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Pollution Prevention and Remediation

Specialization Advisor(s)

Pollution prevention is any practice that stops pollution at its source before it is created. Pollution prevention strengthens economic growth through greater efficiency in industry production and by reducing the need for households, businesses, and communities to handle waste. These practices also conserve and protect natural resources, while simultaneously preventing health problems and environmental damage caused by pollution.

Once pollution is created, remediation efforts are needed. Remediation technology includes thermal desorption, excavation or dredging, bioremediation, and soil vapor extraction, among other technologies.

The Pollution Prevention and Remediation (PPR) specialization in the Bren Master of Environmental Science and Management program prepares you to recognize pollutants, characterize the extent and consequences of pollution in the environment, identify and evaluate alternatives for remediation and prevention, and evaluate the economic and political viability of alternatives. The main goal of the PPR specialization is to prepare students for careers in pollution management through consulting, industry, government, or nonprofit organizations. 

Factory in agricultural field with smoke


Master of Environmental Science and Management students are required to take a minimum of 36 units of electives in their primary specialization. With an advisor’s approval, Bren students may also take courses in other UCSB departments as electives to satisfy specialization requirements. 

ESM courses are offered through the Bren School and most ESM courses are offered every year. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) will be offered every other year. 


PPR Specialization Courses (12 units required)

ESM 214  Biological Waste Management (4 units)*
ESM 219  Microbial Processes in the Environment (4 units)*
ESM 222  Pollution Risk Management (4 units)
ESM 282  Pollution Prevention (4 units)

Technical Skills (4 units required)

ESM 212  Biological Community Survey & Analysis (4 units)
ESM 228  Monitoring and Evaluation (4 units)
ESM 232  Environmental Modeling (4 units)
ESM 244  Advanced Data Analysis (4 units)
ESM 262  Computing for Environmental Science and Management (2 units)
ESM 263  Geographic Information Systems (4 units)
ESM 269  Survey Design and Environmental Public Opinion (2 units)
ESM 271  Carbon Footprints and Carbon Accounting (4 units)
ESM 273  Life Cycle Assessment (4 units)
ESM 284 Sustainable Product Development (4 units)
ESM 287 Energy Demand Analysis (4 units)

Environmental Economics, Policy, and Law (recommended)

ESM 225  Water Policy (4 units)
ESM 229  Economics and Policy of Climate Change (4 units)
ESM 242  Natural Resource Economics (4 units)
ESM 243  Environmental Policy Analysis (4 units)
ESM 245  Cost Benefit Analysis (4 units)
ESM 248  Environmental Institutions (4 units)
ESM 277  International Environmental Law (2 units)*
ESM 278  Natural Resources Law and Policy (2 units)*

Environmental Management (4 units required)

ESM 230  Strategic Planning for Non-Profit Ventures (4 units)*
ESM 279  Financial Management and Environmental Accounting (4 units)
ESM 281  Corporate Environmental Management (4 units)
ESM 284 Sustainable Product Development (4 units)

Additional Science (4 units required)

ESM 211  Applied Population Ecology (4 units)
ESM 214  Biological Waste Treatment (4 units)*
ESM 215  Landscape Ecology (4 units)
ESM 219  Microbial Processes in the Environment (4 units)*
ESM 222  Pollution Risk Management (4 units)
ESM 224  Sustainable Water Resources Management (4 units)
ESM 226  Groundwater Management (4 units)
ESM 235  Watershed Analysis (4 units)
ESM 237  Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (4 units)
ESM 239  Advanced Climate Science for Policymakers (4 units)*
ESM 240  Climate Change Biology (2 units)*
ESM 254  Coastal Marine Ecosystem Processes (4 units)
ESM 260  Applied Marine Ecology (4 units)
ESM 270  Conservation Planning & Priority Setting (4 units)
ESM 270P  Conservation Planning Practicum (4 units)
ESM 282  Pollution Prevention (4 units)
ESM 288  Energy, Technology and the Environment (4 units)
Or fill in relevant science course from other UCSB department

Advanced Special Topics (recommended)

Advanced Special Topics courses (variable units) are typically taught by Visiting Professors and Lecturers and may be offered during any quarter of the academic year.

ESM 293  Advanced Special Topics in Climate and Energy
ESM 294  Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Law
ESM 296  Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Management
ESM 297  Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Policy
ESM 299  Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Science
ESM 430  Workshops in Environmental Science and Management

Relevant Courses in other UCSB departments

CHEM 123  Fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry
EEMB 153  Ecology of Lakes and Wetlands
EEMB 279  Modeling Environmental and Ecological Change
GEOG 276  Geographical Time Series Analysis

Internship Opportunities

Students gain experience in an industry or sector relevant to career goals through a summer internship. PPR students have taken internships with a wide variety of organizations, including Clean Air Council, Earthwatch Institute, Coalition for Clean Air, Center for Alternative Technology, Goleta Water District, Rainforest Action Network, Outreach International, and many other agencies, organizations, and companies.

Research & Special Projects

Students may participate in research directed by Bren faculty through one of the many interdisciplinary research groups at UCSB. 

Group holding hands and jumping

Are you ready to solve environmental problems?

Request more information, sign up for an admissions webinar, or start your application today.

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