Sep 25, 2021  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science and Sustainability Minor

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that focuses on application of concepts and methods from the physical, chemical, biological, and social sciences to the study of the natural environment, and seeks solutions to environmental problems. Sustainability science aims to improve the quality of human life within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems. The Environmental Science and Sustainability minor at UC Merced allows students from diverse backgrounds to pursue interests in Earth and environmental sciences in some depth without requiring the breadth of course work and extensive laboratory and field time required for the Earth System Science major.

To receive a minor in Environmental Science and Sustainability, a student must complete the following requirements. All of these courses must be taken for a letter grade. At least four of these courses must be unique to the Environmental Science and Sustainability minor, i.e. they may not be also used to satisfy a major requirement. If more than one of the required courses for the Environmental Science and Sustainability minor is also needed to satisfy a major requirement, one or more additional upper division or graduate ESS, ES, ENVE course (worth at least 3 units) must be completed.

Upper Division Core Course [4 units]

 Complete one of the following courses:

Additional Upper Division Courses [9-12 Units]

Complete at least three courses, one course from at least three of the four areas listed below.

As new courses become available they will be added as options to the upper division electives. Students may be able to satisfy the requirements for the minor (a) using additional courses that are not listed or (b) by exchanging upper division core and area courses. Students must receive approval for the conditions listed above (a and b) before completion of their course work.

Environmental Science and Sustainability Minor Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a minor in Environmental Science and Sustainability will be able to:

  • Use knowledge and techniques from three to four areas of Environmental Science and Sustainability (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Environmental Biology; Society and Environment; and Research, Communication, and Design Skills) to gather and report environmental data using appropriate measurement tools.
  • Analyze information on environmental quality and recommend appropriate technical, political, or economic solutions to environmental problems.
  • Communicate to diverse stakeholders the major concepts and principles of Environmental Science and Sustainability, such as how elements of the Earth system are interconnected, the carrying capacity of natural systems, and how governmental policy and economics can both perpetuate and solve environmental problems.

Guidelines Applying to all Natural Sciences Minors

To declare a minor, students must have an overall grade-point average of 2.0 (C) or better. Students should consult an advisor in the School of Natural Sciences to officially declare the minor and plan their courses. The following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • At least five courses, four of which must be upper division, must be taken for a letter grade.
  • At least three of the required courses must be taken at UC Merced.
  • Only one course may be used to satisfy two minor programs’ requirements.
  • Only one course may be used to satisfy both a minor and a major requirement.
  • Work for the minor must be completed within the 150 unit maximum limit for graduation. If the student’s major and minor are in different schools, the higher unit maximum will apply.
  • Students must consult the course descriptions for prerequisites to required courses.
  • The minor will appear on the student’s transcript.