Environmental Studies integrates knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to analyze the complex interactions between humans and the environment, with the aim of providing students with the scholarly background and practical skills needed to address pressing environmental challenges.
Students have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of environmental issues, including air/water pollution, animal rights, climate change, coastal processes, ecosystem restoration, endangered species, environmental ethics, environmental film and literature, environmental justice, environmental law, policy and politics, groundwater management, marine and terrestrial food systems, renewable energy, toxicology, forest management, traditional environmental knowledge, waste management, and urban and regional planning, just to name a few. However, students are also challenged to acquire in-depth expertise in specific topics of their choosing. Finally, students acquire hands-on skills through courses in critical thinking, environmental careers, environmental impact analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), leadership, public speaking, professional writing, and research methods.
Throughout their training, students interact with the core faculty in Environmental Studies, faculty from the diversity of environmentally-related departments and disciplines throughout UC Santa Barbara, as well as practicing environmental professionals from the local community.