Environmental Sciences

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Environmental Sciences (ES) major is designed for students interested in studying environmental problems from a scientific perspective. The ES major prepares students to deal with issues arising from the impact of human interaction on natural systems. To address these problems, all ES students acquire strong backgrounds in math, biological sciences, and physical sciences. Students may choose to specialize further in a biological or physical science field such as ecology, conservation biology, toxicology, geology, hydrology, meteorology, engineering, or a social science field such as planning, policy analysis, economics, environmental justice, or education. Each ES student completes a year-long senior research project with the support of a mentor in a biological, physical, or interdisciplinary research area.

Graduates are well-prepared for careers in fields such as environmental consulting, education, health, or law as well as community, urban, or regional planning and other related areas of environmentalism in public agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, and private companies. Graduates are well-qualified for a variety of graduate programs, including environmental policy and management, law school, medical school (and other pre-health programs), and environmental engineering.

For more information, visit the Environmental Sciences webpage

Admission to the Major

Advice on admission for freshmen and transfer students can be found on the Rausser College of Natural Resources Admissions page or the Prospective Students page. Freshman students may apply directly to the major, or they may select the college's undeclared option and declare the major by the end of their fourth semester. Transfer students may apply directly to the major through the UC application.

Information for current Berkeley students who would like to declare the major after admission, including information on a change of major or change of college, please see chapter 6 of the Rausser College Undergraduate Student Handbook. 

Honors Program

Students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher may enroll in the Honors Program once they have reached upper division standing. To fulfill the program requirements, students design, conduct, and report on an individual research project working with a faculty sponsor. Qualified ES students enroll in ESPM H175A and ESPM H175L fall of their senior year, and ESPM H175B and ESPM H175L spring of their senior year. In this course series, students design, conduct, and report on an individual research project working with a faculty sponsor.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in environmental sciences.

Other Majors Offered by the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM)

Conservation and Resource Studies (Major and Minor)
Ecosystem Management and Forestry (Major, Forestry Minor)
Molecular Environmental Biology (Major only)
Society and Environment (Major only)

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

Students in this major choose a concentration in biological, physical, or social sciences based on their intended research area, or general area of interest. The specific requirements for each concentration are outlined below. 

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program. Please see the ES Major Snapshot for an overview. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.

  2. All courses taken to fulfill major requirements must be passed with a C- or better letter grade. 

  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required.

  4. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in upper division major requirements is required.

  5. A minimum of  30 upper division units is required in the Environmental Sciences major. 15 of the required upper division units must be taken in the College of Natural Resources.

  6. A maximum of 16 units of independent study (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, and 199) may count toward graduation, with a maximum of 4 units of independent study per semester.

  7. No more than 1/3 of the total units attempted at UC Berkeley may be taken Pass/No Pass. This includes units in the Education Abroad Program and UC Intercampus Visitor or Exchange Programs.

  8. A maximum of 4 units of physical education courses will count toward graduation.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Requirements for all ES Majors

ESPM Environmental Science Core (select one):
The Biosphere [3]
Environmental Biology [3]
Environmental Issues [4]
Introduction to Environmental Sciences [3]
Climate Change and the Future of California [4]
ESPM Social Science Core (select one):
Americans and the Global Forest [4]
Fire: Past, Present and Future Interactions with the People and Ecosystems of California [4]
Introduction to Culture and Natural Resource Management [4]
Environmental Policy, Administration, and Law [4]
Environmental Economics:
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy [4]
Breadth Requirements (two courses):
Select courses from the Seven Course Breadth listing on the College of Letters & Science website.
1 course from the Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or Philosophy & Values category (3-4 units)
1 course from the Social & Behavioral Science or International Studies category (3-4 units)
Area of Concentration: Choose a concentration in Biological, Physical, or Social Sciences (see below for requirements for each concentration)

Lower Division Requirements by Concentration

Biological Science Concentration

Math (select one calculus sequence):
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Calculus
Chemistry (two courses):
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Biology (two courses):
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology Lecture and Laboratory [4]
Physics (one course):
Introductory Physics [4]

Physical Science Concentration

Math (two courses):
and Calculus
Chemistry (two courses):
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Biology (select one biology sequence):
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
and General Biology Lecture and Laboratory
Physics (2 courses):
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
and Physics for Scientists and Engineers (Math 53 strongly recommended for Physics 7B)

Social Science Concentration 

Math (select one calculus sequence):
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Calculus
Chemistry (two courses):
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
General Chemistry
Biology (select one biology sequence):
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
and General Biology Lecture and Laboratory
Physics (one course):
Introductory Physics [4]

Upper Division Requirements

Statistics (must be completed before spring semester of junior year):
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
Introduction to Biostatistics [5]
Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health [4]
Course Not Available
Intro to Methods of Environmental Science (must be taken spring of junior year): 1
Introduction to the Methods of Environmental Science [4]
Senior Research Seminar A (select one, must be taken fall of senior year): 1
Senior Research Seminar in Environmental Sciences
and Senior Research Laboratory in Environmental Sciences (must be taken fall of senior year)
Senior Research Seminar in Environmental Sciences
and Senior Research Laboratory in Environmental Sciences (must be taken fall of senior year) 2
Senior Research Seminar B (select one, must be taken spring of senior year): 1
Senior Research Seminar in Environmental Sciences
and Senior Research Laboratory in Environmental Sciences (must be taken spring of senior year)
Senior Research Seminar in Environmental Sciences
and Senior Research Laboratory in Environmental Sciences (must be taken spring of senior year) 2
Environmental Modeling (select one): 3
Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems [4]
Data, Environment and Society [4]
Resource Management [4] Satisfies the modeling requirement if taken Spring 2016 or later.
Modeling and Management of Biological Resources [4]
Data Science in Global Change Ecology [4]
Human Environment Interactions (select one):
Energy, Culture and Social Organization [4]
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Society, Environment, and Culture [4]
Sociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems [4] formerly ESPM 155
American Environmental and Cultural History [4]
Environmental Philosophy and Ethics [4]
Bioethics and Society [4]
Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment [4]
Environmental Health and Development [4]
Political Ecology [4]
International Environmental Politics [4]
Management and Conservation of Rangeland Ecosystems [4]
Climate Justice [4]
Environmental Classics [3]
Water and Development [4]
Ecological Economics in Historical Context [3]
Environmental Economics [4]
Globalization and the Natural Environment [3]
Economics of Race, Agriculture, and the Environment [3]
Population, Environment, and Development [3]
Economics of Water Resources [3]
Food and the Environment [4]
Global Environmental Politics [4]
Area of Concentration Elective:
Select one 3-5 unit elective from area of concentration (see list below)
Additional ES Elective:
Select one 3-5 unit elective from any area of concentration (see list below)

Upper Division Electives by Concentration

Biological Sciences Concentration Electives

CHEM 103Inorganic Chemistry in Living Systems3
CHEM 115Organic Chemistry--Advanced Laboratory Methods4
CHEM C130/MCELLBI C100ABiophysical Chemistry: Physical Principles and the Molecules of Life4
CIV ENG 101Fluid Mechanics of Rivers, Streams, and Wetlands3
CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
CIV ENG 113Ecological Engineering for Water Quality Improvement3
CIV ENG 114Environmental Microbiology3
ENGIN/IAS 157ACEngineering, The Environment, and Society4
ENE,RES 102Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems4
EPS/INTEGBI C100/GEOG C146Communicating Ocean Science4
Natural Resource Sampling
and Laboratory in Natural Resource Sampling
ESPM C103/INTEGBI C156Principles of Conservation Biology4
ESPM C104/ENVECON C115Modeling and Management of Biological Resources4
ESPM 105ASierra Nevada Ecology4
ESPM 106American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century3
ESPM C107/INTEGBI 158LFBiology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands13
ESPM 108ATrees: Taxonomy, Growth, and Structures3
ESPM 108BEnvironmental Change Genetics3
ESPM 110Primate Ecology4
ESPM 111Ecosystem Ecology4
ESPM 112Microbial Ecology3
ESPM 113Insect Ecology3
ESPM 114Wildlife Ecology3
ESPM 115BBiology of Aquatic Insects2
ESPM C115C/INTEGBI C176LFish Ecology3
ESPM 116BGrassland and Woodland Ecology4
ESPM 116CTropical Forest Ecology3
ESPM 117Urban Garden Ecosystems4
ESPM 118Agricultural Ecology4
ESPM 119Chemical Ecology2
ESPM 120Science of Soils3
ESPM 121Development and Classification of Soils3
ESPM C126/INTEGBI C144Animal Behavior4
ESPM/EPS C129Biometeorology3
ESPM 131Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry3
ESPM 134Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems3
ESPM C138/MCELLBI C114/PLANTBI C114Introduction to Comparative Virology4
ESPM 140General Entomology4
ESPM 144Insect Physiology3
ESPM 146LMedical and Veterinary Entomology Laboratory1
ESPM 147Field Entomology1
ESPM C148/NUSCTX C114Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology3
ESPM/INTEGBI C149Course Not Available
ESPM 152Global Change Biology3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology4
ESPM 158Biodiversity Conservation in Working Landscapes4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ESPM C170Carbon Cycle Dynamics3
ESPM 172Remote Sensing of the Environment3
ESPM 173Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis3
ESPM 174Design and Analysis of Ecological Research4
ESPM 181AFire Ecology3
ESPM 184Agroforestry Systems3
ESPM 185Applied Forest Ecology4
ESPM 186Management and Conservation of Rangeland Ecosystems4
ESPM 187Restoration Ecology4
ESPM 188Case Histories in Wildlife Management2
GEOG C146Communicating Ocean Science4
GEOG C148Biogeography4
GEOG/LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
GLOBAL 126Development and the Environment4
INTEGBI C100Communicating Ocean Science4
INTEGBI 102LFIntroduction to California Plant Life with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 103LFInvertebrate Zoology with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 104LFNatural History of the Vertebrates with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 106APhysical and Chemical Environment of the Ocean4
INTEGBI 117LFMedical Ethnobotany Laboratory2
INTEGBI C144Animal Behavior4
INTEGBI 146LFBehavioral Ecology with Laboratory5
INTEGBI C149Course Not Available4
Plant Physiological Ecology
and Plant Physiological Ecology Laboratory
INTEGBI 152Environmental Toxicology4
INTEGBI 153Ecology3
Plant Ecology
and Plant Ecology Laboratory
INTEGBI C156Principles of Conservation Biology4
INTEGBI 157LFEcosystems of California4
INTEGBI 158LFBiology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands13
INTEGBI 162Ecological Genetics4
INTEGBI 163Molecular and Genomic Evolution3
Course Not Available
and Plants: Diversity and Evolution
INTEGBI 173LFMammalogy with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 174LFOrnithology with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 175LFHerpetology with Laboratory4
LD ARCH 110Ecological Analysis3
LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
MCELLBI 102Survey of the Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology4
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
MCELLBI C114Introduction to Comparative Virology4
MCELLBI C116Microbial Diversity3
NUSCTX 110Toxicology4
PLANTBI C110LBiology of Fungi with Laboratory4
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
PLANTBI C114Introduction to Comparative Virology4
PLANTBI/MCELLBI C116Microbial Diversity3
Biology of Algae
and Laboratory for Biology of Algae
PLANTBI 122Bioenergy2
PLANTBI 180Environmental Plant Biology2
PB HLTH 150AIntroduction to Epidemiology and Human Disease4
PB HLTH 150BHuman Health and the Environment in a Changing World3
Public Health Microbiology
and Public Health Microbiology Laboratory

Physical Sciences Concentration Electives

ARCH 140Energy and Environment4
ARCH 149Special Topics in Energy and Environment1-4
CHM ENG 140Introduction to Chemical Process Analysis4
CHM ENG 141Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics4
CHM ENG 142Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Engineering4
CHM ENG 150ATransport Processes4
CHM ENG 150BTransport and Separation Processes4
CHM ENG 183Climate Solutions Technologies3
CHEM 103Inorganic Chemistry in Living Systems3
CHEM 104AAdvanced Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 104BAdvanced Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 105Instrumental Methods in Analytical Chemistry4
CHEM 120APhysical Chemistry3
CHEM 120BPhysical Chemistry3
CHEM 125Physical Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM C130/MCELLBI C100ABiophysical Chemistry: Physical Principles and the Molecules of Life4
CHEM 130BBiophysical Chemistry3
CHEM 135Chemical Biology3
CHEM/EPS C182Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Laboratory3
CIV ENG 100Elementary Fluid Mechanics4
CIV ENG 101Fluid Mechanics of Rivers, Streams, and Wetlands3
CIV ENG 103Introduction to Hydrology3
CIV ENG C106Air Pollution3
CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
CIV ENG 111Environmental Engineering3
CIV ENG 113Ecological Engineering for Water Quality Improvement3
CIV ENG 115Water Chemistry3
CIV ENG C116Chemistry of Soils3
CIV ENG 171Rock Mechanics3
CIV ENG 173Groundwater and Seepage3
ENGIN/IAS 157ACEngineering, The Environment, and Society4
EPS/INTEGBI C100/GEOG C146Communicating Ocean Science4
EPS 100AMinerals: Their Constitution and Origin4
EPS 100BGenesis and Interpretation of Rocks4
EPS 101Field Geology and Digital Mapping4
EPS 117Geomorphology4
EPS 119Geologic Field Studies2
EPS 131Geochemistry4
EPS C146/GEOG C145Geological Oceanography4
EPS C180Air Pollution3
EPS C181/GEOG C139Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics3
EPS C182Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Laboratory3
ENE,RES C100/PUB POL C184Energy and Society4
ENE,RES 102Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems4
Natural Resource Sampling
and Laboratory in Natural Resource Sampling
ESPM 120Science of Soils3
ESPM 121Development and Classification of Soils3
ESPM 122Field Study of Soil Development1
ESPM C128/CIV ENG C116Chemistry of Soils3
ESPM/EPS C129Biometeorology3
ESPM C130/GEOG C136Terrestrial Hydrology4
ESPM 131Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry3
ESPM C148/NUSCTX C114Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology4
ESPM 164GIS and Environmental Science3
ESPM C170Carbon Cycle Dynamics3
ESPM 172Remote Sensing of the Environment3
ESPM 173Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis3
ESPM 174Design and Analysis of Ecological Research4
ESPM/EPS C180/CIV ENG C106Air Pollution3
ESPM 181AFire Ecology3
GEOG C139Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics3
GEOG 140APhysical Landscapes: Process and Form4
GEOG 142Climate Dynamics4
GEOG 143Global Change Biogeochemistry3
GEOG 144Principles of Meteorology3
GEOG C145Geological Oceanography4
GEOG C146Communicating Ocean Science4
GEOG 180Field Methods for Physical Geography5
GEOG 183Cartographic Representation5
GEOG/LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
GLOBAL 126Development and the Environment4
INTEGBI 106APhysical and Chemical Environment of the Ocean4
LD ARCH 120Topographic Form and Design Technology3
LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
MATH 121AMathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences4
MATH 121BMathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences4
MEC ENG 106Fluid Mechanics3

Social Sciences Concentration Electives

CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
DEMOG/SOCIOL C126Sex, Death, and Data4
DEMOG/ECON C175Economic Demography4
ECON/ENVECON C102Natural Resource Economics4
ECON C125/ENVECON C101Environmental Economics4
ECON C171/ENVECON C151Development Economics4
ECON/DEMOG C175Economic Demography4
ENE,RES C100Energy and Society4
ENE,RES 101Ecology and Society3
ENE,RES 102Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems4
ENE,RES 175Water and Development4
ENE,RES 180Ecological Economics in Historical Context3
ENGIN 125Ethics, Engineering, and Society3
ENGIN 157ACEngineering, The Environment, and Society4
ENVECON 100Microeconomic Theory with Application to Natural Resources4
ENVECON C101/ECON C125Environmental Economics4
ENVECON/ECON C102Natural Resource Economics4
ENVECON C115/ESPM C104Modeling and Management of Biological Resources4
ENVECON 131Globalization and the Natural Environment3
ENVECON 147Regulation of Energy and the Environment4
ENVECON C151/ECON C171Development Economics4
ENVECON 153Population, Environment, and Development3
ENVECON 161Advanced Topics in Environmental and Resource Economics4
ENVECON 162Economics of Water Resources3
ESPM 102CResource Management4
ESPM 102DClimate and Energy Policy4
ESPM C104/ENVECON C115Modeling and Management of Biological Resources4
ESPM 117Urban Garden Ecosystems4
ESPM 151Society, Environment, and Culture4
ESPM 155ACSociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems formerly ESPM 1554
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology4
ESPM/NUSCTX C159Human Diet4
ESPM 160AC/HISTORY 120ACAmerican Environmental and Cultural History4
ESPM 161Environmental Philosophy and Ethics4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ESPM 163AC/SOCIOL 137ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
ESPM 165International Rural Development Policy4
ESPM C167/PB HLTH C160Environmental Health and Development4
ESPM 168Political Ecology4
ESPM 169International Environmental Politics4
ESPM 183Forest Ecosystem Management and Planning4
GEOG 130Food and the Environment4
GEOG/LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
Medical Ethnobotany
and Medical Ethnobotany Laboratory
GLOBAL 126Development and the Environment4
LD ARCH 110Ecological Analysis3
LD ARCH 130Sustainable Landscapes and Cities4
LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
SOCIOL C126Sex, Death, and Data4
SOCIOL 137ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4

College Requirements

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking all majors in the College require two semesters of lower division work in composition. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Foreign LanguageEEP Majors only

The Foreign Language requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. It may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Quantitative ReasoningEEP Majors only

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Undergraduate Breadth

Undergraduate breadth provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program and many students complete their breadth courses in their first two years. Breadth courses are built into the Rausser College major requirements and each major requires a different number of breath courses and categories. The EEP major is the only college major that requires the entire 7 course breadth. Refer to the major snapshots on each Rausser College major page for for additional information. 

High School Exam Credit

Rausser College students may apply high school exam credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exam) towards many College and Major Requirements. See AP Exam Equivalency Chart and Higher Level IB Exam Equivalency Chart in the Rausser College Student Handbook for more information.

Unit Requirements

Students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • At least 36 units must be upper division courses, including a minimum of 15 units of upper division courses in the Rausser College. 
  • A maximum of 16 units of Special Studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed towards the 120 units; a maximum of four is allowed in a given semester.
  • A maximum of 4 units of Physical Education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Students may receive unit credit for courses graded P (including P/NP units taken through EAP) up to a limit of one-third of the total units taken and passed on the Berkeley campus at the time of graduation.

Semester Unit Minimum

All Rausser College students must enroll in at least 12 units each fall and spring semester.

Semester Unit Maximum

To request permission to take more than 20.5 units in a semester, please see the major adviser.

Semester Limit

Students admitted as freshmen must graduate within 8 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students admitted as transfer students must graduate within 4 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students who go on EAP and UCDC can petition for additional semesters. Summer session, UC Extension and non-UC study abroad programs do not count towards this semester limit. Students approved for double majors or  simultaneous degrees in two colleges may be granted an additional semester. Rausser College does not limit the number of total units a student can accrue.

Senior Residence Requirement

Once you achieve and exceed 90 units (senior status), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence at the Rausser College of Natural Resources over at least 2 semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units taken while the student is a member of Rausser. At least one of the two terms must be a fall or spring semester. Senior residence terms do not need to be completed consecutively. All courses offered on campus for the fall, spring, and summer terms by Berkeley departments and programs and all Berkeley online ('W') courses count. Inter-campus Visitor, Education Abroad Program, UC Berkeley Washington Program, and UC Berkeley Extension units do not count toward this requirement.  Students may use Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence Requirement, provided that 6 units of coursework are completed.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in a fall, spring or summer UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program may meet a modified Senior Residence Requirement by completing 24 of their final 60 semester units in residence (excluding UCEAP). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after senior status is reached. International travel study programs sponsored by Summer Sessions and education abroad programs offered outside of the UC system do not qualify for modified senior residence.

Most students automatically satisfy the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless students go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through University Extension during their senior year. In these cases, students should make an appointment to see an adviser to determine how they can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Grade Requirements

  • A 2.0 UC GPA is required for graduation.
  • A 2.0 average in all upper division courses required of the major program is required for graduation.
  • A grade of at least C- is required in all courses for the major
Fall 2020 & Spring 2021  – Changes in Policies and Procedures

After much consultation across the colleges of UC Berkeley, and via our college Executive Committee, the following decisions have been made about the selection of the P/NP grade option (CPN) by undergraduate students during the Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 semesters for the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

  • College Course Requirements: Reading and Composition, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language requirements normally satisfied with letter grades may be met with a passed (P) grade during the Fall 2020 semester.  This does not include the system-wide Entry Level Writing requirement. College Writing R1A must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a C or better to fulfill the Entry Level Writing requirement.

  • Requirements to Graduate: No changes in policy.

    • Rausser College students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to declare a Rausser College major.

    • Non-Rausser College students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative UC GPA to change to or add a Rausser College major.

    • Students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to graduate, both overall and in the upper-division courses required for the major.

  • Academic Probation: The terms for Academic Probation (AP) have been modified.

    • Rausser CNR students currently in good standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.  

    • Students currently in good standing who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing letter grades for more than 50% of units will be placed on academic probation and will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for the subsequent semester.

    • Students on AP must take all coursework for letter grades.  Students on AP may be removed from probationary status with sufficient letter graded course work to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.0. 

    • Students on Academic Probation who do not attain sufficient letter-graded coursework to be removed from AP (ie. enough grade points to raise cumulative GPA above 2.0 cumulative GPA) will remain on AP for the subsequent semesterand must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor.

    • Students on Academic Probation who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing letter grades for more than 50% of units will be Subject to Dismissal and will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for the subsequent semester.

  • Term Probation: Students in this category are placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below 1.5 in any fall or spring semester ("Term"). To get back into good standing, you must earn a UC Berkeley term GPA of 2.0 the following regular semester (fall/spring) and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. If you fail to meet these conditions, you will be subject to dismissal from the University.  For Fall 2020 & Spring 2021, the terms for Term Probation have been modified.

    • Rausser CNR students currently in good standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing and will not be placed on Term Probation.

  • Transferring Credit: If you are taking coursework through another institution in Fall 2020 & Spring 2021, P grades earned will be accepted for all degree requirements.  Note: This does not include the systemwide Entry Level Writing requirement. College Writing R1A must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a C or better to fulfill the Entry Level Writing requirement.

For additional information, please see Changes to Policies and Procedures for Fall 2020 & Spring 2021.


Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Develop a broad, interdisciplinary framework for approaching complex, interconnected environmental problems facing our world at multiple scales.
  2. Develop strong analytic and quantitative skills needed to identify problems, develop a program to address the problem, execute a rigorous analysis of the issue, and reach independent conclusions.
  3. Develop a rigorous scientific base across multiple disciplines (social, biological, and physical sciences) but with a strong concentration in one area so as to develop depth of expertise in that field.
  4. Learn how to communicate findings effectively to the scientific community, government agencies, non-government environmental organizations, and the public.


  1. Recognition of and knowledge about environmental problems and areas of research.
  2. Comprehensive training in basic mathematics and the biological and physical sciences (calculus, biology, chemistry, and physics).
  3. Introduction to the social science concepts and methods (environmental economics, a course in human environment interactions).
  4. Training in sampling and experimental design, and quantitative methods of data analysis and interpretation (statistics, introduction to estimation and modeling techniques).
  5. Development of critical thinking and evaluation skills.
  6. Training in general research methods.
  7. Training in written communication, especially scientific writing.
  8. Training in oral and visual communication skills.
  9. Additional training in specialized research methods in the student’s area of concentration.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Environmental Sciences Major Map PDF.


At the Rausser College of Natural Resources, we provide holistic, individual advising services to prospective and current students who are pursuing major and minors in our college. We assist with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.

If you are looking to explore your options, or you are ready to declare a major or minor, contact the undergraduate advisor for your intended major. To schedule an appointment or get in touch, please follow the instructions on our website

Undergraduate Academic Advisor, Environmental Sciences
Jenny Miner
260 Mulford Hall

Career & Internship Information

Common Career Paths for Environmental Sciences Majors

Career Destinations Survey

Every year the Career Center surveys graduating seniors about their post-graduation plans to better understand the career outcomes of our alumni including: career fields, job titles, specific employers, entry-level salaries, and graduate/professional school destinations.  The data profiles by major provide an impressive overview of the diverse interests and achievements of recent graduates from UC Berkeley, including specific data for the Environmental Sciences major within the College of Natural Resources.  Each annual data set includes the August, December, and May graduating cohorts for that survey year. This data is designed to provide students, alumni, and employers with critical information about where Cal students go after graduation.  As expected, college major does not restrict the employment or graduate school options that Cal students pursue.  With careful planning, you can develop career-related skills and experiences that can prepare you for almost any job or graduate school field.

Sample Career Pathways

Environmental Sciences majors go on to pursue a wide variety of career options including, but not limited to:

  • Federal Government Agencies (e.g. Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Agriculture)/environmental remediation & compliance: soil, water, air & sediments
  • Nonprofit Organizations (Environment & Sustainability focused): Administration, management, public relations, fundraising/development, program coordination, grant writing, volunteer management
  • Business: Sales (e.g. solar), regulatory/compliance; corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental consulting
  • Waste Management: Risk assessment, quality control, logistics, planning, recycling, transportation, public health
  • Air & Water Quality Management: Testing/analysis, watershed management, stream restoration, sustainable infrastructure, risk assessment, compliance/permitting
  • Soil Science: Waste disposal, environmental compliance, landfill operation and monitoring, fertilizer technology, agricultural production, research, organic farming
  • Planning and Conservation: Natural resource management, sustainability programs, water resources, transportation and aviation planning, building/zoning, land use/acquisition, recreation and parks management, mining
  • Education/Environmental Education: Teaching (elementary, secondary, post-secondary, research); public/community education, public health, outdoor education
  • Communications: Technical writing, editing, illustrating, photography, public relations
  • Health/Medical: Physician, allied health professions, nutrition, alternative medicine
  • Environmental Law: Political action/lobbying, regulatory affairs, science policy, patent law, public interest, environmental law, mediation

Visit our Connecting Majors to Careers resource to explore additional career paths most commonly associated with over 80 majors, including Environmental Sciences.

Career Services Overview

The UC Berkeley Career Center prepares undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni to make informed decisions about their futures by providing comprehensive resources, programs, and counseling on career development, internships, employment, and graduate school.  Whether it be through a resume critique, an alumni networking event, or an interviewing skills workshop, the Career Center is committed to helping all students achieve:

  • Career Clarity: providing students the opportunity to identify their career direction;

  • Career Competitiveness: providing students the opportunity to enhance their marketability via real-world experiences;

  • Career Connections: providing students opportunities to engage with alumni and employers.

Career and Internship Resources

The UC Berkeley Career Center offers a wide variety of programs and resources to support students of all majors and class levels.

  • Job Search Tools: Resume and cover letter writing, job search strategies, networking tools, interviewing skills, and more.
  • Career Counseling: A wide variety of scheduled and drop-in appointment options based on major and topic.
  • Internships: Internship listings, search strategies, FAQs, and more.
  • Career Exploration: Resources to explore career options, identify career goals, and develop effective career plans.
  • Events and Workshops: Over 70 events each semester including workshops, alumni networking events, career panels, conferences, and on-campus Career Chats.
  • Career Fairs and Employer Information Sessions: We offer 14 career fairs each year across a variety of career fields and partner with numerous employers for on-campus information sessions.
  • Graduate and Professional School: Counseling and resources to help students research and apply for graduate and professional school including medical school and law school.

Faculty and Instructors

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


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.
Research Profile

John J. Battles, Professor. Forest Ecology and Ecosystem Dynamics.
Research Profile

Steven R. Beissinger, Professor. Conservation, behavioral and population ecology.
Research Profile

Gregory Biging, Professor. Forest Biometrics and Remote Sensing.
Research Profile

Benjamin Blonder, Assistant Professor. Ecology, global change, plant ecophysiology, community ecology, biogeography, biodiversity, useful plants, machine learning, eco-informatics, mathematical modeling, remote sensing.
Research Profile

Carl Boettiger, Assistant Professor. Theoretical ecology, ecoinformatics, modeling, data science, resilience, early warning signals, decision theory.
Research Profile

Timothy Bowles, Assistant Professor. Agroecology, Sustainable Agriculture.
Research Profile

Justin S. Brashares, Associate Professor. Wildlife, biodiversity, ecology, conservation, human livelihoods.
Research Profile

Eoin Brodie, Assistant Adjunct Professor.
Research Profile

Thomas D. Bruns, Professor. Microbial biology, plant biology, fungi, nucleic acid sequences, basidomycetes, ectomycorrhizal fungi communities.
Research Profile

Stephanie M. Carlson, Associate Professor. Fish ecology, freshwater ecology, evolutionary ecology.
Research Profile

Claudia J. Carr, Associate Professor. International and rural resource development.
Research Profile

Ignacio Chapela, Associate Professor. Agriculture, biotechnology, environmental science, microbial biology, policy and management.
Research Profile

Paolo D'Odorico, Professor. Ecohydrology, surface hydrology, ecosystem ecology, Aeolian processes, desertfication, stohastic, nonlinear environmental dynamics, water and food security.
Research Profile

Todd Dawson, Professor. Physiological plant ecology, evolutionary plant ecology, ecosystem processes, adaptations of plants, carbon, water, nitrogen.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Perry De Valpine, Associate Professor. Population ecology, mathematical modeling and statistics.
Research Profile

Richard S. Dodd, Professor. Tree genetics and systematics.
Research Profile

Damian O. Elias, Assistant Professor. Neuroethology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary biology of arthropods.
Research Profile

Mary K. Firestone, Professor. Soils, environmental policy, environmental science, policy and management, wildlife, miicrobial biology.
Research Profile

Brian L. Fisher, Associate Adjunct Professor. Entomology, Ants.
Research Profile

Gordon Frankie, Professor. Urban entomology, policy, environmental policy, environmental science, pest management, management.
Research Profile

Inez Fung, Professor. Global change, environmental policy, ecosystem scienes.
Research Profile

Matteo Garbelotto, Adjunct Professor. Forest pathology, forest mycology, forest and tree management.
Research Profile

Wayne Marcus Getz, Professor. Africa, disease ecology, wildlife conservation, resource management.
Research Profile

Rosemary Gillespie, Professor. Evolutionary ecology, systematics, spider biology, conservation.
Research Profile

+ J. Gilless, Professor. Environmental policy, resource economics, forestry, forest economics, wildland fire.
Research Profile

Manuela Girotto, Assistant Professor. Hydrologic response and interaction between natural and human driven processes, land surface remote sensing and multi-sensor, -spectrum, -resolution data assimilation; hydrology contribution to sea level change, snow hydrology.
Research Profile

Manuela Girotto, Assistant Professor. Hydrologic response, natural and human driven processes, remote sensing, sea level change, snow hydrology.
Research Profile

Allen Goldstein, Professor. Global change, air pollution, environmental science, biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Alastair Iles, Associate Professor. Science, technology and environment, green chemistry, sustainability learning, environmental policy.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Carolyn Merchant, Professor. Environmental history, philosophy and ethics.
Research Profile

Adina M. Merenlender, Adjunct Professor. Conservation biology.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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 .
Research Profile

Patrick M. O'Grady, Assistant Professor. Population genetics and phylogenetics of Drosophila, adaptive radiation, biogeography.
Research Profile

Kevin O'Hara, Professor. Stand dynamics silviculture forest management.
Research Profile

Kate O'Neill, Associate Professor. International environmental politics/ global political economy.
Research Profile

Dara O'Rourke, Associate Professor. Environmental justice, globalization, industrial ecology, labor.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

George Roderick, Professor. Invasion biology, Biodiversity science, Sustainability and global change, Insects.
Research Profile

Erica B. Rosenblum, Assistant Professor. Evolutionary ecology, speciation and extinction, ecological genomics, herpetology, global change biology.
Research Profile

Albert Ruhi, Assistant Professor. Freshwater ecology, biodiversity conservation, community ecology, global change.
Research Profile

Whendee SIlver, Professor. Ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry.
Research Profile

Scott L. Stephens, Professor. Wildland fire science, fire ecology, forest ecology, forest policy, forest management.
Research Profile

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


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.


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.

+ 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.
Research Profile

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: 510-643-7430

Fax: 510-643-5438

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Paolo D'Odorico

130 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-7430


Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Jenny Miner

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-4249


Undergraduate Student Advising

Rausser College Office of Instruction & Student Affairs

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-0542


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