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MESM Courses

Academic Requirements (76 total units) 

9 Core Courses (26 units) to develop breadth 
These include:

  • ESM 201 Ecology of Managed Ecosystems
  • ESM 202 Environmental Biogeochemistry
  • ESM 203 Earth System Science
  • ESM 204 Economics of Environmental Management
  • ESM 205 Environmental Justice
  • ESM 206 Statistics & Data Analysis for Environmental Science & Management
  • ESM 207 Environmental Law and Policy
  • ESM 208 Environmental Politics and Policy
  • ESM 210 Business and Sustainability

Elective courses in a specialization (36 units) to develop depth

Varies by specialization

Master’s Group Project or Eco-Entrepreneurship Project (14 units) to develop professional problem-solving skills

  • ESM 401 ABCD Masters Group Project
  • ESM 402 ABCD Masters Eco-E Project

Optional:

  • Elective courses in a second specialization
  • Elective courses in Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship focus
  • Elective courses in Strategic Environmental Communication and Media focus

Course Details

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are offered every other year. 

  • ESM 201 Ecology of Managed Ecosystems

    3 units |  David Tilman

    This course provides future environmental managers with an understanding of (1) principles, concepts and theories that are the scientific basis for conservation policy and preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, (2) how scientific knowledge is applied to major societal and scientific issues, especially those related to human impacts on the functioning, productivity and sustainability of ecosystems at local to global scales, and (3) how and why humans impact and manage all of Earth’s ecosystems, and how this can be done in more sustainable ways.

  • ESM 202 Environmental Biogeochemistry

    3 units |  Patricia Holden

    This course trains future environmental managers regarding human‐driven disturbances to biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and trace elements in relationship to greenhouse gas-driven climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, acid mine drainage, air/water/soil pollution, and human and ecological health, among other issues. Additional topics include persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, emerging contaminants, microplastics and other chemicals. The course covers basic principles with applications to environmental problems, human and ecological toxicological implications, and available technical and policy solutions including potential unintended consequences.

  • ESM 203 Earth System Science

    3 units |  Kelly Caylor, Samantha Stevenson

    This course provides a foundation in the tools and terminology of system science, their application to Earth’s systems, their use in environmental problem solving, and their relevance to environmental management. Students will (1) apply principles of mass, energy, and momentum balance to understand the dynamics of the Earth system; (2) learn to explain critical observations and methods that guide our empirical understanding of global change; (3) be introduced to the basics of environmental physics, including important principles of radiative transfer, fluid dynamics, and heat flow as they pertain to atmospheric and oceanic dynamics, land surface processes, and their connections to the energy, carbon, and water balance of our planet.

  • ESM 204 Economics of Environmental Management

    3 units |  Kyle C. Meng

    This course provides a foundation for understanding the origins of and solutions to environmental problems from an economics perspective. Many environmental problems are caused by economic activity (e.g., carbon emissions, overharvesting renewable resources) and have differentiated effects on diverse populations (e.g., the global poor are more vulnerable to climate change, air pollution disproportionately affects minority communities). Solutions to these problems often involve policies that steer economic activity towards effective and equitable environmental protection. This course will examine various policy approaches and the unequal burden of both environmental problems and their proposed solutions.

  • ESM 205 Environmental Justice

    2 units |  Jayajit Chakraborty

    This course provides an overview and foundational knowledge of environmental justice (EJ) activism, research, and policy solutions. It introduces key concepts, definitions, debates, theories, methods, tools, regulatory actions, and case studies that contribute to our understanding of environmental injustices at the local, regional, national, and global scales. An important emphasis is placed on exploring: (1) causes and consequences of unequal distributions of environmental risks and benefits; (2) governmental responses to EJ issues; and (3) data sources and methodologies for conducting EJ assessments. Students will also gain practical experience with using internet-based mapping and screening tools for analyzing environmental injustices.

  • ESM 206 Statistics & Data Analysis for Environmental Science & Management

    4 units |  Christopher Jerde

    This course provides conceptual, technical, and communication skills to investigate and answer environmental questions using data. Topics include data manipulation, exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, regression, hypothesis testing, uncertainty, and data visualization. Skills for data exploration, analysis, and project management will be developed through analysis of real‐world datasets using R and RStudio while building tools for and understanding of computational reproducibility and collaboration.

  • ESM 207 Environmental Law and Policy

    3 units |  James Salzman

    Environmental law is equal part environment and equal part law. While environmental law courses traditionally focus solely on the significant laws and cases, this course will place equal emphasis on the scientific, political, and economic issues driving environmental conflicts. Students will strengthen skills in reading legal cases, regulations and statutes; writing client memos; thinking on your feet; acting as an advocate for both sides of an issue; and understanding the legal structure and strategies for environmental protection.

  • ESM 208 Environmental Politics and Policy

    2 units |  Sarah Anderson

    This course introduces students to politics and environmental policy making. Students will learn who are the actors in government, what are their responsibilities, and why governments do what they do. The course will improve students’ professional skills as advocates, advisors, and analysts. Students will learn to apply abstract ideas to real‐world problems, interpret meaning and significance of policy analysis, and communicate results. Students will identify policy barriers, analyze electoral strategy, develop approaches to build coalitions, design effective messaging, and create political strategies to pass policies. Students will gain knowledge of their own responsibility of being actors in the policy process.

  • ESM 210 Business and Sustainability

    3 units |  Emily Cotter, Eric Masanet

    This course provides an understanding of how businesses can become more sustainable and how accountability is ensured with external stakeholders. Students will examine sustainability from multiple stakeholder perspectives: finding opportunities in compliance, increasing efficiencies in the value chain, and designing, marketing and selling more sustainable products and services. Topics will include ESG reporting, risk management, carbon footprints, sustainability certifications, life cycle assessment, green design principles, greenwashing, science-based targets, and organizational behavior. Through project- and case-based learning, students will develop cross-sector leadership skills and gain experience in stakeholder communications.

  • ESM 211 Applied Population Ecology

    4 units |  Christopher Jerde

    Examination of the application of population ecology to conservation of rare species and management of harvested populations. Topics include populations regulation, population viability analysis, fisheries management, metapopulation dynamics, and populations monitoring.

  • ESM 212 Biological Community Survey & Analysis

    4 units |  Andy MacDonald

    This spring break intensive course will introduce students to the principles and practice of designing and executing field sampling campaigns to characterize, map, and inventory plant and animal communities. The course will review basic sampling theory, introduce survey methods for terrestrial vegetation, terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as aquatic invertebrates. Students will gain experience with multivariate analysis of community data, as well as methods for vegetation and species habitat mapping and modeling. Learning objectives and activities will be primarily field-based, and will take place at UCSB’s Sedgwick and Coal Oil Point Reserves.

  • ESM 214 Biological Waste Treatment *

    5 units |  Patricia Holden

    Concepts and approaches to correct and alleviate the effects of environmental pollution using biological processes. Biochemical, ecological, and physiochemical aspects of remediation and mitigation. Assessing and monitoring applicability/efficacy of biological treatment. Natural and engineered methods for adversely affected biological resources.

  • ESM 216 Science and Management for Forest Sustainability

    2 units |  Joan Dudney

    Graduate-level introduction to forest sustainability from an applied interdisciplinary research and environmental problem-solving perspective. The course meets weekly, with each week covering a different aspect of forest science (e.g., forest ecohydrology) or management (e.g., wildfire policy). The material will be covered through readings as well as lectures and discussions led by faculty experts from the Bren School and beyond. Students will also develop a research proposal or analysis (as relevant to their degree) that is related to forest sustainability. Students will present their proposals/projects in the final week of the course; proposals may form the basis of subsequent MESM Group Projects or PhD research.

  • ESM 219 Microbial Processes in the Environment *

    5 units |  Patricia Holden

    Microbes are the most abundant organisms on earth and are responsible for most biogeochemical cycling. Who and where are they, what do they do, and how? This course provides an integrated understanding applicable to managing the environment and natural resources.

  • ESM 224 Sustainable Water Resources Management

    4 units |  Arturo Keller

    Integrates environmental science and management to address sustainable watershed management. Learn the elements of a watershed management plan and become familiar with the planning process that takes into consideration various issues and concerns and provides concrete actions to address them. Addresses both water quantity and quality issues in a comprehensive approach.

  • ESM 225 Water Policy

    4 units |  Cora Snyder

    Water policy broadly comprises the structures, processes, rules, and institutions that we use to manage water resources. This course will provide an overview of water policies at global, national, statewide, and local scales, across public and private sectors. The course will look back into history at how and why these policies were developed, and forward into the future at how they can be improved to meet 21st century realities, particularly climate change.

  • ESM 226 Groundwater Management

    4 units |  Scott Jasechko

    Examines the principles and tools for groundwater management and stewardship of groundwater resources in the US and includes examples drawn from global groundwater management challenges.

  • ESM 228 Monitoring & Evaluation *

    4 units |  Mark Buntaine

    Evidence-based programming and policy­making are now priorities for many non­profit organizations and public agencies, including those that deal with environment, energy, climate change, and natural resource management. At the heart of this approach is monitoring and evaluation, which help organizations learn about the effectiveness of policies and programs so that they can make better decisions about using scarce resources. This course provides an overview of the considerations and techniques involved with setting up monitoring and evaluation systems within public and non­profit organizations that are designed to promote learning about the efficacy, effectiveness, and impact of policies and programs.

  • ESM 229 Economics & Policy of Climate Change

    4 units |  Kyle C. Meng

    Anthropogenic climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society. Economics provide a powerful intellectual foundation for understanding and analyzing many of these challenges. This course employs insights and tools from economics to understand climate change impacts, the design of mitigation and adaptation policies, and the consequences of these policies. Special attention will be paid to how climate impacts and policies could exacerbate or alleviate existing social inequities. Lectures are designed to help students become critically-minded practitioners of climate policy by using empirical evidence and economic reasoning. Problem sets expand students’ skillsets in statistical analysis and numerical modeling.

  • ESM 230 Strategic Planning for Social Impact *

    4 units |  Emily Cotter

    Developing a strategic direction for a nonprofit, government agency or philanthropic organization. Topics include the strategy development process, stakeholder analysis, vision and mission, strategic positioning, plan implementation and measuring success.

  • ESM 231 Creating Value through Environmental Solutions

    2 units |  Emily Cotter

    In this practicum, students explore environmental challenges faced by a specific corporation and identify opportunities to improve environmental impact through business model innovation. Working on a team with an industry mentor, students evaluate the financial potential, expected social/environmental impact and innovation risks of their ideas. Practical application of theory and tools from ESM 281.

  • ESM 232 Environmental Modeling

    4 units |  Christina (Naomi) Tague

    Introduction to the development, evaluation, interpretation, and presentation of models as applied to environmental problems. Course will consist of theory and many practical examples building and interpreting models using computers.

  • ESM 233 Testing Innovation Opportunities and Organizational Readiness

    2 units |  Emily Cotter

    In this practicum, students test a business model innovation designed to improve environmental impact for a specific corporation. Working on a team with an industry mentor, students conduct customer and market research to validate their idea and assess their corporation’s innovation culture. Practical application of theory and tools from ESM 281.

  • ESM 235 Watershed Analysis

    4 units |  Scott Jasechko

    Hydrologic and geomorphic basis of environmental management problems concerning land surfaces and channels in small drainage basins, particularly the effects of land use and engineered alteration to stream channels. Emphasis placed in the integrated application of both theory and field methods to analyze existing conditions, evaluate the potential effectiveness of alternative solutions, and understand the limitations imposed by intrinsic watershed conditions and other human constraints. Implications for in-stream biota and water quality are acknowledged but not emphasized in this course.

  • ESM 237 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

    4 units |  Samantha Stevenson

    Global climate change may dramatically alter water resources and the ecosystems that depend upon them. This course will provide an overview of research on current and projected future hydro-ecological impacts of a changing climate at local to global scales.

  • ESM 240 Climate Change Biology *

    2 units |  Lee Hannah

    Biological changes in response to climate, their causes, emerging conservation responses and policy implications.

  • ESM 242 Natural Resource Economics and Policy

    4 units |  Andrew Plantinga

    Economic principles and policy issues in the use of exhaustible and renewable resources including fossil fuels, water, minerals, fisheries, forests, and biodiversity. Management of resource markets on a regional or international scale.

  • ESM 243 Environmental Policy Analysis

    4 units |  Sarah Anderson

    Developing and analyzing environmental policies involves balancing social, political, and economic considerations. Course covers this process, including problem identification, formation of alternative policy response, and methods of analyzing and selecting the most appropriate policy response, and effective communications of results to clients/policymakers.

  • ESM 244 Advanced Data Analysis

    4 units |  Casey O'Hara

    Learn to use specialized data analysis techniques commonly employed in ESM. Topics include: environmental monitoring, incorporating methods for censored data and for time series; spatial data interpolation and prediction; and multi-criteria decision analysis.

  • ESM 245 Cost-Benefit Analysis and Non-market Valuation

    4 units |  Christopher Costello

    Economic theory of environmental policy, with special emphasis on the role of cost-benefit analysis. Techniques for estimating economic values for non-market environmental resources. Case studies involving ecosystem protection, pollution control, and other topics to illustrate the necessary analytical tools.

  • ESM 248 Environmental Institutions *

    4 units |  Yifan (Flora) He

    Comparative study of management systems or regimes addressing natural resources and environmental concerns and operating at scales ranging from local to global. Topics include characterization of individual regimes and factors affecting the formation, evolution, and effectiveness of these institutional arrangements.

  • ESM 254 Coastal Marine Ecosystem Processes

    4 units |  Hunter Lenihan

    Examination of physical, chemical and geological processes in coastal ecosystems, including estuaries, that are influenced by human activities. Focus centers on dynamical processes that control biological communities and resources, and the relationship of the science to marine resource management and policy.

  • ESM 256B Value Proposition Design for New Environmental Ventures

    2 units |  Emily Cotter

    In this course, students develop concepts for new environmental ventures. Topics include customer discovery, industry analysis, market opportunity assessment and value proposition design.

  • ESM 257 Coastal Marine Policy & Management

    4 units |  STAFF

    Conceptual approaches and analytical tools used in marine ecosystem management, marine biodiversity protection, and integrative watershed planning. Review of relevant international, federal and state marine policies and programs.

  • ESM 260 Applied Marine Ecology

    4 units |  Hunter Lenihan

    The application of ecological science to environmental problem-solving in marine ecosystems. Emphasis on marine ecological theories, processes, and methods necessary to distinguish the ecological impacts caused by human activities from those caused by natural disturbance and other processes. Students focus on the presentation, interpretation, and analysis of data, read primary scientific literature and a few key textbook chapters, produce a grant proposal, and present their grant ideas orally. There are no exams in this course.

  • ESM 262 Computing for Environmental Science and Management

    2 units |  Louis Graup

    Introduction to computing for data management, analysis and modelling for environmental applications. The course provides MESM students with the basic computing and programming skills used in data science. Topics include: the basic computing environment (hardware and operating systems); programming language concepts; program design; data management, data structures and implementation; software tools; workflows, version control, and reproducibility; generic analytical techniques (relational algebra, graphical analysis, visualization, etc.); and specific characteristics of environmental information.

  • ESM 263 Geographic Information Systems

    4 units |  Ashley Larsen

    Advanced introduction to GIS theory and technology, emphasizing spatial analysis and cartographic presentation. Typical algorithms and data structures. Role of GIS in environmental information management. Integration of GIS with other analytical tools.

  • ESM 269 Survey Design and Environmental Public Opinion

    2 units |  Heather Hodges

    Issues of survey design, including sampling, questionnaire design, data collection and data processing. Students will design and field an original survey, analyze the survey data and report the results.

  • ESM 270 Conservation Planning & Priority Setting

    4 units |  Ashley Larsen

    Analytical approaches that can be used to direct energy and resources toward conservation that yields the greatest return on investment. Case studies of how government agencies, international multilateral institutions and non-governmental agencies identify where to invest their conservation efforts. (Note: this is an 8-day intensive course offered immediately before the start of regular Fall quarter instruction.)

  • ESM 270P Conservation Planning Practicum

    4 units |  Ashley Larsen

    In depth development and analysis of a specific conservation plan, from start (goal setting) to finish (spatially explicit recommendations). Practical application of theory and tools from ESM270. If appropriate, MESM Group Project locations can be used as the case study.

  • ESM 271 Carbon Footprints & Carbon Accounting

    4 units |  Caitlin Swalec

    Using the BSI’s PAS 2050, the WRI’s GHG Protocols, and the ISO14067, basic skills and knowledge necessary to establish corporate carbon accounts and to calculate carbon footprints will be covered.

  • ESM 273 Life Cycle Assessment

    4 units |  Eric Masanet

    Advanced introduction to life cycle assessment (LCA) tools and practice. Students will conduct an LCA according to ISO 14040/44 (2006) using professional LCA software. Goal and scope definition, parametric life cycle inventory modeling, impact assessment, sensitivity analysis, reporting.

  • ESM 277 International Environmental Law *

    2 units |  James Salzman

    This short course provides a general introduction to international environmental law and policy. After reviewing the rise of the international environment agenda, the course concentrates on how societies have responded to global-scale environmental challenges, including biodiversity loss, climate change, ozone depletion, and the loss of living marine resources. The principal response to date has been in the area of international environmental law and policy, where a major new field of law and diplomacy has developed and new multilateral institutions created.

  • ESM 278 Natural Resources Law and Policy *

    2 units |  James Salzman

    This course explores the law and policy of how we use nature - timber, mining, biodiversity, fisheries, water rights, and agriculture. It describes the historical and constitutional geography of American public lands: the national parks, forests, wilderness system, and grazing lands, and disputes over federal versus local control of these. There is special attention to the historical and political origins of our competing ideas of how nature matters and what we should do with it, from economically productive use to outdoor recreation to preserving the natural world for its own sake.

  • ESM 279 Financial Management and Environmental Accounting

    4 units |  Andrew Plantinga

    Corporate financial management and reporting and environmental accounting. Function of stock markets, discounted cash flows, investment appraisal and decisions, valuation of bonds and stocks, the capital structure decision, the accounting model, management and control of enterprises, financial reporting and financial statement analysis.

  • ESM 280 Practical Solutions in Business and Sustainability

    2 units |  Matthew Potoski

    Introduces students to practical applications of business sustainability across a range of companies and problems. For the class sessions, students will be presented with an environmental problem currently faced by a corporate environmental manager. Students will prepare potential solutions and workshop the problem with the manager during the class session, looking for creative ways to help solve the problem.

  • ESM 281 Advanced Business and Sustainability

    4 units |  Matthew Potoski

    Prepares students to use creatively conceptual tools and management strategies to improve the environmental performance of firms. Corporate, societal, and political barriers to implementing these innovative strategies will be analyzed and methods for overcoming these constraints discussed.

  • ESM 282 Pollution Prevention

    4 units |  Roland Geyer

    An alternative to pollution control or remediation is to prevent it in the first place. This can be achieved through increased efficiency, material and technology substitution, and reuse and recycling. This course introduces pollution prevention through theory building and case studies. It also teaches and applies pertinent concepts and tools from industrial ecology.

  • ESM 284 Sustainable Product Development *

    4 units |  Eric Masanet

    Product development includes conceptualization of customer needs and product ideation, user-based market research, competitive benchmarking, and consideration of product specifications, supply chains, and production characteristics to launch successful products. This course leverages this approach but with the application of environmental criteria, metrics, and impact estimation to identify product solutions that address both market and environmental needs, including through the use of materials and process environmental datasets, life-cycle and systems thinking, green design principles, comparative analysis, and the leveraging and application of environmental certification criteria.

  • ESM 286 Energy Economics and Markets

    4 units |  Ranjit Deshmukh

    The energy sector is undergoing a profound transition as we move towards lower carbon resources, phase out fossil fuels, and increasingly electrify end-uses. The direction and pace of this transition to a large extent, will depend on the evolving economics of different energy technologies and fuels, and the markets and regulations that govern different energy subsectors. Drawing on concepts, methods, and examples from engineering and economics, we will cover a range of topics including wholesale electricity and fossil fuel markets, electric power systems, energy project valuation, electricity planning and resource adequacy, auctions, retail rate design, externalities, and energy equity and justice.

  • ESM 288 Energy, Technology and the Environment

    4 units |  Roland Geyer

    Covers the main physical principles of energy conversion and the environmental impacts related to it. Also explores the balance between resource availability and demand, and the relationship between energy use and technology.

  • ESM 293 Advanced Special Topics in Climate and Energy

    1-4 unit | 

    Advanced topics in climate and energy.

  • ESM 294 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Law

    1-4 unit | 

    Advanced, special topics in environmental law. May be repeated for credit with changes in content.

  • ESM 295B Advanced Topics in Environmental Justice

    2 units |  Jay Chakraborty

    This course considers what it means to rectify environmental injustices and create meaningful change. Understanding historic and systemic oppression, silenced voices, colonialism, racism, and lack of representation of marginalized groups is essential knowledge for anyone working in the environmental field. But where do we go from here? This course considers ways that we can co-develop equitable solutions and share power and access responsibly—with sensitivity, creativity, and resourcefulness. Building on concepts introduced in ESM 295A: Equity & Environment, this course challenges students to collaborate and create smart responses to some difficult social and environmental realities, through case studies, group work, and guest speakers.

  • ESM 296 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Management

    1-4 unit | 

    Advanced, special topics in environmental management. May be repeated for credit with changes in content.

  • ESM 296-2F Advanced Topics in Environmental Management: Conservation Results

    2 units |  Will Shafroth

    This seminar actively engages students in understanding how to accomplish conservation outcomes through 1) governmental processes – passing legislation/ballot measures and creating protected areas, 2) nonprofit organization initiatives – conserving landscapes, and 3) multi-party negotiations. The course uses case studies, actively engages students in discussions, and includes conservation experts to share practical experiences and lessons learned. Objectives are to understand ways to create durable solutions for conservation, learn how to navigate critical public and private processes, and gain valuable insights from perspectives of many different players. The course integrates diverse perspectives and issues related to equity and inclusion throughout the course and in the discussions.

  • ESM 297 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Policy

    1-4 unit | 

    Advanced, special topics in environmental policy. May be repeated for credit with changes in content.

  • ESM 298 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Innovation & Entrepreneurship

    2 units |  Emily Cotter

    Advanced, special topics in environmental innovation and entrepreneurship. May be repeated for credit with changes in content.

  • ESM 299 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Science

    1-4 unit | 

    Advanced, special topics in environmental science. May be repeated for credit with changes in content.

  • ESM 401A Masters Group Project

    4 units | 

    First quarter of a year-long group study of an environmental problem. Includes in-class training sessions to develop skills necessary to efficiently and effectively conduct the study.

  • ESM 401B Masters Group Project

    4 units | 

    Second quarter of a year-long group study of an environmental problem.

  • ESM 401C Masters Group Project

    4 units | 

    Third quarter of a year-long group study of an environmental problem. Requires completion of a final report, and defense.

  • ESM 401D Masters Group Project

    2 units | 

    Fourth quarter of a year-long group study of an environmental problem. Requires completion of a policy brief, poster, and public presentation.

  • ESM 402A Business Model Development for New Environmental Ventures

    4 units |  Emily Cotter

    Teaches students how to practice evidence-based entrepreneurship and rigorously evaluate a business idea that could make a positive and measurable environmental impact. Students test their assumptions and gather evidence to reduce risk and uncertainty, in order to develop a viable business model.

  • ESM 402B Masters Eco-E Project

    4 units | 

    Second quarter of a year-long team project to develop a new environmental venture.

  • ESM 402C Masters Eco-E Project

    4 units | 

    Third quarter of a year-long team project to develop a new environmental venture. Requires completion of a final report and defense.

  • ESM 402D Masters Eco-E Project

    2 units | 

    Fourth quarter of a year-long team project to develop a new environmental venture. Requires completion of marketing communication materials and a public presentation.

  • ESM 410 Internship Practicum

    1 unit | 

    Students complete a summer internship, prepare a short paper, and present internship experiences to the Bren School community through an informal presentation.

  • ESM 425 Workshops in Communication

    0.5-1 units | 

    Special workshops to help Bren students strengthen communication skills.

  • ESM 430 Workshops in Environmental Science & Management

    1 unit | 

    Workshops to develop professional skills for careers in Environmental Science & Management.

  • ESM 437 Writing Skills for Environmental Professionals

    4 units |  STAFF

    This course will provide you the skills to write effectively across academic and applied genres in the environmental sciences. A focus on writing mechanics and the principles of good scientific and analytical writing will help you de-clutter and streamline your work. We’ll review the importance of thesis, audience, tone, organization and structure, document design, and citations. We will also cover writing styles and formats you’ll likely encounter in your career, such as research and project proposals, evaluations and data summaries, policy analyses, writing for the public, and professional correspondence. You will practice “two kinds of thinking” essential to effective writing: free-form and creative brainstorming, followed by critical assessment and revision of your work. Classes will include lectures, discussions, in-class activities, and peer review workshops.This class is also designed to help nonnative English speakers improve accuracy and fluency in academic and applied writing in the environmental sciences; it is strongly encouraged for all incoming international students.

  • ESM 438 Presentation Skills for Environmental Professionals

    4 units |  Staff

    This five week, graduate level course is an intensive dive into public speaking skills for environmental professionals. In lectures, all 20 students will learn about various topics around giving presentations (e.g., appropriate tone, designing slides, outlining talks, answering questions) and practice these skills through individual and group active learning exercises. Prior to and during labs, groups of 10 students will prepare and practice presentations on components of their environmental science research projects (introduction, methods, conclusions), giving and receiving feedback to improve delivery and design. Each lab will sequentially build, culminating in a full 12-15 minute talk per student.

  • ESM 440A Strategic Environmental Communication

    2 units |  Heather Hodges

    Successful environmental communication is not just about getting the facts right. Before tackling an issue, it's critical to consider the intended audiences and their values and attitudes. In this class you will study communication theory, including how logic, emotion, persuasion, and social influence work. You will also learn about strategic messaging and outreach to achieve your communication goals.

  • ESM 440B Environmental Storytelling

    2 units |  STAFF

    Environmental solutions are only as effective as your ability to communicate them-- and story is one of the most important tools you have to engage your audiences. In this course you will learn how to develop compelling stories using conflict, drama, and character. You will also gain an understanding of the complex media environment in which your messages compete for attention. To build skills, you will also practice messaging for different audiences, and craft your own stories.

  • ESM 441 Introduction to Environmental Media Production

    3 units |  Ian Kellett

    This course is designed to give students the basic skills needed to conceptualize, capture, edit, and deliver short-form video content with an environmental theme. Industry standards of cinematography, sound, lighting, and digital editing are covered. Through lectures and practical demonstrations of production equipment and techniques, students will gain an introductory understanding of video production.

  • ESM 442 Communication for Civic Engagement & Grassroots Organizing

    2 units |  Heather Hodges

    Reviews the role and effectiveness of grassroots environmental efforts on local, statewide, and national scales. Students will explore organizing strategies and tactics based on various theories of change, addressing topics such as community outreach and collaboration, policy campaigning and more.

  • ESM 449 Environmental Communication Practicum

    4 units |  STAFF

    This capstone course will give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and communication skills in a practical setting. Working in teams with diverse skills, students will develop and implement their own information campaign in association with an environmental firm, organization, local or regional government, or other institution. Students may choose to use the environmental issue(s) explored in their Group Project or Eco-Entrepreneurship Project, or another topic.

  • ESM 596 Directed Readings and Research

    1-12 unit |  Staff

    Independent study under the supervision of a Bren School faculty member (a faculty member from another department cannot supervise an ESM 596 course). Registration requires an ESM 596 Petition approved and signed by the supervising faculty member and the Assistant Dean before the start of the quarter. No petitions will be accepted after the 3rd week of the quarter. The ESM 596 Petition can be found on the Bren School website on the Class Schedule page. Registration in ESM 596 requires an “instructor code” that can be found on the Bren School website on the instructor's individual page. ESM 596 may be taken for a letter grade or S/U (as agreed upon by the instructor and the student). ESM 596 is a variable unit course; MESM students may apply a maximum of 4 units of ESM 596 towards their MESM degree requirements.

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