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Important Information Regarding COVID-19

In light of the University’s newly released policy regarding COVID-19 -- recommending the community minimize social contact -- we encourage students to utilize virtual options when seeking support or information from the Earth Systems Program. Please contact staff via email or phone and we will be happy to assist! Latest information about the University's response to COVID-19 can be found here:


Learning Objectives:

1. Articulate the interplay of ecology, evolution, and biogeochemistry and understand their connections to the functioning of ecosystems on multiple spatial and temporal scales.

2. Recognize how human activity alters ecological processes, and how ecological changes can interact with human societies at multiple scales.

3.Apply knowledge of natural sciences and human-mediated environmental change to conservation challenges, while considering implications for environmental justice.  

Foundation & Breadth

  • BIO 81 OR BIOHOPK 81 , and BIO 82; OR BIOHOPK 175H
  • CHEM 31A & 31B or 31M, and CHEM 33
  • ECON 1
  • MATH 19, 20, 21
  • MATH 51 or CME 100
  • PHYSICS 41 or PHYSICS 45 or GEOPHYS 110
  • STATS: BIO 174H or ECON 102A or STATS 101 or STATS 110 or 116 or 141 or CME 106
  • EARTHSYS 111
  • EARTHSYS 112
  • EARTHSYS 210 A or B(Senior Capstone & Reflection)
  • EARTHSYS 210P (Capstone Project) or Honors Thesis
  • EARTHSYS 260 (Internship)
  • WIM: EARTHSYS 191, EARTHSYS 177C, EARTHSYS 149, BIOHOPK 47, BIOHOPK 175H, or another designated WIM course in a related department- must be approved by an advisor. Your WIM course may not also count towards your track or electives, if counted as a WIM.

(These courses must be taken for a letter grade: EARTHSYS 10, 111, 112, 210 A/B, WIM)                            


Choose at least two courses from Ecology and Conservation Biology, and at least one course from each of the remaining sub-categories below, total six required. In addition, two electives are required for this track. All track courses and electives must be taken for a letter grade (8 courses total). Check Explore Courses for availability and updates.


Ecology and Conservation Biology

  • BIO 115                               The Hidden Kingdom- Evolution, Ecology & Diversity of Fungi
  • BIO 130                               Ecosystems of California
  • BIO 144/HUMBIO 112          Conservation Biology: A Latin American Perspective
  • BIOHOPK 172H                    Marine Ecology
  • BIOHOPK 173H                    Marine Conservation Biology
  • BIOHOPK 177H                    Dynamics and Management of Marine Populations
  • BIOHOPK 185H                    Ecology & Conservation of Kelp Forest Communities (summer)
  • EARTHSYS 105 A+B             Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve
  • EARTHSYS 116                    Ecology of the Hawaiian Islands
  • EARTHSYS 123A                  Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions
  • EARTHSYS 128                    Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • EARTHSYS 147                    Ecosystems Ecology and Biogeochemistry
  • ESS 223                               Ecophysiology and Land Surface Processes
  • OSPAUSTL 10                       Coral Reef Ecosystems
  • OSPAUSTL 30                       Coastal Forest Ecosystems
  • OSPAUSTL 28                       Terrestrial Ecology and Conservation
  • OSPSANTG 58                      Living Chile: A Land of Extremes
  • OSPSANTG 85                      Marine Ecology of Chile and the South Pacific


  • CEE 177                               Aquatic Chemistry and Biology (advanced)
  • CEE 274A                             Environmental Microbiology I
  • EARTHSYS 132                     Evolution of Earth Systems
  • EARTHSYS 143                     Molecular Geomicrobiology Laboratory
  • EARTHSYS 151                     Biological Oceanography
  • EARTHSYS 152                     Marine Chemistry
  • EARTHSYS 155                     Science of Soils
  • EARTHSYS 158                     Geomicrobiology (advanced, offered alternate years)
  • ESS 256                               Soil and Water Chemistry

Ecosystems and Society

  • ANTHRO 118                         Heritage, Environment, and Sovereignty in Hawaii
  • ANTHRO 166                         Political Ecology of Tropical Land Use
  • EARTHSYS 114                      Global Change and Emerging Infectious Disease
  • EARTHSYS 139                      Ecosystem Services: Frontiers in the Science of Valuing Nature
  • EARTHSYS 159                      Economic, Legal, and Political Analysis of Climate-Change Policy 
  • CEE 175A                              California Coast: Science, Policy, and Law
  • EARTHSYS 107                      Control of Nature
  • EARTHSYS 185                      Feeding Nine Billion
  • ENVRES 250                          Environmental Governance
  • HUMBIO 118                         Theory of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology
  • LAW 2515                             Environmental Justice
  • SIW 144                                Energy, Environment, Climate & Conservation Policy: A Washington, D.C. Perspective



  • EARTHSYS 144                      Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS)


  • EARTHSYS 124                      Measurements in Earth Systems
  • EARTHSYS 142                      Remote Sensing of Land
  • ESS 124                                Remote Sensing of Hydrology
  • ESS 165                                Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • ESS 220                                Physical Hydrogeology
  • GEOLSCI 240                        Data Science for Geoscience



TWO additional courses at the 100-level or above are required. Electives allow students to personalize their Earth Systems curriculum by pursuing higher-level courses offered in their focus area, or by incorporating new academic perspectives. Each must be a minimum of 3 units.

Track Updated  10/2019