Undergraduate Research

Classroom learning is only part of a great education!  The other half is undergraduate research in labs, libraries, studios, and in the field — hands-on experiences that will give you an extra edge when you apply for graduate school or a great job after graduation. When you participate in undergraduate research, you engage in learning experiences beyond the classroom and gain new perspectives and insights while helping to create new knowledge. You’ll learn how to work on a team in a close-knit interdisciplinary community, improve your oral and written communication skills and have a chance to discover what really interests you. 

Environmental Studies offers several opportunities to its majors to conduct independent research or work as a research assistant for a faculty member. Students can receive academic credit in both capacities. Both options are variable unit courses and credit awarded may be applied to the elective section of the Environmental Studies (B.A. or B.S.) or the Hydrological Sciences majors. For more information or if you have questions, please e-mail advising@es.ucsb.edu or visit the Environmental Studies Academic Coordinator (Bren 4312B) or Academic Advisor (Bren 4313).

Research Opportunities in Environmental Studies

Introduction to Research (ENV S 99) 

Introduction to Research (ENVS 99) is a lower-division course available to lower and upper-division students who wish to conduct entry level directed study under the guidance of an environmental studies faculty member. Course offers motivated students an opportunity to undertake independent or collaborative research for faculty-directed research projects. Topic and scope varies, to be specified by student and supervisory faculty member prior to registration.

ENV S 99 Application - (PDF)

Independent Studies (ENV S 199) 

The Independent Studies course (ENV S 199) is available every quarter. This variable unit upper-division course is available to you if you have a specific topic of interest you would like to research in-depth under the supervision of an Environmental Studies faculty member. The intent of this course is to allow you to investigate a topic covered in a recently completed course in which you would like to learn more about. Environmental Studies will try to accommodate your Independent Studies proposals as long as they are supported by a faculty member and the research to be conducted is environmental (see the official course description for restrictions). To officially pursue199 credit, take a rough proposal to an appropriate Environmental Studies faculty member and discuss the possibility of you obtaining credit for your proposed research project. If you both agree on the project, then pick up an official ENV S 199 proposal contract, have it signed by your faculty advisor, and return it to the Environmental Studies Academic Coordinator before the end of the 3rd week of the quarter.

ENV S 199 Application - (PDF)

Research Assistant (ENV S 199RA) 

The Research Assistant course (ENV S 199RA) is designed just like the 199 course. The difference is that the main focus of this course is to allow a student to obtain academic credit while assisting an Environmental Studies faculty member in conducting university research. This is a great way for a undergraduate to pick up research experience and learn more about a given environmental field. Keep your eyes open for advertised 199RA opportunities or approach any Environmental Studies faculty you might be interested in working with and inquire as to any research opportunities. The enrollment procedure is the same as for the 199 course.

ENV S 199RA Application - (PDF)