Molecular Environmental Biology

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Molecular Environmental Biology (MEB) major is designed to expose students to the organization and function of biological organisms. Molecular approaches are expected to play an increasing role in environmental problem-solving in the near future, and their success will depend upon a sound understanding of biological principles from molecular through ecological levels. The program trains students in the organization and function of biological organisms and their integration into the environment.

Declaring the Major

Advice on admission for freshmen and transfer students can be found on the Rausser College Admissions Guide page or the Rausser College Prospective Student website. Freshman students may apply directly to the major, or they may select the Rausser College of Natural Resource's undeclared option and declare the major by the end of their fourth semester. Transfer students 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 change of major or change of college, please see chapter 6 of the Rausseer College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Student Handbook. Students can meet with peer advisors or academic advisors for full guidance. 

  • There is a 3.0 GPA requirement to transfer into the Rausser College of Natural Resources from other colleges on campus.
  • Required pre-requisite courses to declare the Molecular Environmental Biology are: Chemistry 1A/L and 3A/L, one semester of Biology (1A/L or 1B), R1A and R1B, Math 1A or 16A or 10A, and a second quantitative course in either Math (1B, 16B, 10B) or Statistics (STAT 2, C8, 20, 25, 131A, PB HLTH 141, 142A).
    • It is recommended that students complete the ESPM lower-division core courses prior to declaring.
  • Undeclared students must declare a major by the end of their fourth semester. Failure to declare a major by junior standing will result in a registration block, and you will not be able to enroll in any courses until you are declared. 
  • Current UC Berkeley students who entered as freshmen are expected to be able to graduate in a total of 8 semesters (summers excluded). Exceptions are rarely granted. Students should be progressing in major requirements each semester.
  • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade (including breadth).
  • Both halves of the Reading and Composition requirement must be completed by the end of the fourth semester. 

Honors Program

Students with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 or higher may enroll in the Rausser College of Natural Resources Honors Program (H196) 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. For further information on registering for the Honors Symposium and on Honors requirements, please see the Rausser College of Natural Resources website.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in Molecular Environmental Biology.

Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

Conservation and Resource Studies (Major and Minor)
Environmental Sciences (Major only)
Food Systems (Minor only)
Ecosystem Management and Forestry (Major and Minor)
Geospatial​ Information Science and Technology (Minor only)
Society and Environment (Major only)

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

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.

Structure of the MEB Major

The lower division coursework provides a strong foundation in biological principles, and the upper division areas introduce students to the organization and function of biological organisms at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and ecological levels. The major also offers specialization through six Areas of Concentration: (1) animal health and behavior, (2) biodiversity, (3) ecology, (4) environmental and human health, (5) global change biology, and (6) insect biology.

**The curriculum has been revised effective Fall 2016.  Students admitted prior to Fall 16 and following the previous curriculum should refer to the 15-16 Guide.

Lower Division Requirements

Breadth Requirement 

Select courses from L&S “7 Breadth” Categories

□ One course (3-4 units) in Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or Philosophy & Values

□ One course (3-4 units) in Social & Behavioral Sciences or International Studies

Reading & Composition Requirement

Students must complete Reading & Composition by the end of sophomore year.

Core Requirement

ESPM Environmental Science Core
Select one of the following:
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 of the following:
FROM FARM TO TABLE: FOOD SYSTEMS IN A CHANGING WORLD [4]
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]
Science Core
Complete all of the following:
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology Lecture and Laboratory [4]
Introductory Physics [4] 2
Quantitative Core (2 courses)
Select one of the following:
Calculus [4]
Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics [4]
Analytic Geometry and Calculus [3] 1
Select one of the following:
Calculus [4]
Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics [4]
Analytic Geometry and Calculus [3]
Introduction to Statistics [4]
Foundations of Data Science [4]
Introduction to Probability and Statistics [4]
Statistical Methods for Data Science [4]
Introduction to Biostatistics [5]
Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health [4]
Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health [4]

Upper division Requirements

Select two courses from Area A and two courses from Area B.  Also complete 12 units in Area of Concentration and two lab courses.

Area A: Genetics, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

CHEM 135Chemical Biology3
ESPM 108BEnvironmental Change Genetics (lab included)3
INTEGBI 141Human Genetics3
INTEGBI 161Population and Evolutionary Genetics4
INTEGBI 162Ecological Genetics4
INTEGBI 164Human Genetics and Genomics (lab included)4
MCELLBI C100A/CHEM C130Biophysical Chemistry: Physical Principles and the Molecules of Life4
MCELLBI 102Survey of the Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology4
MCELLBI 104Genetics, Genomics, and Cell Biology4
MCELLBI 110Molecular Biology: Macromolecular Synthesis and Cellular Function4
MCELLBI 130Cell and Systems Biology4
MCELLBI 133LPhysiology and Cell Biology Laboratory (lab included)4
MCELLBI 137LPhysical Biology of the Cell (lab included)4
MCELLBI 140General Genetics4
MCELLBI 141Developmental Biology4
PLANTBI C109Evolution and Ecology of Development3
PLANTBI C112
C112L
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory (lab course optional)
4, 2
PLANTBI 135Physiology and Biochemistry of Plants3
PLANTBI 150Plant Cell Biology3
PLANTBI 160Plant Molecular Genetics3
PB HLTH 162A
PB HLTH 162L
Public Health Microbiology
and Public Health Microbiology Laboratory (lab course optional)
3, 2

Area B: Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

ESPM C105Natural History Museums and Biodiversity Science (lab included)3
ESPM 106American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century3
ESPM 108ATrees: Taxonomy, Growth, and Structures (lab included)3
ESPM 111Ecosystem Ecology4
ESPM 112
112L
Microbial Ecology
and Microbial Metagenomic Data Analysis Lab (lab course optional)
3, 1
ESPM 113Insect Ecology3
ESPM 114Wildlife Ecology3
ESPM C115CFish Ecology (lab included)3
ESPM 116BGrassland and Woodland Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM C125Biogeography4
ESPM 131Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry3
ESPM 132Spider Biology (lab included)4
ESPM 137Landscape Ecology (Lab included)3
ESPM C138/PLANTBI C114Introduction to Comparative Virology4
ESPM 140General Entomology (lab included)4
ESPM 142Insect Behavior3
ESPM 144Insect Physiology3
INTEGBI 102LFIntroduction to California Plant Life with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 103LFInvertebrate Zoology with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 104LFNatural History of the Vertebrates with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 132
132L
Survey of Human Physiology
and Mammalian Physiology Laboratory (lab course optional)
4, 2
INTEGBI 140Biology of Human Reproduction4
INTEGBI 148Comparative Animal Physiology3
INTEGBI 150Evolutionary Environmental Physiology3
INTEGBI 151
151L
Plant Physiological Ecology
and Plant Physiological Ecology Laboratory (lab course optional)
4, 2
INTEGBI 153Ecology3
INTEGBI 154
154L
Plant Ecology
and Plant Ecology Laboratory (lab course optional)
5
INTEGBI 157LFEcosystems of California (lab included)4
INTEGBI 167Evolution and Earth History: From Genes to Fossils4
INTEGBI 168LSystematics of Vascular Plants with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 181LPaleobotany - The 500-Million Year History of a Greening Planet (lab included)4
INTEGBI 184LMorphology of the Vertebrate Skeleton with Laboratory4
INTEGBI C185L/ANTHRO C100Human Paleontology (lab included)5
MCELLBI 136Physiology4
NUSCTX 103Nutrient Function and Metabolism3
PLANTBI C110LBiology of Fungi with Laboratory (lab included)4
PLANTBI 113California Mushrooms (lab included)3
PLANTBI C116Microbial Diversity3
PLANTBI 120
120L
Biology of Algae
and Laboratory for Biology of Algae (lab course optional)
2, 2

Lab Requirement

Select two upper division courses which include a lab, as part of the Areas A or B or Area of Concentration requirements. Additionally, this requirement may be fulfilled by: (1) One 3-4 unit independent study lab (research units numbered 192C, H196, or 199); Summer Forestry Field Camp; or the Moorea Field Study course.

Area of Concentration Requirement

Select 12 units from one concentration below. Up to four independent study units (research units numbered 192C, H196, or 199) may be applied to the concentration.

Animal Health & Behavior

ESPM C103Principles of Conservation Biology4
ESPM 106American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century3
ESPM 114Wildlife Ecology3
ESPM C126Animal Behavior4
ESPM 142Insect Behavior3
ESPM C156Animal Communication3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM 158Biodiversity Conservation in Working Landscapes (lab included)4
ESPM 186Management and Conservation of Rangeland Ecosystems4
ESPM C192Molecular Approaches to Environmental Problem Solving2
INTEGBI 104LFNatural History of the Vertebrates with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 135The Mechanics of Organisms4
INTEGBI C135L/BIO ENG C136L/EL ENG C145OLaboratory in the Mechanics of Organisms3
INTEGBI C143A/PSYCH C113Biological Clocks: Physiology and Behavior3
INTEGBI C143B/PSYCH C116Hormones and Behavior3
INTEGBI 146LFBehavioral Ecology with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 148Comparative Animal Physiology3
INTEGBI 173LFMammalogy with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 174LFOrnithology with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 175LFHerpetology with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 184LMorphology of the Vertebrate Skeleton with Laboratory4
PSYCH 121Animal Cognition3

Biodiversity

ESPM C103Principles of Conservation Biology4
ESPM C105Natural History Museums and Biodiversity Science (lab included)3
ESPM 106American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century3
ESPM 108ATrees: Taxonomy, Growth, and Structures (lab included)3
ESPM C125Biogeography4
ESPM C126Animal Behavior4
ESPM 132Spider Biology (lab included)4
ESPM 140General Entomology (lab included)4
ESPM 142Insect Behavior3
ESPM 147Field Entomology (“Ants,” “Beetles,” and “Spiders” (1 unit each) SP. All three courses must be completed to equal one “lab course”)1
ESPM C156Animal Communication3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM C192Molecular Approaches to Environmental Problem Solving2
INTEGBI 102LFIntroduction to California Plant Life with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 103LFInvertebrate Zoology with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 104LFNatural History of the Vertebrates with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 160Evolution4
INTEGBI 168LSystematics of Vascular Plants with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 173LFMammalogy with Laboratory5
INTEGBI 174LFOrnithology with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 175LFHerpetology with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 183LEvolution of the Vertebrates with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 184LMorphology of the Vertebrate Skeleton with Laboratory4
PLANTBI C110LBiology of Fungi with Laboratory4
PLANTBI 113California Mushrooms (lab included)3
PLANTBI C116Microbial Diversity3
PLANTBI 120Biology of Algae2
PLANTBI 120LLaboratory for Biology of Algae2

 Ecology

ESPM C103Principles of Conservation Biology4
ESPM C104/ENVECON C115Modeling and Management of Biological Resources4
ESPM 105ASierra Nevada Ecology (Summer Forestry Camp)4
ESPM 111Ecosystem Ecology4
ESPM 112Microbial Ecology3
ESPM 112LMicrobial Metagenomic Data Analysis Lab1
ESPM 113Insect Ecology3
ESPM 114Wildlife Ecology3
ESPM C115AFreshwater Ecology3
ESPM C115CFish Ecology (lab included)3
ESPM 116BGrassland and Woodland Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM 117Urban Garden Ecosystems (lab included)4
ESPM 118Agricultural Ecology4
ESPM C130Terrestrial Hydrology4
ESPM 131Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry3
ESPM 134Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems3
ESPM 137Landscape Ecology (lab included)3
ESPM 147Field Entomology (“Ants,” “Beetles,” and “Spiders” (1 unit each) SP. All three courses must be completed to equal one “lab course”)1
ESPM 152Global Change Biology3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM 158Biodiversity Conservation in Working Landscapes (lab included)4
ESPM 173Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis (lab included)3
ESPM 174Design and Analysis of Ecological Research (lab included)4
ESPM 181AFire Ecology (lab included)3
ESPM C192Molecular Approaches to Environmental Problem Solving2
INTEGBI 102LFIntroduction to California Plant Life with Laboratory4
INTEGBI 120Introduction to Quantitative Methods In Biology4
INTEGBI 151Plant Physiological Ecology4
INTEGBI 151LPlant Physiological Ecology Laboratory2
INTEGBI 153Ecology3
INTEGBI 154Plant Ecology3
INTEGBI 154LPlant Ecology Laboratory2
INTEGBI 160Evolution4
PLANTBI 180Environmental Plant Biology2

 Environment & Human Health

ANTHRO 135Paleoethnobotany: Archaeological Methods and Laboratory Techniques (lab included)4
ESPM C126/INTEGBI C144Animal Behavior4
ESPM C138/PLANTBI C114Introduction to Comparative Virology4
ESPM C148/NUSCTX C114Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology3
ESPM 152Global Change Biology3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM 158Biodiversity Conservation in Working Landscapes (lab included)4
ESPM/NUSCTX C159Human Diet4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ESPM 162AHealth, Medicine, Society and Environment4
ESPM C167Environmental Health and Development4
ESPM C192Molecular Approaches to Environmental Problem Solving2
INTEGBI 116LMedical Parasitology (lab included)4
INTEGBI 117Medical Ethnobotany2
INTEGBI 117LFMedical Ethnobotany Laboratory2
INTEGBI 120Introduction to Quantitative Methods In Biology4
INTEGBI 131General Human Anatomy3
INTEGBI 131LGeneral Human Anatomy Laboratory2
INTEGBI 137Human Endocrinology4
INTEGBI 140Biology of Human Reproduction4
INTEGBI C143A/PSYCH C113Biological Clocks: Physiology and Behavior3
INTEGBI C143B/PSYCH C116Hormones and Behavior3
MCELLBI 135ATopics in Cell and Developmental Biology: Molecular Endocrinology3
MCELLBI 150Molecular Immunology4
MCELLBI 160Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology4
MCELLBI 165Neurobiology of Disease3
NUSCTX 103Nutrient Function and Metabolism3
NUSCTX 108AIntroduction and Application of Food Science3
NUSCTX 110Toxicology4
NUSCTX 160Metabolic Bases of Human Health and Diseases4
NUSCTX 166Nutrition in the Community3
PLANTBI C103Bacterial Pathogenesis3
PB HLTH 101A Sustainable World: Challenges and Opportunities3
PB HLTH 116Seminar on Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine (P/NP okay for major)3
PB HLTH 150BHuman Health and the Environment in a Changing World3
PB HLTH 196Special Topics in Public Health ("Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Health Policy")3
PSYCH 110Introduction to Biological Psychology3

Global Change Biology

CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
ENE,RES 101Ecology and Society3
ENE,RES 102Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems4
ENVECON C102Natural Resource Economics4
ENVECON C175The Economics of Climate Change4
EPS 102History and Evolution of Planet Earth4
EPS 115Stratigraphy and Earth History4
EPS C181/GEOG C139Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics3
ESPM 108BEnvironmental Change Genetics (lab included)3
ESPM 137Landscape Ecology (lab included)3
ESPM 152Global Change Biology3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM C167Environmental Health and Development4
ESPM C170Carbon Cycle Dynamics3
ESPM C192Molecular Approaches to Environmental Problem Solving2
GEOG 140APhysical Landscapes: Process and Form4
GEOG 142Climate Dynamics4
GEOG 143Global Change Biogeochemistry3
GEOG 149BClimate Impacts and Risk Analysis3
GEOG/LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
INTEGBI 154Plant Ecology3
INTEGBI 154LPlant Ecology Laboratory2
INTEGBI 159The Living Planet: Impact of the Biosphere on the Earth System3
LD ARCH 110Ecological Analysis3
LD ARCH 110LEcological Analysis Laboratory2
PLANTBI 122Bioenergy2
PLANTBI 180Environmental Plant Biology2

Insect Biology/Arthropod Science

ESPM 140General Entomology (ESPM 140 required for Insect Biology concentration. Lab included.)4
ESPM C105Natural History Museums and Biodiversity Science (lab included)3
ESPM 113Insect Ecology3
ESPM 132Spider Biology (lab included)4
ESPM 134Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems3
ESPM 142Insect Behavior3
ESPM 144Insect Physiology3
ESPM 147Field Entomology (“Ants,” “Beetles,” and “Spiders” (1 unit each) SP. All three courses must be completed to equal one “lab course”)1
ESPM C148/NUSCTX C114Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology3
ESPM 157Data Science in Global Change Ecology (lab included)4
ESPM 172Remote Sensing of the Environment (lab included)3
ESPM C192Molecular Approaches to Environmental Problem Solving2

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

Student Learning Goals

Mission

Molecular Environmental Biology (MEB) focuses on biological organisms and the hierarchy of life, from molecules and genes through cells, organisms, communities and ecosystems. The breadth of this biological science program provides an important perspective for students who have a passion for biology and are interested in the application of biological principles to understand how organisms function in their environment. Also a pre-medical or pre-health science major, the discipline offers an array of six areas of concentration within biology: animal health and behavior, biodiversity, ecology, environmental and human health, insect biology, and global change biology.

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Holistic multidisciplinary thinking - understanding the “big picture"

    1. Interdisciplinarity & Crossdisciplinarity: The ability to understand and work across different disciplines (crossdisciplinarity) and to integrate the knowledge and methods from them (interdisciplinarity)

    2. Multiple processes: Recognition that biology and the environment involve multiple processes, as do solutions to modern problems

    3. Interconnectedness: Understanding that biology and the environment are interconnected at many spatial, temporal, and hierarchical levels

    4. Global and international approaches: Appreciating that the environment is necessarily global in nature and solutions to problems require international approaches

  2. Training in the hierarchy of biology

    1. Fundamentals of Science: Training in the cores areas of physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics

    2. Quantitative skills: Necessary tools for addressing biological problems

    3. Biochemistry: An understanding of the fundamentals of biological chemistry, including the properties of intermediary metabolites, the structure and function of biological macromolecules, and the logical basis of genetics and gene expression

    4. Molecular biology/Genetics: The molecular biology of bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic cells and their viruses, mechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, translation, nuclear and organellar genome structure and function, regulation of gene expression, heritability, measures of selection, etc.

    5. Cell and developmental biology: Cell structure and function, cellular metabolic processes, embryonic and post-embryonic development and growth

    6. Organismal physiology: Understanding of physiological function, whether microbial, animal or plant, or comparison between different systems

    7. Organismal diversity: Emphasis on the nature of diversity whether plant, animal, fungus, protist, bacteria, or virus, the history of the lineages and life itself, global threats, how diversity is distributed, and the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate and maintain diversity.

    8. Ecology: The nature of interactions, biotic or abiotic, that dictate organismal distributions in space and time, energy flows, or population dynamics

    9. Laboratory experiences: Laboratory experiences allow students to gain hands-on experience in scientific approaches and methods

  3. Analysis and application for students who choose the Animal Health & Behavior area of concentration

    1. Interaction of health and environment: Understanding how the environment, whether internal or external, affects organism health and behavior

    2. Expertise in health: Examination of the health of organisms from either physiological or environmental perspectives

    3. Epizootics: An appreciation of the potential for diseases in animal populations to spill over into humans as is the case in avian influenza or even the origins of HIV

  4. Analysis and application for students who choose the Biodiversity area of concentration

    1. Biodiversity science: Detailed understanding of morphological and ecological diversity of a given organismic lineage

    2. Origins and evolution of life: Basic understanding of systematics and phylogenetics

    3. Quantifying biology: Knowledge of various sampling and species identification techniques to collect data

    4. Informatics:  Proficiency in database development and management

  5. Analysis and application for students who choose the Ecology area of concentration

    1. Principles of Ecology: Detailed understanding of ecological principles including energy flow, hydrologic, and mineral cycles, factors limiting species distribution and population size, and characteristics of species, populations, and communities

    2. Ecological interactions: Interactions relevant to different organismic groups.

    3. Biodiversity: Understanding of the biology of species, communities, and ecosystems.

  6. Analysis and application for students who choose the Environment & Human Health area of concentration.

    1. Interaction of health and environment: Understanding of how the environment affects human health and well-being.

    2. Disease: Environmental epidemiology and the impacts of disease.

    3. Diet: Effects of nutrition and diet on human health.

  7. Analysis and application for students who choose the Global Change Biology area of concentration.

    1. Global change biology expertise: How changes to the global environment impact organisms and ecosystems, including impacts to spatial and temporal distributions of organisms, ecological processes, and ecosystem functions.

    2. Global change and the environment: Global change biology in environmental science, including effects of human activities and impacts on human health and well-being.

    3. Environmental problem solving: Conservation and mitigation strategies, ecological analysis, and natural resource economics

  8. Analysis and application for students who choose the Insect Biology area of concentration.

    1. Insects and biodiversity science: Understanding of major insects groups, relationships, and diversity.

    2. Insects and environmental science: Knowledge of the impacts of insects (positive and negative) in the environment.

    3. Quantifying insects and biology: Skills in collecting and identifying insects

  9. Basic skills in research, analysis, communication.

    1. Reading carefully: Ability to read for detail and comprehension.

    2. Writing accurately: Ability to write succinctly, clearly, and coherently.

    3. Thinking critically: Critical thinking through the synthesis of biological knowledge from courses and lab work.

    4. Using theoretical and empirical knowledge: Ability to synthesize and apply information obtained through theory and observations.

    5. Quantitative skills: Obtaining the quantitative skills necessary for the subdisciplines.

    6. Analysis: Ability to perceive, tackle, and solve problems in environmental science.

    7. Research experience: Research experience to practice scientific approaches and methods. Work with a faculty mentor while participating in an undergraduate research program or designing an individual research project. Share research results or work in progress in the form of a paper, report, research poster, or public presentation.

    8. Communication: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, to prepare for independent research work or team projects.

  10. Lifetime skills.

    1. Continuing appreciation for biological systems: To develop a passion for biology and its interconnections with the environment.

    2. Representing science: To become an advocate for the training and knowledge of science, particularly the biological disciplines.

    3. Problem solving: To develop and practice scientific thinking and problem-solving skills, through data analysis, hypothesis testing, and critical reasoning, that translate to future careers inside and outside of biology.

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 Molecular Environmental Biology Major Map PDF.

Advising

In 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 topics 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, double major, or minor, contact the undergraduate advisor for your intended major. Visit our website to explore all of our advising services.

Undergraduate Advisors, Molecular Environmental Biology

Leleña Avila (Last names A-R)
meb.ugrad@berkeley.edu
260 Mulford Hall
510-642-6730

Patricia Helyer (Last names S-Z)
meb.ugrad@berkeley.edu
260 Mulford Hall
510-642-1986

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

paolododo@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Advising

Office of Instruction and Student Affairs, CNR

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-0542

askcnr@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Staff Advisor (A-R)

Leleña Avila

260 Mulford Hall

meb.ugrad@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Staff Advisor (S-Z)

Patricia Helyer

260 Mulford Hall

meb.ugrad@berkeley.edu

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