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Earth Science: Environmental Science

Environmental Science

We are a dynamic community committed to exploring the intricate relationships within and between the environment, all life, and society.

Welcome to the Environmental Science Department! Our mission is clear: to equip individuals with the knowledge and tools to address global challenges, champion sustainability, and advocate for justice. Here, we recognize the inseparable connection between environmental justice and racial/social equity. Students engage deeply with these issues. Our instructors cultivate the systems thinking that is crucial for confronting climate change, resource scarcity, and systemic inequalities -- both here in the Monterey Bay area and globally. Our department works to foster cultural relevance and responsibility while advocating for justice, while we connect with local environmental employers and groups. Environmental Science opens doors to diverse careers and pathways for change, as well as transfer paths to UC and CSU. Join us to help shape a just and sustainable future, and find your own spark for change.

What is Environmental Science?

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field that examines the role of humans on the Earth and provides students with an understanding of the application of biological, chemical, and physical sciences to environmental systems. Environmental Science also examines how human behavior and institutions affect the global environment. Topics typically include population biology, ecosystems, biodiversity, biochemistry, the chemistry of air and water pollution as well as geological processes, hazards, energy, and natural resources. Students gain knowledge of fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physical sciences, and interdisciplinary natural sciences that inform society about the environment in which we live.

What do environmental scientists do?

Environmental scientists typically use their knowledge and skills to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with government and industry to reduce waste and improve conditions. Other career possibilities are academia, environmental law, environmental consulting, and resource management.

Degrees, certificates, transfer

Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology and Earth Sciences are offered as majors at UC and CSU. See the department chair or a counselor for more specific information. The Associate in Science degrees we offer prepare students for transfer to a 4-year university or technical program for further study to prepare for a wide variety of careers.

  • Environmental Science A.S.-T degree is designed to prepare students for a seamless transfer into the CSU system to complete a baccalaureate degree in Environmental Science or a similar major.

  • Sustainability and Environmental Studies A.S. degree empowers students to be active change-makers to address the challenges of a changing climate, social injustice, and weakened habitats, which are all related.

  • The Sustainability Certificate of Achievement offers an opportunity for students who seek to be change agents as well as those who simply wish to find relevant meaning while fulfilling their general education requirements toward their chosen career and academic pathway.