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.