Sep 26, 2023  
2014-2015 Catalog 
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Systems, Ph.D.

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Program Description
Contact: Peggy O’Day, Environmental Systems Graduate Group Chair,
Tomiko Hale, Graduate Group Coordinator,

The Environmental Systems graduate program trains students to tackle the most challenging problems facing our planet – water, soil, climate, energy and resources. Through understanding the Earth as an integrated system of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere that intersects human society, ES students are uniquely poised to address critical research needs of the environment and its sustainability. Graduates are prepared for careers in academia, research, government and industry that integrate expertise from across engineering, natural sciences and social sciences. 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.
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, soil, air and climate science and engineering
  • ecology, ecosystems and biodiversity
  • sustainable energy and resource economics
  • natural resource science, policy and management

Degree programs integrate scientific principles underlying the function and sustainability of natural and engineered environmental systems, as well as the policies affecting them.

Program Learning Outcomes

The overarching goal of the Environmental Systems 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 independently identify important research questions, formulate experimental plans, data analysis and formulation of conclusions in the context of a doctoral dissertation
  • Communication Skills - Graduates will be conversant in at least two areas of environmental systems, and be adept at oral, written and visual communication of research results 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 academic teaching and research institutions

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