BS Environmental Earth and Soil Sciences

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Program Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  2. Effectively communicate scientific and technical knowledge in a professional manner.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply technical knowledge in the following key areas:
    1. Geology & Climate – rock materials and processes of the lithosphere, plate tectonics; deformational histories, and past climates;
    2. Soils & Water – morphology, ecology, chemistry, physics, and health;
    3. Geography & Geospatial Technology – human cultural impacts, resource utilization trends and spatial patterns, geographic information systems and modeling;
    4. Resource Management – effects of land management activities on, and restoration and rehabilitation of, soil and water resources.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative skills and information management specific to their discipline areas.
  5. Exhibit an understanding of their professional and ethical responsibilities, including respect for diversity.
  6. Promote life-long learning habits by exposing students to the discovery process of applied research and demonstration projects conducted by the faculty.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:

  • 60 units of upper division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)

Note: No major, support or concentration courses may be selected as credit/no credit.

ERSC/NR 140Careers in Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences1
ERSC 144Introduction to Earth Science4
ERSC 223Rocks and Minerals4
ERSC 303Soil Erosion and Water Conservation4
ERSC/GEOG 333Human Impact on the Earth4
ERSC 363Undergraduate Seminar2
SS 121Introductory Soil Science4
SS 221Soil Health and Plant Nutrition4
SS 321Soil Morphology4
SS 422Soil Ecology4
SS 432Environmental Soil Physics5
SS 423Environmental Soil and Water Chemistry5
Select one of the following courses to fulfill the senior project requirement:3
Senior Project - Advanced Internship Experience in Environmental Science/Management
Senior Project - Research Experience in Environmental Science
Senior Project - Current Topics in Environmental Science/Management
Senior Project - Independent Study
BOT 121General Botany (B2 & B4) 14
CHEM 127General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science I (B3 & B4) 14
CHEM 128General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science II4
CHEM 129General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science III4
CHEM 312Survey of Organic Chemistry5
GEOG 150Human Geography (D3) 14
GEOG 301Geography of Resource Utilization (D5) 14
or GEOG 308 Global Geography
GEOL 201Physical Geology3
GEOL 241Physical Geology Laboratory1
GEOL 415Structural Geology4
MATH 161Calculus for the Life Sciences I (B1) 1,24
or MATH 141 Calculus I
NR/LA 218Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)3-4
or GEOG 318 Applications in GIS
PHYS 121College Physics I 34
or PHYS 141 General Physics IA
STAT 218Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences (B1) 14
Concentration (32 units) or Approved Electives (20 units) in combination with Free Electives 4, 520-32
(See GE program requirements below.)48
Free Electives0-12
Total units180-181

Required in Major; also satisfies GE.


Students in the Geology concentration need to take MATH 141 to meet prerequisites for courses in the concentration. Students interested in the Soil Geotechnical Studies career electives area need to take MATH 141 to meet prerequisites for courses in that area.


Students in the Geology concentration need to take PHYS 141 to meet prerequisites for courses in the concentration. Students interested in the Soil Geotechnical Studies career electives area need to take PHYS 141 to meet prerequisites for courses in that area.


Unless a concentration is declared, the default will be a combination of Approved Electives and Free Electives.


Students who do not declare a concentration are encouraged to use Approved Electives and Free Electives to earn a minor. See the below Approved Electives Guide for recommended minors.


Approved Electives Guide

Approved electives are courses that support the below career areas. Refer to number(s) next to each course to identify which courses align with each of the career areas. Consultation with an advisor is recommended prior to selecting approved electives; bear in mind your selections may impact pursuit of post-baccalaureate studies and/or goals.

  1. Climate Change Science
  2. Environmental Mitigation Strategies
  3. Environmental Policy and Management
  4. Environmental Soil Science
  5. Forest and Environmental Practices
  6. Geospatial Technology
  7. Soil Geotechnical Studies
  8. Sustainable Agriculture
  9. Urban Forestry

Additionally, a student may earn one or more of the following minors through the appropriate selection of approved electives in combination with free electives (refer to advising materials for the minor):

  • Anthropology and Geography
  • Biology
  • Geographic Information Systems for Agriculture
  • Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Sustainable Environments
  • Water Science
Approved Electives
Select from the following:
At least 8 units must be upper division (300-400 level)
No more than 6 units of ERSC 339, SS 339, or NR 339 may count towards the degree.
Courses used to meet a degree requirement cannot double count as an elective.
Landscape Installation and Maintenance 5, 9
Plant Propagation 5, 9
Plant Materials I 5, 9
Plant Materials II 5, 9
Organic Enterprise 8
Environmental Horticulture 8, 9
Precision Farming 6, 8
California Fruit Growing 8
Introduction to Vegetable Science 8
Agricultural Entomology 8
Organic Crop Production 8
Weed Biology and Management 5, 8
Plant Pathology 8
Vertebrate Pest Management 5
Abiotic Plant Problems 9
Native Plants for California Landscapes 8, 9
Arboriculture 5, 9
Insect Pest Management 8
Biological Control for Pest Management 8
Cropping Systems 8
Internship in Agriculture 8
The Global Environment 1, 8
Holistic Management 5, 8
Agricultural Economics 8
Agricultural Policy 8
Agricultural Personnel Management 8
Cultural Anthropology 1
World Prehistory
Biological Anthropology 1
Structures I 7
Mechanics of Materials I
Structures II 7
Engineering Statics
Mechanics of Structural Members 7
Mechanics of Materials II
Foundation Design 7
Principles of Animal Science 8
Introduction to Beef Production 8
Systems of Small Ruminant Management 8
Advanced Beef Cattle System Management 8
Vertebrate Field Zoology 2
Wildlife Management 2
Plant Physiology 5
Plant Ecology 2
Introduction to Engineering Design Graphics 5, 6
Agricultural Machinery Safety 8
Agricultural Power and Machinery Management 8
CAD for Agricultural Engineering 5, 6
Introduction to Engineering Surveying 5
Engineering Surveying 5, 6
Forest Surveying 5
Irrigation Water Management 5, 8
Aerial Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 6
Energy for a Sustainable Society 1
Advanced Surveying with GIS Applications 6
Design Principles in Civil Engineering 6
Computer Aided Drafting in Civil Engineering 6
Mechanics of Materials I 7
Geotechnical Engineering
and Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory 7
Soil Mechanics
Survey of Biochemistry and Biotechnology 4
Quantitative Analysis 4
Environmental Chemistry: Water Pollution 4
Introduction to Urban Planning 3, 5, 6, 9
Introduction to Environmental Planning 5, 6
Environmental Law 1
Water Resource Law and Policy 2, 3, 5, 8
Land Use Law 3, 5
Fundamentals of Computer Science 6
Fundamentals of Computer Science for Scientists and Engineers I 6
Microeconomics 3
Sustainable Environments 8
Environmental Fluid Mechanics 7
Introduction to Air Pollution 1
Physical Geography 1
Geomorphology 4, 6
Climate and Humanity 1
Internship in Environmental Earth and Soil Sciences 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Internship in Forest and Natural Resources
Global and Regional Climatology 1
Applied Meteorology and Climatology 1
Survey of Indigenous Studies 9
Global Geography 1
Applications in Remote Sensing 1, 6
Advanced-Applications in GIS 1
Fossils and the History of Life 1
Earthquakes 7
Fundamentals of Seismology 7
Applied Geophysics 7
News Reporting and Writing 5
Agricultural Communications 5
Calculus II 4
Calculus for the Life Sciences II
Calculus III 7
Calculus IV 7
Microbiology 5
Microbial Ecology 5
Consumer Energy Guide 1
Introduction to Forest Ecosystem Management 5, 9
Environmental Management 8, 9
Wildland Fire Control 5, 9
Dendrology 5, 9
Land and Resource Measurements 5
Forest Practices and Environmental Protection 5
Natural Resource Ecology and Habitat Management 2, 5, 6, 9
Fire and Society 5
Technology of Wildland Fire Management 5
Measurements and Sampling in Forested Environments 5
Watershed Processes and Management 5
Social Dimensions of Sustainable Food and Fiber Systems 8
Natural Resources Economics and Valuation 1, 3, 5
Wildland Fire Management 5, 9
Urban Forestry 5, 9
Ethnicity and the Land 5
Silviculture and Vegetation Management 5
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 9
Indigenous Peoples and International Law and Policy 9
Applied GIS 1, 6, 9
Watershed Assessment and Protection 5
Wood Properties, Products and Sustainable Uses 5, 9
Environmental Policy Analysis 1, 3
Wildland-Urban Fire Protection 5, 9
Sustainable Forest and Environmental Practices 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Environmental Ethics 1, 3
College Physics II 4
General Physics II
General Physics III 7
Physics of Solid Earth 7
American and California Government 3
Judicial Process 3
American Constitutional Law 3
Civil Rights in America 3
Civil Liberties 3
Energy, Society and the Environment 1
Introduction to Parks and Outdoor Recreation 3
Environmental and Wilderness Education 3
Leadership in Outdoor Experiences 3
Special Problems for Undergraduates (2) 4
Selected Topics (2) 4
Soil Plant Relationships 4, 8
Digital Soil Mapping 3, 4, 5, 6, 9
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 4
Wetlands 2, 4, 5
Digital Soil Mapping 3, 4, 5, 6, 9
Forest and Range Soils 4, 5, 9
Vadose Zone and Groundwater Processes 4
Soil Judging 4
Selected Advanced Topics 4
Selected Advanced Laboratory 4
Environmental Assessment for Erosion Control 4
Advanced Soil Fertility 4
GIS in Advanced Land Management 4
Applied Experimental Design and Regression Models 6
Statistical Computing with R 6
World Food Systems 8
Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Development 8
Basic Viticulture 8
Advanced Viticulture - Fall 8
Advanced Viticulture - Winter 8
Advanced Viticulture - Spring 8
Winegrape Vineyard Management 8
Any upper division AEPS, AG, ANT, BIO, BOT, BRAE, CHEM, COMS, EDES, GEOG, JOUR, MCRO, or UNIV courses

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 24 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • Minimum of 12 units required at the 300 level.
Area ACommunication
A1Expository Writing4
A2Oral Communication4
A3Reasoning, Argumentation and Writing4
Area BScience and Mathematics
B1Mathematics/Statistics (8 units in Major) 10
B2Life Science (4 units in Major) 10
B3Physical Science (4 units in Major) 10
B4One lab taken with either a B2 or B3 course
Area CArts and Humanities
C3Fine/Performing Arts4
C4Upper-division elective4
Area C elective(Choose one course from C1-C5)4
Area D/ESociety and the Individual
D1The American Experience (Title 5, Section 40404 requirement)4
D2Political Economy4
D3Comparative Social Institutions (4 units in Major) 10
D4Self Development (CSU Area E)4
D5Upper-division elective (4 units in Major) 10
Area FTechnology
F Upper-division elective (BRAE 340 recommended)4
Total units48

Required in Major; also satisfies GE.