Some ES Program Highlights

The Environmental Studies Program at UCSB was established in 1970 and is recognized as one of the first undergraduate environmental studies programs in the world.  Below are just a few examples and highlights of what makes studying environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara so special:

  • The Environmental Studies Program at UCSB was established in 1970 and is recognized as one of the first undergraduate environmental studies programs in the world.
  • Created as a new, innovative, interdisciplinary program to provide students with scholarly training and critical analysis skills to understand and deal with the complex environmental problems of our world
  • Graduated over 7,000 alumni, making it one of North America's largest and most successful programs
  • Currently home to 900+ students majoring in one of three undergraduate degrees:  B.A. in Environmental Studies, B.S. in Environmental Studies, B.S. in Hydrologic Sciences
  • In 2018-19 sent 81 majors to study abroad in 25 different countries through the UC Education Abroad Program. Another 50+ students participated in environmental field studies programs on six different continents.
  • Faculty contributed to UCSB’s #2 international ranking for research cited in the field of Environment and Ecology (1998-2008).   Source: Reuter’ s Essential Science Indicators
  • Housed in Bren Hall, considered the greenest laboratory building in the UC system and the first in the United States to receive a “double platinum” LEED rating
  • UCSB ranked the second greenest university in the U.S. based on its 62% recycling rate, goal to be zero waste by 2020, use of greywater for landscaping, and six LEED certified buildings. Source: national publication Greenopia, 2010
  • Sent 23 students as observers to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen who then incorporated their experiences into a campus wide conference titled “Our Planet, our Problem: Approaches to a Climate Solution”
  • ES Professor David Cleveland was selected as the inaugural UCSB Sustainability Champion
  • Two distinguished endowed chair-faculty positions:
        - The Schuyler Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies (held by Prof. Carla D’Antonio)
        - The Dehlsen Endowed Chair in Environmental Policy (recently held by Prof. William Freudenburg)
  • Award approximately $8,000 annually in combined scholarship monies to ES Program students
  • Home to its own Environmental Studies Internship Program (ESIP):
        - Coordinated by the Program’s own Internship Coordinator
        - Academic credit (ENV S 192) available year round
        - Associated with 90 local and hundreds of non-local organizations offering environmental internship opportunities
  • Teach specialized honors and experiential education courses, such as: 
        - Honors sections in ENV S 1, 2, 3; and a Senior Honors Program (distinction in the major)
        - Capstone Senior Thesis Course (ENV S 197)
        - Undergraduate research opportunities with ES faculty through ENV S 199 & 199RA courses
        - Quarterly Current Topics Course (ENV S 190) provides insight into current issues in the diverse 
           areas that constitute environmental studies, including Environmental Careers   
  • Flexible curriculum designed to support/encourage students to participate in Study Abroad and/or Environmental Field Studies programs around the country and the world
  • Alumni have succeeded in a vast and diverse array of careers in the public, private, academic, scientific, and non-profit sectors of California, the United States, and the world

Below is a sample of job titles held by UCSB ES Program Alumni

Title: Agency:
Director, Planning Agency Ventura County
Alternative Transportation Manager Santa Barbara County
Executive Director Santa Barbara County Association of Governments
Redevelopment Supervisor City of Santa Barbara, CA
Professor of Environmental Studies California State University Channel Islands
Executive Director The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
Director of Environmental Safety Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
Principle Architect/Owner Van Atta Associates
Assistant Secretary, Ocean and Coastal Policy CA Natural Resources Agency
Director of International Programs CA Energy Commission
Deputy Secretary, Climate Change and Energy CA Natural Resources Agency
Chief, Environmental Planning & Management CA Department of Transportation
Vice President for Sustainability Programs Quiksilver, Inc.
Manager of Environmental Assessments The Walt Disney Company
President League of Conservation Voters
Director of Conservation New England Aquarium
Director of Bureau of Planning and Sustainability City of Portland, OR
President, Board of Directors Earth Island Institute
National Field Director Alaska Rainforest Campaign
Senior Research Fellow Pew Center on Global Climate Change
President SunPower's Utilities and Power Plants Business Group
Manager of Communications for Environmental Matters NASA
Deputy Director, Congressional and Legislative Affairs Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Interior
Superintendent, North Cascades U.S. National Park Service
Deputy Asst. Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks U.S. Department of Interior
Director, Environmental Planning U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Specialist, Human Capacity Development U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
GIS Technician Hawaiian Islands Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Staff Attorney U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Policy Officer/Remote Sensing Scientist Queensland Env. Protection Agency, Australia
Manager of Health, Safety & Environment MB Petroleum Services, Oman