Environment and sustainability issues now touch numerous aspects of our lives and extend to all parts of the globe. Focus on these issues sharpens as human activities cause the world to undergo real time changes—changes that increasingly affect the daily lives of billions. Sustainability jobs are on the rise as businesses “go green.” Countries are committing to take action to protect the vitality of our planet and all who live here.
The world’s environmental problems are complicated, but a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from UCLA IoES prepares students to meet them head-on. Here’s how.
A multifaceted education
Our classroom experience lays a strong foundation of physical and life sciences, but it doesn’t stop there. Environmental issues are also human issues, so all of our students take multiple classes in social sciences and humanities—learning subjects such as public policy, politics, journalism and justice. IoES partners with schools across our world-class university to make this happen.
Extensive real-world experience
In addition to numerous student-led environmental groups and Student Action Research teams, we offer an experience like no other—the senior practicum. This program pairs small groups of students with nonprofit organizations, businesses and public agencies for a full academic year. Each team is presented with a real problems that an organization needs to solve. They devise a plan of research and put it into action, reporting on their findings and outcomes at the end of the year.
The perfect setting
When school is in session, UCLA effectively becomes a city of 80,000 people, nested in one of the world’s most diverse megacities. And yet there is a wealth of nature all around. From the Santa Monica Mountains to the beaches of Malibu, Los Angeles is a case study in how an urban humanity interacts with nature. Water, food supply, energy, pollution and environmental justice are all part of the picture.
We understand that teaching tomorrow’s environmental leaders means empowering them. Many students take the initiative by engaging in student-led efforts such as the university farmers market, Earth Day activities and “Ecochella”—an environmentally-friendly twist on the massive Indio music festival. All students direct their own education by selecting one of the following minors/concentrations, which are indicated on their diplomas: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Conservation Biology, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Health, Environmental Systems and Society, and Geography/Environmental Studies.
Our students and faculty form tight bonds around common causes during their time at IoES. They have fun with environmental projects on campus, unite for the junior retreat, and learn to work effectively in teams during the senior practicum. These relationships often last well beyond graduation and into their professional lives.
Telling the story
Understanding how to communicate with the public and critical decision-makers is an essential part of environmental work, and we offer many opportunities to do so. We engage students by teaching them skills such as environmental journalism. We amplify their work by featuring it on our website, on social media and in pitches to external news outlets. And we produce feature events that engage broad, public audiences in Los Angeles and beyond.
After they graduate, 80 percent of our students go on to work in environmental professions, while others use what they’ve learned to pursue careers in social science, business, the arts and more.
For more about the exciting happenings at IoES, contact the IoES Student Affairs Officer.