Our Mission

Our Planet

Environmental Studies explores the interactions of humans with their natural environment.  Today's environmental problems have evolved into highly complex and interdisciplinary issues involving political, economic, social, as well as physical and biological aspects.  Society needs educated citizens who can address current and future environmental problems with an understanding of the linkages between systems and we believe that this approach will not only protect and sustain the human enterprise and the planet's natural systems, but will allow both to thrive. 




Our Future

Responsible stewardship of our environment will require leaders that understand and respect human values and goals, and the relationship between natural and human communities.  We believe that managing natural resources in responsible ways will sustain both resources and the human enterprise.

Today's critical issues like climate change, energy, water quality, ecosystem management and conservation, and human and environmental health are opportunities for the next generation of leaders to devise and implement solutions of global impact and enduring harmony.

Our Future Environmental Leaders

Tomorrow's leaders must possess the scholarly background and intellectual skills necessary to understand complex environmental problems and formulate decisions that environmentally sound.  Our educational process is highly interdisciplinary, drawing upon the diversity of environmentally related departments and disciplines throughout UC Santa Barbara.  The new environmental leaders will be strong scholars with practical problem-solving skills, using both traditional governmental tools and those of commerce.  They will think critically across disciplines and forge innovative partnerships.

Students majoring in environmental studies will explore a wide variety of environmental issues that bridge human and natural systems, including:

The Social Environment

    Ethical and values systems
    Environmental law and policy
    Indigenous and religious beliefs
    History and impact of past decisions
    Environmental impact analysis


The Natural Environment

    Climate system
    Coastal processes
    Energy technologies
    Air/water pollution
    Ecosystem function

Integrative Environment

    Urban and regional planning
    Food systems
    Waste management
    Freshwater management