Environmental Systems

[ major tracks | courses | faculty ]

368 Galbraith Hall, Revelle College

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

There can be little doubt that in the twenty-first century the global human community is facing a substantial growth in the environmental consequences in providing food, energy, materials, and basic services to a population of almost 6.5 billion inhabitants. The Environmental Systems Program (ESYS) recognizes the growing demand for environmental specialists and is designed to prepare undergraduates to enter a broad spectrum of environmental careers and graduate programs in, for example, the natural sciences, the social sciences, public policy, law, and business.

This interdisciplinary program recognizes that local, national, regional, international, and global environmental problems do not fit neatly into traditional academic departments. A measurable part of society’s inability to effectively manage complex environmental problems stems from the lack of specialists who can apply analytical tools that cross disciplinary boundaries. Many environmental specialists possess little training in the natural sciences including both the fundamental ideas and methodologies of the earth and environmental sciences. The environmental systems major was created to address both of these shortcomings.

To encourage and foster an interdisciplinary focus in the major, the Environmental Systems Program is supported by a wide range of UC San Diego faculty representing the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, engineering, and medicine. The program includes a required lower-division core, an upper-division “integrating course sequence,” two other upper-division courses and statistics, an advanced track, and a senior integrative project and seminar. There is a strong emphasis on a rigorous natural science foundation as well as an introduction to the policy sciences for all students enrolled in the major. The Environmental Systems Program places a significant value on interdisciplinary problem solving and all majors are expected to complete an integrative Senior Project in their final year. The Senior Project is designed by the student to focus on an interdisciplinary environmental problem or research topic. Appropriate topics for the Senior Project could conceivably include biodiversity conservation, coastal zone management, environmental health, climate change, environmental justice, and/or urban air quality. An important component of the Senior Project is an off-campus or laboratory internship where students might work on, for example, the development of a comprehensive management plan for a threatened ecosystem. The Senior Seminar provides a venue for the presentation and group evaluation of the ESYS Senior Projects.

The Environmental Systems Major

The requirements for completion of the environmental systems major include a lower-division core, two upper-division courses, a three course upper-division integrating sequence (ESYS 101, ESYS 102, ESYS 103), an upper-division statistics course, advanced courses in one of four tracks, and the Senior Project (ESYS 190A) and Senior Seminar (ESYS 190B). It is suggested that the integrating sequence ESYS 101, 102, and 103 should be completed by sophomore year, if possible. Any questions concerning the requirements should be directed to the associate director or the program adviser. Students completing the advanced tracks in Earth Sciences, Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, and Environmental Chemistry will be awarded a BS in environmental systems. The BA in environmental systems will be granted to students completing the Environmental Policy track within the major.

A grade point average of 2.0 or higher in the upper-division major program is required for graduation. Students must receive a grade of C– or better in any course to be counted toward fulfillment of the major requirements. In exceptional cases, students with a grade point average in the major of 2.5 or greater may petition to have one grade of D accepted.

All courses (lower and upper division) required for the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Lower-Division Core Requirements

(Should be completed early in student’s degree program.)

Biology 3—BILD 3

Chemistry 6A-B-C, 7L

Physics 1A, 1AL, 1B, 1BL, 1C, 1CL (Physics 2A-B-C recommended for Earth Sciences track.)

Mathematics 10A-B-C—for Environmental Policy and Ecology, Behavior and Evolution tracks only

Math 20A-B-C (and 20D recommended)—for Environmental Chemistry and Earth Sciences tracks only

Economics 1

SIO 50—for Earth Sciences track only

Upper-Division Core Requirements

Economics 131. Economics of the Environment

Political Science 160AA. Introduction to Policy Analysis

Integrating Course Sequence

It is suggested that the Integrating Course Sequence of ESYS 101, 102, and 103 be completed by the sophomore year, if possible.

Environmental Systems 101. Environmental Biology

Environmental Systems 102. The Solid and Fluid Earth

Environmental Systems 103. Environmental Challenges: Science and Solutions

Environmental Systems 190A. Senior Project (two quarters)

Environmental Systems 190B. Senior Seminar

Environmental Systems Major Tracks

There are four advanced tracks in which students must complete a minimum of seven upper-division courses. Students will select courses following the requirements below in consultation with a faculty adviser.

Earth Sciences

Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution

Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Policy

It is possible to complete the requirements for any of the environmental systems tracks with five upper-division electives and a specialization that consists of two additional upper-division electives from any other track. For example, a student interested in the policy and scientific dimensions of habitat conservation planning for endangered species might plan a course of study to include five advanced courses from the Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution track and two advanced courses from the Environmental Policy track.

Earth Sciences Track

Required lower-division course:

SIO 50. Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences

Required upper-division courses:

SIO 102. Introduction to Geochemistry

Mathematics 183. Statistical Methods

Upper-division Earth Sciences restricted electives: Students must complete a minimum of four courses selected from the following list:

SIO 100. Introduction to Field Methods

SIO 103. Introduction to Geophysics

SIO 104/255. Paleobiology and History of Life

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 106. Introduction to Hydrogeology

SIO 110. Introduction to GIS and GPS for Scientists

SIO 120. Introduction to Mineralogy

SIO 135. Satellite and Remote Sensing

SIO 144/252A. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry

SIO 150. Whole Earth Geochemistry

SIO 152. Petrology and Petrography

SIO 160. Introduction to Tectonics

SIO 162. Structural Geology

SIO 199. Independent Study

ESYS 199. Independent Study

Upper-division electives: Students must complete a minimum of three courses selected from the following list:

Students may use any additional course(s) from the Earth Science restricted electives list (above) as an upper-division elective.

SIO 101. California Coastal Oceanography

SIO 111. Introduction to Ocean Waves

SIO 115. Ice and the Climate System

SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming

SIO 119. Physics and Chemistry of the Ocean

SIO 138. Coral Reef Environments

SIO 141/Chemistry 174. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

SIO 143. Ocean Acidification

SIO 170. Introduction to Volcanology

SIO 172. Physics of the Atmosphere

SIO 180. Communicating Science to Informal Audiences

SIO 182. Environmental and Exploration Geophysics

ESYS 120. Science and Environmental Writing

Chemistry 171. Environmental Chemistry

Chemistry 173. Atmospheric Chemistry

Other courses may be substituted by petition.

Curriculum Guide Planning

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A or Math 10A

Math 20B or Math 10B

Math 20C or Math 10C

SIO 50

BILD 3

Chem 6BL

Sophomore

Phys 2A or 1A, 1AL

Phys 2B or 1B, 1BL

Phys 2C or 1C, 1CL

Poli Sci 160AA/USP 101

Econ  1

ESYS 103/MAE 124

ESYS 101

ESYS 102

Econ 131

Junior

UD elective

SIO 102

UD elective

Math 183

UD elective

UD elective

Senior

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190B

UD ESYS elective

UD ESYS elective

UD ESYS elective

Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution Track

Required upper-division courses

BICD 100. Genetics

BIEB 100. Biometry (satisfies upper-division statistics requirement)

Upper-division electives (a total of seven courses required, one of which must be a lab course, selected from the courses below)

BIBC 100. Structural Biochemistry

BIBC 102. Metabolic Biochemistry

BIBC 103. Biochemical Techniques

BIBC 120. Nutrition

BICD 110. Cell Biology

BICD 120. Fundamental of Plant Biology

BICD 130. Embryos, Genes, and Development

BICD 134. Human Reproduction and Development

BIEB 102. Introductory Ecology—Organisms and Habitats

BIEB 121. Ecology Laboratory

BIEB 126. Plant Ecology

BIEB 131. Marine Invertebrate Ecology Lab

BIEB 140. Biodiversity

BIEB 144. Quantitative Ecology

BIEB 150. Evolution

BIEB 156. Population Genetics

BIEB 164. Behavioral Ecology

BIEB 165. Behavioral Ecology Laboratory

BIEB 166. Animal Communication

BIEB 167. Animal Communication Lab

BIEB 176/ANBI 132. Conservation and the Human Predicament

BIMM 100. Molecular Biology

BIMM 110. Molecular Basis of Disease

BIMM 114. Virology

BIMM 120. Bacteriology

BIMM 121. Laboratory in Microbiology

BIMM 124. Medical Microbiology

BIPN 100. Mammalian Physiology I

BIPN 102. Mammalian Physiology II

BIPN 105. Animal Physiology Lab (6)

BIPN 106. Comparative Physiology (4)

SIO 101. California Coastal Oceanography

SIO 126. Marine Microbiology

SIO 126L. Marine Microbiology Laboratory

SIO 127. Marine Molecular Ecology

SIO 128. Microbial Life in Extreme Environments

SIO 132. Introduction to Marine Biology

SIO 133. Marine Mammal Biology

SIO 134. Introduction to Biological Oceanography

SIO 138. Coral Reef Environments

SIO 143. Ocean Acidification

SIO 147. Introduction to Phylogenetics (lab course)

SIO 180. Communicating Science to Informal Audiences

SIO 181. Marine Biochemistry

SIO 183. Phycology: Marine Plant Biology (lab course)

SIO 184. Marine Invertebrates (lab course)

SIO 189. Pollution, Environment, and Health

ESYS 120. Science and Environmental Writing

ESYS 199. Independent Study

Other courses may be substituted by petition.

Curriculum Guide Planning

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 10A

Chem 6BL

Math 10C

 

Math 10B

BILD 3

Sophomore

Phys 1A, 1AL

Phys 1B, 1BL

Phys 1C, 1CL

Econ  1

UD elective

Econ 131

Poli Sci 160AA/USP 101

BIEB 100 (statistics)

BICD 100

 

 

ESYS 103/MAE 124

Junior

ESYS 101

ESYS 102

 

UD elective
UD lab

UD elective

UD elective

Senior

ESYS  190A

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190B

UD elective

UD elective

 

Environmental Chemistry Track

Students must complete two of the following courses:

Chemistry 171. Environmental Chemistry I

Chemistry 172. Environmental Chemistry II

Chemistry 173/273. Atmospheric Chemistry

SIO 141/Chem 174. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

Students must complete

Mathematics 183. Statistical Methods OR

Mathematics 186. Probability Statistics for Bioinformatics

Chemistry 100A. Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

Chemistry 140A. Organic Chemistry I

Chemistry 140B. Organic Chemistry II

One upper-division lab from either

Chemistry 100B. Instrumental Analysis Laboratory

Chemistry 143A. Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Two upper-division restricted electives from

Chemistry 125. Bioinorganic Chemistry

Chemistry 126. Physical Chemistry or Chem 133 (Note: Chem 126 and Chem 133 both require Physics 2D and Mathematics 20D as prerequisites.)

Chemistry 127. Physical Chemistry or Chem 131, Chem 132

Chemistry 140C. Organic Chemistry III

ESYS 199. Independent Study

Other courses may be substituted by petition.

Curriculum Guide Planning

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6BL

Math 10A

Math 10B

Math 10C

Bild 3

 

Chem 6C

Sophomore

Phys 1A, 1AL

Phys 1B, BL

Phys 1C, CL

Econ 1

Chem 140A

Chem 140B

Chem 100A

Math 183 or Math 186

Econ 131

Junior

*Chem 149A

*Chem 149B

*Chem 173

ESYS 101

Chem 100B or Chem 143A

 

Poli Sci 160AA/USP 101

ESYS 102

ESYS 103/MAE 124

Senior

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190B

UD elective

UD elective

*SIO 141/Chem 174

*Choose 2 out of 4

Environmental Policy Track

Required Upper-Division Course

One upper-division statistics course—Math 183, Statistical Methods or Economics 120A, Econometrics

Upper-Division Electives

Students complete a minimum of seven courses selected from the following:

Economics 116. Economic Development

Economics 125. Economics of Population Growth

Economics 130. Public Policy

Economics 132. Energy Economics

Environmental Systems 120. Science and Environmental Writing

Environmental Systems 150. Environmental Perils

Environmental Systems 199. Independent Study

Political Science 102L. The Politics of Regulation

Political Science 125. The Politics of Conservation in Developing Countries

Political Science 125A. Communities and the Environment

Political Science 150A. Politics of Immigration

Political Science 160AB. Introduction to Policy Analysis

*IR-GN 457/257. Cost Benefit Analyses

*IR-GN 459/259. Conflict Resolution of Environmental Issues

*IR-GN 487/289. Applied Environmental Issues

*IR-GN 488/206. Corporate Strategy and the Environment

*IR-GN 490/290. Special Topics in Pacific International Affairs (petition only)

*IR-GN 453/253. Sustainable Development

*IR-GN 458/258. International Environmental Policy

HISC 105. History of Environmentalism

HIUS 154. Western Environmental History

ANBI 132. Conservation and the Human Predicament

Com/Cul 148. Communication and the Environment

Environmental Studies 102. Selected Topics in Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies 110. Environmental Law

Environmental Studies 130. Environmental Issues

Philosophy 148. Philosophy and the Environment

Philosophy 164. Technology and Human Values

SIO 110. Introduction to GIS and GPS for Scientists

SIO 112. Urban Landscapes

USP 124. Land Use Planning

USP 144. Environmental and Preventive Health Issues

USP 170. Sustainability Planning

USP 171. Sustainable Development

Other courses may be substituted by petition.

*These graduate courses are offered through the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. Enrollment in these courses requires the permission of the instructor.

Curriculum Guide Planning

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 10A

Math 10B

Math 10C

 

Bild 3

Chem 6BL

Sophomore

Phys 1A, 1AL

Phys 1B, 1BL

Phys 1C, 1CL

Econ  1

Math 183 or Econ 120A

Econ 131

ESYS 101

ESYS 102

ESYS 103/MAE 124

Junior

Poli Sci 160AA/USP 101

UD elective

 

UD elective

UD elective

UD elective

Senior

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190A

ESYS 190B

UD elective

UD elective

UD elective

   

UD elective

Environmental Systems Minor

A minor in environmental systems will expose students to the interdisciplinary approach necessary to address environmental problems. The program places a strong emphasis on a rigorous natural science foundation. Thus, most of the courses related to the minor have significant prerequisites; students planning an environmental systems minor should check catalog course description carefully.

The minor consists of twenty-eight units, at least twenty of which must be upper division. Any upper-division course used to satisfy major requirements may not be applied toward a minor. Up to two courses for the minor may be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis, (upper or lower division). Students must earn at least a letter grade of C– in the remaining five or more courses used for the minor. Students considering the environmental systems minor are strongly advised to meet with the associate director or the program adviser.

The minor is structured as followed:

Lower-Division Courses

Any two of the following lower-division courses, if they are not lower-division requirements for the student’s major, may be applied to satisfy eight of the total units necessary for the minor:

Biology 3

Mathematics 10A-B-C

Chemistry 6A-B, 7L-C

Physics 1A-AL, 1B-BL, 1C-CL

Economics 1

Scripps Undergraduate Education (SIO): any lower-division course

Environmental Systems 10

Environmental Studies 30

Required Core Courses

Environmental Systems 101, offered every fall quarter

Environmental Systems 102, offered every winter quarter

Environmental Systems 103, offered every spring quarter

Note: ESYS 102 and ESYS 103 all have significant prerequisites; students planning an environmental systems minor should check course descriptions and prerequisites carefully.

Upper-Division Electives

At least two additional upper-division courses from the advanced tracks in the environmental systems major. The lists of upper-division electives are reviewed and updated each quarter. They are available in the Environmental Systems Office and on the program website (http://esys.ucsd.edu). Students are advised to consult with the Environmental Systems Program advisers or associate director.

Special Studies Courses

Special Studies in the environmental systems is offered as ESYS 199. This course is subject to consent of the instructor and approval by the Department of Environmental Systems faculty adviser. This course is open to students who have accrued at least ninety quarter-units and have a GPA of least 3.0. No more than two quarters of environmental systems special studies may be counted toward the environmental systems major.

Study abroad through the Education Abroad Program or Opportunities Abroad Program can enhance a student’s major, particularly as an opportunity for diverse field experiences. However, careful planning is important to meet all major requirements. Please contact the Environmental Systems Office as early as possible if you are planning to study abroad.