Environmental Sciences

The Environmental Sciences area in the discipline of geography and the graduate group has its center in physical geography. Environmental Sciences Geography is a field of geography concerned with the relationships between between the biological and physical environment, largely encompassing the subdiscipline of physical geography, but overlapping into associated natural science disciplines and engineering. Research is focused on natural and anthropogenic earth surface patterns and the physical and ecological processes that have produced them, as well as change through time and across space. Studies are conducted from local to regional to global scales, with a considerable amount of research in the graduate group within California’s diverse landscapes. Sustainable natural resources management is of great interest, especially in the face of human population growth, land use intensification, and global climate change. Concentrations in Global Environmental Change and Landscape Architecture & Environmental Design are also available to the students.

Environmental geographers rely primarily on quantitative methods, including field work, remote sensing, GIS and affiliated modeling techniques. Research by UC Davis faculty and students is conducted in several subfields of physical geography, including biogeography, geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, and soils geography. With the great strength of the UC Davis campus in the agricultural sciences, biological sciences, engineering, and veterinary medicine, opportunities abound to build a program of course work that builds the foundation for each individual student’s training to best address their interests. Subfields within the Environmental Sciences in Geography that particularly reflect campus strengths and the strength of the Geography Graduate Group are agricultural geography, biogeography and conservation biology, environmental and natural resource management, and watershed science.

Faculty and students working in the Environmental Sciences are also affiliated with campus research units, institutes and centers such as the Bodega Marine Laboratory, the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Natural Reserve System, the Center for Watershed Sciences, the Center for Biosystematics, the Information Center on the Environment, the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, etc.


Environmental Sciences (Physical Geography) — Geographic Depth Courses

The list below is the pre-approved selection of courses in the subfield of Physical Geography that students can choose from to fulfill their 12-16 units of Geographic Depth Courses.

Depth Courses Offered by GGG Faculty
(includes those to be Cross-Listed, proposed GEO number in parentheses):
GEO 210 Topics in Biogeography (W - alternate years)
GEO 211 Physical Geography Traditions and Methods (alternate years)
ECI 267 (GEO 212) Water Resources Management
ECL 201 (GEO 213) Ecosystems and Landscape Ecology (W - alternate years)
PBG 296 (GEO 214) Seminar in Geography Ecology
LDA 280 (GEO 253) Landscape Conservation
GEO 280 Field Studies in Geography (S)
Other Depth Courses:
ECL 201 Ecosystems and Landscape Ecology (W - alternate years)
ECL 205 Community Ecology (W)
ECL 206 Concepts and Methods in Plant Community Ecology (F)
ECL 207 Plant Population Biology (W - alternate years)
ECL 208 Issues in Conservation Biology (W)
ECL 214 Marine Ecology (S - alternate years)
ECL 225 Terrestrial Field Ecology (S)
ECL 231 Mathematical Models in Population Biology (F)
ECL 232 Theoretical Ecology