Mission

Drawing on the dynamism of the world’s most diverse megacity and its top-tier public university, we take students of all cultures and income levels beyond campus borders to be real-world problem solvers. Our deeply committed faculty engage in environmental research and storytelling that leaps obstacles to make a difference today, not tomorrow. Passion and pragmatism fuel and inspire us to serve all of Los Angeles and our planet through teaching, research and public events.

The Institute of the Environment and Sustainability moves science to action on the front lines of environmental progress. Using Los Angeles and California as a testbed, IoES promises solutions for the broader world—and our commitment to communications makes sure our ideas are heard.


We thrive on the energy, optimism and impatience of its students and faculty. We envision a future that is beautiful and prosperous in 2050—air, water, food, people and nature. As humanity urbanizes, the story of how we save the planet will be written by cities like Los Angeles, by multicultural universities like UCLA, and by innovators who break down silos of disciplinary scholarship. IoES aspires to be a big part of that story.

IoES has pioneered a unique, hands-on approach to environmental research and practice. Our Senior Practicum takes students off campus and pairs them with clients to solve real-world problems using the science, statistics and communications skills they’ve learned. A similar approach is taken at the graduate level.

Our Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering program immerses students in two years of rigorous coursework, then matches them with businesses and government agencies to fuse their thesis research with real work.

With our eight research centers and partnerships throughout the UCLA network, we achieve national and global reach. IoES works hand in hand with groups across campus, such as the Emmett Institute on Climate Change, the Luskin Center for Public Policy and the Graduate School of Education. These cooperative efforts allow us to focus teams of diverse talents on today’s most urgent problems.

Today’s environmental challenges are too big to leave any idea unexplored. They are too pressing to exclude provocative or even unpopular ideas. For these reasons, IoES sponsors events that stimulate public dialogue on topics including nuclear energy, genetically modified organisms and the future of cars and transportation.

There was a time when environmental scientists and leaders had to alert the public to threats and risks. Now is not that time. We know the problems—it’s time for solutions.