Energy and Resources

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Energy and Resources Group (ERG) is an aca­d­e­mic unit within the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. Our vision is a future in which the twin goals of human well-being and a healthy envi­ron­ment are mutu­ally and sus­tain­ably sat­is­fied. ERG’s mis­sion is to develop and trans­mit the crit­i­cal knowl­edge needed to make such a future pos­si­ble. We view soci­ety and the envi­ron­ment as an inex­tri­ca­bly cou­pled sys­tem. ERG research, there­fore, empha­sizes (1) science-based knowl­edge of the envi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences of resource use; (2) ana­lyt­i­cal tools that pro­mote effi­ciency, con­ser­va­tion, afford­abil­ity and equity in energy and resource use pat­terns; and (3) a deep under­stand­ing of the social and insti­tu­tional con­texts in which resource and envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems arise, and in which cre­ative and eth­i­cal solu­tions can be sus­tained. It is this syn­the­sis of basic sci­ence, prac­ti­cal problem-solving and con­struc­tive social cri­tique that defines ERG.

The ERG Minor offers under­grad­u­ates the oppor­tu­nity to develop basic knowl­edge and skills to help them address the com­plex and inter­de­pen­dent issues asso­ci­ated with the inter­ac­tion of social, eco­nomic, polit­i­cal, tech­ni­cal, and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors. Though it is primarily designed to com­ple­ment majors in the nat­ural sci­ences and engi­neer­ing, stu­dents in any major with the appro­pri­ate pre­req­ui­sites may pur­sue the ERG minor. Based on a six-course set of prerequisites in mathematics and natural sciences, the minor is satisfied by completing five upper division courses, including two core courses and three electives.

The Energy and Resources Group is respon­si­ble for mon­i­tor­ing the minor pro­gram and will des­ig­nate one fac­ulty mem­ber as the head ERG minor adviser. It is the under­grad­u­ate academic advi­ser who will be charged with cer­ti­fy­ing com­ple­tion of the minor.  All core fac­ulty mem­bers will par­tic­i­pate in advis­ing stu­dents in the minor, just as they do grad­u­ate students.

Declaring the Minor

Students interested in pursuing the ERG minor should submit an Intent to Declare the ERG Minor form the semester in which upper division ERG minor coursework is started. The department maintains a list of students pursuing the minor to keep students informed about any ERG-related opportunities or course offerings that arise. Students completing the ERG minor are also given a special mention during the ERG commencement ceremony in May.

For information on how to submit your intent to pursue the minor,  review how the lower division prerequisites may be completed with AP, IB, or A-Level exams, and declare the minor once completed, please visit the ERG website.

Visit Group Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.

  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.

  3. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

Lower Division Prerequisites

Some of the lower division prerequisites for the ERG minor can be satisfied with Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and other transfer credit. Please visit the ERG Minor Website for more information.

Lower division prerequisites (six courses):
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry Chem 1AL not required3-4
or CHEM 4A General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis
BIOLOGY 1BGeneral Biology Lecture and Laboratory4
Select one math sequence from the following:
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Calculus
Select one physics sequence from the following:
Introductory Physics
and Introductory Physics
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
and Physics for Scientists and Engineers

Upper Division Requirements

Upper division requirements (five courses):
Two core courses:
Energy and Society
Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems
Three upper division electives, approved by the ERG faculty (see below):
At least one course must be in the social sciences.
At least one course must be in the natural sciences or engineering.
At one of the three upper division electives must be from the ERG department.


The choice of electives should be made with two goals in mind: exploring the range of approaches available to address energy and resource issues and complementing the student's major. The latter can be achieved by adding relevant depth in closely related areas or by exploring methods and approaches that contrast with the tools and knowledge base employed in the major. Students are encouraged to discuss their program with the ERG faculty.

The following courses have been approved, but students should contact the the head ERG minor adviser to request approval of alternate courses. At least four upper division courses must be taken at Berkeley.

Social science electives
ENE,RES/ENVECON/IAS C176Climate Change Economics4
ENE,RES 175Water and Development4
ENE,RES 180Ecological Economics in Historical Context3
ECON/ENVECON C102Natural Resource Economics4
ECON C171/ENVECON C151Economic Development4
ESPM 102DClimate and Energy Policy4
ESPM 155ACSociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems4
ESPM 160AC/HISTORY 120ACAmerican Environmental and Cultural History4
ESPM 161Environmental Philosophy and Ethics4
ESPM 168Political Ecology4
ESPM 169International Environmental Politics4
Natural science and engineering electives
ENE,RES 101Ecology and Society3
CIV ENG 103Introduction to Hydrology3
CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
CIV ENG 111Environmental Engineering3
CIV ENG 114Environmental Microbiology3
CIV ENG 115Water Chemistry3
EPS 117Geomorphology4
ESPM 111Ecosystem Ecology4
ESPM 112Microbial Ecology3
ESPM 120Soil Characteristics3
ESPM/EPS C129Biometeorology3
ESPM 131Soil Microbial Ecology3
ESPM 140General Entomology4
ESPM/EPS C180/CIV ENG C106Air Pollution3
INTEGBI 106APhysical and Chemical Environment of the Ocean4
INTEGBI 152Environmental Toxicology4
INTEGBI 153Ecology3
INTEGBI 157LFEcosystems of California4
Other electives
ENE,RES 190Seminar in Energy and Resources Issues3
CY PLAN 119Planning for Sustainability3
ESPM 118Agricultural Ecology3


Energy and Resources

ENE,RES 24 Freshman Seminar 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2012, Spring 2011
The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small-seminar setting. Freshman Seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics may vary from department to department and semester to semester.

Freshman Seminar: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 39A Freshman and Sophomore Seminar: Complex Systems, Information Theory, and Big Data 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester. Enrollment limits are set by the faculty, but the suggested limit is 25.

Freshman and Sophomore Seminar: Complex Systems, Information Theory, and Big Data: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 98 Directed Group Study for Lower Division Students 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Lectures and small group discussions focusing on topics of interest that vary from semester to semester.

Directed Group Study for Lower Division Students: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 99 Supervised Independent Studies for Freshmen and Sophomores 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Supervised research on specific topics related to energy and resources.

Supervised Independent Studies for Freshmen and Sophomores: Read More [+]

ENE,RES C100 Energy and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Fall 2016
Energy sources, uses, and impacts: an introduction to the technology, politics, economics, and environmental effects of energy in contemporary society. Energy and well-being; energy in international perspective, origins, and character of energy crisis.

Energy and Society: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 101 Ecology and Society 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Fall 2014, Fall 2012
This course introduces students to the many ways in which our lives are intertwined with the ecosystems around us. Topics will include ecological limits to growth, climate change and other threats to biodiversity, the value of ecosystem goods and services, the ecology of disease, ecotoxicology, the evolution of cooperation in ecosystems, industrial ecology, and the epistemology of ecology.

Ecology and Society: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 102 Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Human disruption of biogeochemical and hydrological cycles; causes and consequences of climate change and acid deposition; transport and health impacts of pollutants; loss of species; radioactivity in the environment; epidemics.

Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 175 Water and Development 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
This course introduces students to water policy in developing countries. It is a course motivated by the fact that over one billion people in developing countries have no access to safe drinking water, three billion do not have sanitation facilities, and many millions of small farmers do not have reliable water supplies to ensure a healthy crop. Readings and discussions will cover: the problems of water access and use in developing countries;
the potential for technological, social, and economic solutions to these problems; the role of institutions in access to water and sanitation; and the pitfalls of the assumptions behind some of today's popular "solutions."
Water and Development: Read More [+]

ENE,RES C176 Climate Change Economics 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016
This course is a self-contained introduction to the economics of climate change. Climate change is caused by a large variety of economic activities, and many of its impacts will have economic consequences. Economists have studied climate change for more than two decades, and economic arguments are often powerful in policy decisions. The course will familiarize students with these arguments and equip them with the tools to participate in discussions of climate
change policy through an economic lens.
Climate Change Economics: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 180 Ecological Economics in Historical Context 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016
Economists through history have explored economic and environmental interactions, physical limits to growth, what constitutes the good life, and how economic justice can be assured. Yet economists continue to use measures and models that simplify these issues and promote bad outcomes. Ecological economics responds to this tension between the desire for simplicity and the multiple perspectives needed to understand complexity in order to move toward sustainable, fulfilling
, and just economies.
Ecological Economics in Historical Context: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 190 Seminar in Energy and Resources Issues 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Summer 2016 Second 6 Week Session
Critical, cross disciplinary analysis of specific issues or general problems of how people interact with environmental and resource systems. More than one section may be given each semester on different topics depending on faculty and student interest.

Seminar in Energy and Resources Issues: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 198 Directed Group Studies for Advanced Undergraduates 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
Group studies of selected topics.

Directed Group Studies for Advanced Undergraduates: Read More [+]

ENE,RES 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Spring 2017
Individual conferences.

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors


David Anthoff, Assistant Professor. Environmental economics, climate policy, integrated assessment models.
Research Profile

Duncan Callaway, Assistant Professor. Modeling and control of aggregated storage devices, power management, and system analysis of energy technologies and their impact.
Research Profile

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

Daniel M. Kammen, Professor. Public policy, nuclear engineering, energy, resources, risk analysis as applied to global warming, methodological studies of forecasting, hazard assessment, renewable energy technologies, environmental resource management.
Research Profile

Catherine Koshland, Professor. Air pollution, metals, energy, resources, environmental human health, mechanistic analyses of combustion products in flow reactors, control strategies in urban airsheds, pollutant formation, chlorinated hydrocarbons, particulates, industrial ecology.
Research Profile

Isha Ray, Associate Professor. Water and development; Gender, water and sanitation; technology and development.
Research Profile

Margaret S. Torn, Associate Adjunct Professor.


Jalel Marti Sager, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

John P. Holdren, Professor Emeritus.

Richard B. Norgaard, Professor Emeritus. Energy, resources, policy process, understanding of systems, environmental problems challenging scientific understanding, globalization effects, tropical forestry and agriculture, environmental epistemology, energy economics, ecological economics.
Research Profile

Gene I. Rochlin, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Energy and Resources Group

310 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-1640

Fax: 510-642-1085

Visit Group Website

Group Chair

Professor Harrison Fraker

310 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-1640

Group Manager

Megan Amaral

310 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-1760

Adviser for GSI Affairs and Head ERG Minor Adviser

Professor John Harte

310 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-1640

Undergraduate Academic Adviser

Carina Galicia

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-9479

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Kay Burns

310 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-8859

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