Jul 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Systems, Energy Systems Engineering Concentration, M.S.

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Program Description

Contact: Martha Conklin, mconklin@ucmerced.edu, Environmental Systems Graduate Group Chair
Will Lee Ladouceur, wcll@ucmerced.edu, Graduate Group Coordinator

The Environmental System (ES) degree program explicitly addresses the interdisciplinary environmental challenges associated with changing climate and resource sustainability in the 21st century.  Solutions to these complex problems require integrated research between science and engineering, and implementation using related research in management, economics, and policy.  The ES program is intended to circumvent barriers created by traditional academic departments and to foster innovative, transdisciplinary research in environmental and sustainable systems.  ES faculty, staff and students are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service, and strive to develop an atmosphere of transparency, equality, diversity, inclusiveness, rigor, integrity, and environmental awareness.

Environmental Systems faculty members are affiliated with the schools of Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. A diverse group, our faculty members, graduate students and research scholars share interests in trans-disciplinary research of natural and human-impacted environmental systems involving:

  • Water Resources and Climate
  • Environmental and Ecological Engineering
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity
  • Conservation and Resource Management

ES recruits student with interests in these areas.  ES admits students directly into Faculty research groups.  ES students can take advantage of a wide diversity of support mechanisms for research opportunities and professional development, including Professional Development Fellowships (which include conference travel awards) and Summer Research Fellowships.


ES offers Concentrations in specific fields of environmental systems. Students enrolling in a concentration will take courses aimed towards specialized skill development, and the student’s transcripts will include the concentration. Current concentrations offered are:

  • Biogeosciences
  • Ecology and Ecosystem Science
  • Energy Systems Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering

Master’s Program Learning Outcomes

The overarching goal of the Environmental Systems M.S. 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:

  • Core Knowledge - Graduates will be knowledgeable, skillful and self-directed in the observation and analysis of environments systems in terms of their capacity to design experiments with appropriate controls and conduct original research, with an appropriate level of supervision, in the context of a project or thesis
  • Communication Skills - Graduates will be conversant in at least one area of environmental systems, and be adept at oral, written and visual communication of research results or technical information to peers and non-technical decision makers
  • Ethics, Community, and Life-long Learning - Graduates will understand the importance of research and professional ethics, engagement in the needs of their community, and life-long learning 
  • Career Placement and Advancement - Graduates will find suitable career placement and achieve advancement in government agencies, non-government organizations, private industry, and/or teaching and research institutions

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