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.

NR 140Careers in Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences1
or UNIV 100 University Studies
ERSC 144Introduction to Earth Science4
ERSC 223Rocks and Minerals4
ERSC 303Soil Erosion and Water Conservation4
ERSC/GEOG 333Human Impact on the Earth 13-4
or BRAE 345 Aerial Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
or GEOG 325 Climate and Humanity
or GEOG 350 The Global Environment
or MATH 142 Calculus II
SS 120Introductory Soil Science4
SS 221Soil Health and Plant Nutrition4
SS 321Soil Morphology4
SS 422Soil Ecology 24
or ERSC 423 Geomorphology
SS 423Environmental Soil and Water Chemistry5
SS 424Environmental Soil Physics - Senior Project5
BOT 121General Botany (B2 & B3) 34
CHEM 127General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science I (B1 & B3) 34
CHEM 128General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science II4
CHEM 129General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science III4
CHEM 312Organic Chemistry: Fundamentals and Applications5
GEOL 201Physical Geology3
GEOL 241Physical Geology Laboratory1
GEOL 415Structural Geology 24
or GEOL 330 Principles of Stratigraphy
MATH 161Calculus for the Life Sciences I (B4) 3,44
or MATH 141 Calculus I
NR/LA 218Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)3
NR 310Global Climate Change (Upper-Division B) 34
NR 363Undergraduate Seminar2
NR 418Applied GIS3-4
or NR 355 Drone Assisted Surveying
or NR 416 Environmental Impact Analysis and Management
or SS 431 Digital Soil Mapping
PHYS 121College Physics I 54
or PHYS 141 General Physics I
STAT 218Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences (GE Electives) 34
or STAT 217 Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods
Concentration (32 units) or Approved Electives (20 units) in combination with Free Electives 6,7,820-32
(See GE program requirements below.)52
Free Electives0-13
Total units180-181


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

A student may earn one or more of the minors listed below through the appropriate selection of Approved Electives in combination with Free Electives (refer to advising materials for the minor).  However, students in this major may not obtain minors in Environmental Soil Science or Geology as the subject areas in these minors are substantially covered in this major.

  • 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 NR 339 may count towards the degree.
Courses used to meet a degree requirement cannot double count as an elective.
Principles of Organic Crop Production 8
Internship in Agriculture 8
The Global Environment 1, 8
Holistic Management 5, 8
Agricultural Economics 8
Agricultural Policy 8
Agricultural Personnel Management 8
Agricultural Communications
Cultural Anthropology 1
World History Before Writing
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
Principles of Rangeland Management 1,2,3,8
Advanced Beef Cattle System Management 8
California Rangeland & Ranch Resource Management 1,2,3,8
Applied Practices for Monitoring California Rangelands 1,2,3,8
Vertebrate Field Zoology 2
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 2, 5
Wildlife Management 2
Plant Physiology 5
Plant Pathology 8
Plant Ecology 2
Spatial Ecology 2,6
Agricultural Machinery Safety 8
Agricultural Power and Machinery Management 8
Design Graphics and CAD for Agricultural Engineering 5, 6
Introduction to Engineering Surveying 5
Engineering Surveying 5, 6
Forest Surveying 5
Aquacultural Engineering 1,2,3,8
Irrigation Water Management 5, 8
Aerial Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 6
Energy for a Sustainable Society 1
Water for a Sustainable Society 1,2,3,8
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
Biochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications 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
Microeconomics 3
Sustainable Environments 8
Writing Arguments about STEM 1, 2, 3
Writing Sustainability 1, 2, 3
Environmental Fluid Mechanics 7
Introduction to Air Pollution 1
Environmental Engineering Research
Physical Geography 1
Climate and Humanity 1
Global and Regional Climatology 1
Applied Meteorology and Climatology 1
Geomorphology 4, 6
Applied Environmental Groundwater Hydrology 4
Applied Environmental Contaminant Transport 4
Human Geography 1, 3
Global Geography 1
Applications in Remote Sensing and GIS 1, 6
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 1
Biodiversity and Biogeography Methods
Advanced Applications in Geospatial Technologies 1
The Geologic Record: Fossils and the History of Life 1
Geologic Excursions 7
Seismology and Earth Structure 7
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 7
Applied Geophysics 7
News Reporting and Writing 5
Calculus II 4
Calculus for the Life Sciences II
Calculus III 7
Calculus IV 7
Microbiology 5
Microbial Ecology 5
Introduction to Forest Ecosystem Management 5, 9
Environmental Management 8, 9
Special Problems for Undergraduates 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Resource Law Enforcement
Wildland Fire Control 5, 9
Dendrology 5, 9
Land and Resource Measurements 5
Forest Operations 5
Natural Resource Ecology and Habitat Management 2, 5, 6, 9
Fire and Society 5
Technology of Wildland Fire Management 5
Forest Mensuration 5
Watershed Processes and Management 5
Human Dimensions in Natural Resources Management 1, 2, 3
Social Dimensions of Sustainable Food and Fiber Systems 8
Natural Resources Economics and Valuation 1, 3, 5
Internship in Forest and Natural Resources 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Wildland Fire Management 5, 9
Urban Forestry 5, 9
Drone Assisted Surveying 5,6
Ethnicity and the Land 5
Silviculture and Fuels Management 5
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Indigenous Peoples and International Law and Policy 9
Agricultural Law 1, 2, 3, 4, 8
Watershed Assessment and Protection 5
Stream Measurements and Water Quality Monitoring 5, 9
Wood Properties, Products and Sustainable Uses 5, 9
Environmental Policy Analysis 1, 3
Systems Thinking in Environmental Management 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Wildland-Urban Fire Protection 5, 9
Leadership Practice 3, 5
Forest Stewardship Practices 3, 5
Senior Project - Forest Stewardship 3, 5
Environmental Ethics 1, 3
College Physics II 4
General Physics II
General Physics III
Physics of Solid Earth 7
Landscape Installation and Maintenance 5, 9
Plant Propagation 5, 9
Organic Enterprise Project 8
Environmental Horticulture 8, 9
Plant Materials I 5, 9
Plant Materials II 5, 9
Precision Farming 6, 8
Agricultural Entomology 8
Weed Biology and Management 5, 8
Vertebrate Pest Management 5
Abiotic Plant Problems 9
Native Plants for California Landscapes 8, 9
Organic Crop Production Systems 8
Arboriculture 5, 9
Insect Pest Management 8
Biological Control for Pest Management 8
Cropping Systems 8
Current Issues in the Strawberry Industry 8
American and California Government 3
Judicial Process 3
World Food Systems
American Constitutional Law 3
Civil Rights in America 3
Civil Liberties 3
Physical Oceanography 1
Energy, Society and the Environment 1
Introduction to Parks and Outdoor Recreation 3
Experience Design 3
Leadership and Diverse Groups 2
Environmental and Wilderness Education 3
Leadership in Outdoor Experiences 3
Selected Topics (2) 4
Soil Plant Relationships 4, 8
Wetlands 2, 4, 5
Digital Soil Mapping 3, 4, 5, 6, 9
Forest and Range Soils 4, 5, 9
Soil Judging 4
Selected Advanced Topics 4
Selected Advanced Laboratory 4
Advanced Soil Fertility 4
GIS in Advanced Land Management 4
Applied Experimental Design and Regression Models 6
Statistical Computing with R 6
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 SCM course and any upper division AG, ANT, BIO, BOT, BRAE, CHEM, COMS, EDES, ENVE, ERSC, GEOG, GEOL, JOUR, MCRO, PLSC, NR, RPTA, SS, or UNIV courses

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 20 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • If any of the remaining 52 units is used to satisfy a Major or Support requirement, additional units of Free Electives may be needed to complete the total units required for the degree.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • A grade of C- or better is required in one course in each of the following GE Areas: A1 (Oral Communication), A2 (Written Communication), A3 (Critical Thinking), and B4 (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning). 
Area AEnglish Language Communication and Critical Thinking
A1Oral Communication4
A2Written Communication4
A3Critical Thinking 24
Area BScientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
B1Physical Science (4 units in Major) 10
B2Life Science (4 units in Major) 10
B3One lab taken with either a B1 or B2 course
B4Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (4 units in Major) 10
Upper-Division B (4 units in Major) 10
Area CArts and Humanities
Lower-division courses in Area C must come from three different subject prefixes.
C1Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater4
C2Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English4
Lower-Division C Elective - Select a course from either C1 or C24
Upper-Division C 34
Area DSocial Sciences - Select courses in Area D from at least two different prefixes
D1American Institutions (Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement)4
D2Lower-Division D 44
Upper-Division D 54
Area ELifelong Learning and Self-Development
Lower-Division E4
Area F Ethnic Studies
F Ethnic Studies4
GE Electives in Areas B, C, and D
Select courses from two different areas; may be lower-division or upper-division courses.
GE Electives (4 units in Majors plus 4 units in GE) 14
Total units52