Sep 26, 2023  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Systems, M.S.

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Program Description
Contact: Professor Stephen Hart, Chair of the Environmental Systems
Graduate Program,

The Environmental Systems graduate group engages in individualized, research-based courses of study leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. This program strives to equip students with the knowledge and skills to improve the scientific understanding of Earth as an integrated system of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. Courses are designed to provide the scientific principles underlying the function and sustainability of natural and engineered ecosystems, and the policies affecting them. Participating faculty are affiliated with the Schools of Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

UC Merced’s unique geographical location, its relationship with neighboring institutions and its seamless integration of science and engineering render the ES program distinct from similar programs in California and elsewhere. In particular, a substantial part of UC Merced’s initial development as a research institution has been the structuring of meaningful relationships with the National Park Service and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, with a particular emphasis on joining scientific inquiry with engineering analysis.

The ES faculty research strengths include Earth systems science, ecology and evolutionary biology, spatial analysis, environmental engineering, air quality, geochemistry, solar energy, climatology, hydrology, policy and economics.

Program Learning Outcomes

The overarching goal of the ES program is that its graduates be knowledgeable and professionally competent in one or more areas of environmental systems. The following program learning outcomes are being used to attain this goal:

  1. Core Knowledge - Graduates will be knowledgeable, skillful, and self-directed in the observation and analysis of environments systems in terms of their capacity to:
    1. (M.S. graduates) Design experiments with appropriate controls and conduct original research, with an appropriate level of supervision, in the context of an M.S. project or thesis
    2. (Ph.D. graduates) Independently identify important research questions, formulate experimental plans, data analysis, and formulation of conclusions in the context of a doctoral dissertation
  2. Communication Skills - Graduates will be conversant in at least two area(s) of environmental systems, and be adept at oral, written, and visual communication of research results to peers and nontechnical decision makers
  3. Ethics, Community, and Lifelong Learning - Graduates will understand the importance of research and professional ethics, engagement in the needs of their community, and life long learning
  4. Career Placement and Advancement - Graduates will find suitable career placement and achieve advancement in government agencies, non-government organizations, private industry, and/or academic teaching and research institutions

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