D. Env in Environmental Science and Engineering

Internship and Dissertation

After completing all coursework and successfully passing the written and oral qualifying exams upon completion of year two, students advance to doctoral candidacy and embark on their doctoral internship and dissertation.

In year three, students begin internships at businesses, regulatory agencies, private consulting firms, environmental groups, non-profit organizations, government and non-government organizations. The internship provides practical experience in environmental analysis and management, as well as the opportunity to conduct dissertation research under the supervision of a UCLA doctoral committee.

Successful completion of the dissertation and internship results in the award of the Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering (D.Env.).


Recent Host Institutions for ESE Interns

Student Name Host Institution
Alvarado, Erica Tetra Tech
Bear, Todd Ecokai Environmental Incorporated
Pankratz, Shannon U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles
Pham, Tuyet-Le South Coast Air Quality Management District
Sias, Glenn Southern California Edison
Taylor, Jennifer Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority
Toumari, Arman Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board

ESE Dissertation

An Environmental Science and Engineering dissertation must be scholarly and original work applied towards solving a significant environmental problem. As with Problems Courses, dissertations typically address policy as well as technical dimensions of a particular problem. The dissertation is usually completed in 18-36 months.

Recent Dissertations

  • Setal Prabhu. 2017.
    “Plant and Soil Recovery Along Powerline Corridors in the Colorado Desert of Southern California”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair
  • Todd Bear. 2017.
    “Soil Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Market Potential of a Southern California Tidal Salt Marsh Proposed for Restoration”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair
  • Jordan Rosencranz. 2017.
    “Assessing the Vulnerability of Salt Marsh Habitats to Sea-Level Rise in California”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Glen MacDonald, Co-Chair
  • Glenn Sias. 2017.
    “Characterization of the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts and Benefits of Smart Electric Meters and Consequences of their Deployment in California”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Deepak Rajagopal, Co-Chair
  • Tiffany Yap. 2017.
    “Assessing the threat of two deadly fungal pathogens (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachchytrium salamandrivorans) to amphibian biodiversity and the impacts of human-mediated movement of an invasive carrier species and climate change”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Vance Vrendenburg, Co-Chair
  • Stacie Fejtek Smith. 2017.
    “The Implications of Current Restoration Practices and Regulatory Policy for Recovery of the Federally Endangered Southern California Steelhead”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Glen MacDonald, Co-Chair
  • Aanchal Kohli. 2017.
    “Exploring Informational Environmental Programs on Air Quality and Toxic Chemical Releases”
    Magali Demlas, Chair
  • Victor Rigor Vasquez. 2014.
    “Towards Achieving Clean Water Goals: An Evaluation of California’s Mandatory Minimum Penalty Enforcement Program”
    Michael Stenstrom, Chair
  • Valerie Ann Chan. 2014.
    “Examining Management Issues for Incidentally Caught Species in Highly Migratory Species Fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair
  • Forrest Brown Vanderbilt. 2013.
    “Protecting and Restoring our Nation’s Waters: The Effects of Science, Law, and Policy on Clean Water Act Jurisdiction with a focus on the Arid West”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Host Institution: U. S. Army Corp of Engineers, Savannah Georgia.
  • Jane Curren. 2012.
    “Characterization of Odor Nuisance”
    Irwin Suffet, Chair, Host Institution: URS
  • Chad Nelsen. 2012.
    “Collecting and Using Economic Information to Guide The Management of Coastal Recreational Resources in California”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Host Institution: Surfrider Foundation
  • Meng-Horng Hsu. 2012.
    “The Effects of Dissolved Organic Matter on Pollutant Removal and Formation in Aquatic Environment: From Stormwater to Drinking Water”
    Irwin Suffet, Chair, Host Institution: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Leila Grace Lackey. 2012.
    “Design of an Aquatic Resource Status and Trends Monitoring Program for California”
    Richard Ambrose, Chair, Host Institution: Southern California Coastal Water Research Project.
  • Nicholas Simon Nairn-Birch. 2012.
    “Three Essays in Business Management, the Natural Environment, and Environmental Policy”
    Magali Delmas, Chair, Host Institution: U.S. EPA Washington D.C.

Featured Projects

Feeling the Squeeze: A GIS Analysis of Rocky Intertidal Habitats

Rocky intertidal habitat is located at the land sea interface and supports a unique variety of species.  In southern California, often these habitats are closely backed by existing developments such as homes and businesses.  Based on the most recent sea level rise projections, these rocky intertidal habitats are in danger of disappearing in a process...

African blue flycatcher.

Avian Diversity and Song Variation in Kibale National Park’s Logged and Unlogged Compartments

Students: Julia Shiplacoff Advisor: Dr. Debra Shier Species monitoring research has arisen to assess the dynamic changes in species abundance and diversity that have resulted from deforestation. Areas of Kibale National Park, Uganda underwent selective logging up until December, 1969, and have since been regenerating. This study coupled vegetation sampling with mist-netting and birdcall recordings...