Environmental Studies Summer Courses


    Natural History of the UCSC Campus (2 credits)

  • ENVS 15

    Session 1

    Introduces students to the range of natural species and communities occurring on the UCSC campus through field trips to a variety of on-campus habitats. The majority of class time is spent outside, where students will develop skills of observation, identification and interpretation of natural phenomena through individual and group activities. Students each adopt a specific location on campus as the focal point for a series of observation-based journal exercises, completed in approximately 2-4 hours outside of regular class time per week. Course 24 is recommended.


  • General Ecology

  • ENVS 24

    Session 1

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    Covers principles of ecology including limits to species abundances, evolutionary ecology, population dynamics, community interactions and patterns, and ecosystem patterns and dynamics. Prerequisite(s): Applied Mathematics and Statistics 2 or 3 or 6, or MATH 3 or higher; or mathematics placement examination (MPE) score of 300 or higher; or AP Calculus AB exam score of 3 or higher; course 23 recommended as prerequisite to this course. (General Education Code(s): SI, IN.) 


  • Environmental Policy & Economics

  • ENVS 25

    Session 1

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    Introduces the policy and economic dimensions of some pressing environmental challenges. Uses examples from population, water, climate change, and other topics to examine the economic underpinnings of environmental problems, the process of environmental policy-making, and the trade-offs in different policy solutions. (General Education Code(s): PE-E, IS.) 


  • Introduction to Fresh Water: Processes and Policy (online)

  • ENVS 65

    Session 2 

    Online only course. 

    Introduction to freshwater resources from multiple scientific and policy perspectives. After a review of basic concepts, water issues affecting cities, farms, open space, and multiple-use landscapes are studied. Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have previously received credit for course 165. (General Education Code(s): PE-E.) 


  • Natural History of Birds

  • ENVS 106A

    Session 1

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    The evolution, taxonomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, and management of birds. Lecture, discussion, field format. Birds observed in habitats including bay, marsh, meadow, and forest. Evaluations based on a field journal and examinations. Students are billed a materials fee. Prerequisite(s): previous or concurrent enrollment in courses 100 and 100L, or by permission of instructor. Course 105 or Biology 138 are recommended. 


  • Ecosystems of California (online)

  • ENVS 125

    8-Week

    Online only class.

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    A survey of the diversity, structure, and functioning of California's ecosystems through time and the ways they have influenced and responded to human activities and stewardship. Topics include: ecosystem drivers such as climate, soils, and land-use history; human and ecological prehistory; comparative marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystem dynamics; and managed ecosystems such as range, fisheries, and agriculture. Prerequisite(s): previous or concurrent enrollment in courses 100/100L. (General Education Code(s): PE-E.) 


  • National Environmental Policy

  • ENVS 140

    Session 2

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    An overview of all major federal environmental policy domains. Analyzes political, social, economic, and other forces influencing federal (and some state) public policy responses to land use, natural resources, pollution, and conservation dilemmas. Prerequisite(s): Previous or concurrent enrollment in courses 100 and 100L required, or by permission of instructor.


  • Sustainable Development: Economy, Policy, and Environment

  • ENVS 143

    Session 1

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    Considers whether and how global poverty can be alleviated without irreparably damaging the environment. Examines interactions among population, economic growth, poverty, global consumption ethos, property rights systems, global economy, state capacity, and environmental damage. Scrutinizes impact of various developmental strategies adopted during the past 50 years on poverty, governance, and the environment. Prerequisite(s): Previous or concurrent enrollment in courses 100 and 100L required, or by permission of instructor.


  • Agroecological Analysis and Watershed Management

  • ENVS 166

    Session 2

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    Explores a range of approaches to examine agroecosystem function, watershed management, and concepts of sustainability. Uses a combination of lecture, demonstration, field work, and field trips to illustrate approaches to analysis of managed ecosystems behavior and the integration of biophysical and socio-political knowledge to aid in watershed management. Prerequisite(s): Previous or concurrent enrollment in courses 100 and 100L required, or by permission of instructor; and course 130A or 130B or 129 or 133 or 160 or 167. 


  • Capstone Course: Environmental Problem Solving

  • ENVS 190

    Session 2

    Prerequisites lifted in summer for visiting students by instructor's discretion.

    A synthetic course that draws on the knowledge and skills students bring from other courses in the major. Focuses on written and oral individual and group projects in which students must take the initiative. Emphasizes developing skills critical for students in their future careers. Prerequisite(s): course 100; Entry Level Writing and Composition requirements. Enrollment restricted to senior environmental studies majors and the combined majors with Earth sciences, biology, and economics.