist. Biology and management of structural and household pests.
Research Profile

Max A. Moritz, Associate Specialist. Fire Ecology and Management.
Research Profile

Thomas A. Scott, Specialist. Wildlife conservation, human impacts on wildlife, wildlife/urban interface.

Jennifer Sowerwine, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist. Building equitable, economically viable and culturally relevant food systems in metropolitan areas that contribute to healthy communities, ecological diversity and sustainable livelihoods.

Richard B. Standiford, Cooperative Extension Specialist. Forest management.

William Stewart, Specialist. Watershed management, forest management, resource economics.

William D. Tietje, Specialist. Oak woodland ecology, human impacts on wildlife.

Lecturers

Kendra Klein, Lecturer.

Alan H. Krakauer, Lecturer.

Patina Mendez, Lecturer.

Kurt Spreyer, Lecturer.

Bridget M. Tracy, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Daphne Miller, Visiting Associate Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Barbara Allen-Diaz, Professor Emeritus. Rangeland ecology and management, Plant community ecology.
Research Profile

John R. Anderson, Professor Emeritus.

Reginald Barrett, Professor Emeritus. Wildlife biology and management.
Research Profile

Frank Beall, Professor Emeritus.

David L. Brink, Professor Emeritus.

Leopoldo Caltagirone, Professor Emeritus.

John E. Casida, Professor Emeritus.

+ Howell V. Daly, Professor Emeritus. Biosystematics of bees; traditional and modern taxonomic procedures, including use of computers in classification and data analysis and management.

Harvey Doner, Professor Emeritus. Chemistry of trace elements in soils, mineral-organic compound interactions, and chemistry of carbonates and more soluble minerals in soils.

John Doyen, Professor Emeritus.

Sally Fairfax, Professor Emeritus.

Louis A. Falcon, Professor Emeritus.

Louise Fortmann, Professor Emeritus.

Paul L. Gersper, Professor Emeritus. Soil/plant relationships, land use.
Research Profile

Peng Gong, Professor Emeritus. Remote Sensing and GIS.
Research Profile

Andrew Gutierrez, Professor Emeritus. Systems ecology biological control.
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Joseph Hancock, Professor Emeritus.

Richard R. Harris, Specialist Emeritus. Forestry, resource management, riparian ecology.

John A. Helms, Professor Emeritus.

John Helms, Professor Emeritus.

Marjorie Hoy, Professor Emeritus.

Oenes Huisman, Professor Emeritus.

Robert S. Lane, Professor Emeritus.

William Libby, Professor Emeritus.

Werner Loher, Professor Emeritus.

+ Joe R. McBride, Professor Emeritus. Forest ecology and urban forestry.
Research Profile

John G. McColl, Professor Emeritus. Soil science: nutrient cycling, forest soils.
Research Profile

Doug McCreary, Specialist Emeritus. Artificial regeneration of native California oaks.

Dale McCullough, Professor Emeritus. Wildlife biology and management.
Research Profile

William Mckillop, Professor Emeritus. Forest economics, forest management, forest policy, timber supply, forestry economics.
Research Profile

Gary Nakamura, Specialist Emeritus. Forestry and silviculture.

Nickolas Panopoulos, Professor Emeritus.

Rudolph Pipa, Professor Emeritus.

Jerry Powell, Professor Emeritus.

Alexander H. Purcell III, Professor Emeritus. Insect vectors of plant pathogens.

Stephen Quarles, Professor Emeritus.

Robert D. Raabe, Professor Emeritus. Ornamental pathology.

Jeffrey Romm, Professor Emeritus.

Vincent Rush, Professor Emeritus.

Milton Schroth, Professor Emeritus. Ecology, pathogen physiology, biocontrol.

John Shelly, Professor Emeritus.

Philip Spieth, Professor Emeritus. Population Genetics and Evolution.

Garrison Sposito, Professor Emeritus.

Robert Van Steenwyk, Professor Emeritus. Pest management, forestry, microbial biology.
Research Profile

Lawrence Waldron, Professor Emeritus.

Stephen C. Welter, Professor Emeritus. Plant-insect interactions and agricultural entomology.

W. Wayne Wilcox, Professor Emeritus.

David Wood, Professor Emeritus.

Eugene Zavarin, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

130 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-4554

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

George Roderick

145 Hilgard Hall

Phone: 510 643-4554

roderick@berkeley.edu

Chief Administrative Officer

Carolyn J. Chee, PhD

143 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-2987

cjchee@berkeley.edu

Head Graduate Advisor

Damian O. Elias

VLSB 5028

Phone: 510-642-6396

doelias@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Lyn Rivera

135 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-6410

lyn.rivera@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Bianca Victorica

137 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-1546

biancav@berkeley.edu

Department Assistant

Rachel Kidwell

145 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-4554

rkidwell@berkeley.edu

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