Earth Systems Science


Earth System Science Overview

The Earth Systems Science major prepares students to understand and solve critical challenges facing our environment, such as climate change, pollution, conservation and resource management. UC Merced operates an interdisciplinary program that integrates the study of fundamental physical, chemical and biological processes that shape our environment with practical applications to real-world problems. Our students receive a firm foundation in the fundamentals of chemistry, biology, hydrology, ecology and Earth sciences, while upper division elective courses allow students the flexibility to pursue a variety of topics related to Earth and environmental systems.

Areas of Research in Earth System Science       Careers

  • Climate change and water resources
  • Water from the Sierra Nevada
  • Conservation of Biological Diversity
  • Research
  • Law
  • Public policy
  • Administration

Earth System Science Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, our graduates demonstrate:

  1. Foundational knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics related to Earth systems; Knowledge of major concepts, theoretical principles, experimental findings, and areas of study related to Earth systems science, and comprehension of the interactions between natural Earth systems and human economic, political and social systems;
  2. An ability to employ critical thinking, quantitative and numerical analyses, and hypothesis-driven methods of scientific inquiry in the formulation of research questions, experimental design, application and use of laboratory and field instrumentation, and analysis and interpretation of data related to Earth systems.


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