Environmental science can be characterized as the intersection of humans with science. At Occidental, a concentration within our biology and geology majors allows you to undertake an interdisciplinary exploration of earth processes and ecosystems.

With Oxy’s distinctive approach, you will develop the range of skills required to analyze and solve the environmental problems pressing upon our world today. You’ll build a broad interdisciplinary foundation through a core set of courses in biology, geology and economics, and specialize by completing a major in biology or geology. Additionally, you can explore the policy aspects of environmental science through the UEP major.

Research is central to the understanding of complex environmental issues, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of Oxy’s unique location at the nexus of three distinctive ecosystems—the Pacific Ocean, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Mojave Desert. The ability to carry out fieldwork in diverse ecosystems and geological formations within a few hours’ drive of campus means that instead of working solely through other people’s data, you’ll generate your own, working closely with faculty mentors as you do. Recent students have conducted senior research projects on sea-level rise in Hawaii, gas emissions and plant growth at Mammoth Mountain, climatic influences on outburst floods in Iceland, heat tolerance in tropical and Mediterranean trees, and the biogeochemical effects of Martian soil on plant growth.

You’ll graduate with a B.A. in biology or geology with an environmental science concentration. Our alumni have gone on to pursue graduate work in biology, geology, and environmental science as well as professional and academic careers in such fields as forestry, water management, environmental engineering, geotechnical and ecological consulting, environmental risk assessment, and teaching.