Learning and Engaging with Sustainability
The degree, course, and service learning options offered at UC Berkeley allow students to increase their understanding of the complex issue of sustainability. Cutting-edge research contributes to finding solutions to existing problems and expands learning outcomes. Grants, class projects, and student organizations help tie what is learned in the classroom and the lab to real world outcomes.
Addressing Complex Environmental Issues
The Berkeley Institute of the Environment (BIE) is a campus-wide initiative created to leverage UC Berkeley’s collective resources for multidisciplinary research, teaching, and action to help address the planet’s most critical environmental problems.
The Institute’s goals are to address complex environmental problems through:
- Faculty Roundtables and Working Groups: Fostering collaboration and new ways of thinking about critical environmental problems across disciplines.
- Research Programs: Applying the most promising real world environmental solutions through demonstration projects, locally and around the world.
- Student Programs: Training a new generation of environmental researchers, citizens and professionals.
On BIE’s environmental portal find information on more about the over 450 environmental and sustainability courses, at least 10% of departments offer at least one of these courses.
Berkeley Law and the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) Create Concurrent Degree
Students are now able to earn both a J.D and an M.S. or M.A. ERG degree after four years of study through a Concurrent Master’s Program. Interest in energy-related legal work means increased job opportunities for graduates, and this program will explore the synergies between the two fields. ERG works within science, policy, and business communities to tackle issues in clean energy, climate change, ecosystems, and biodiversity, while the Law School had one of the first environmental law programs in the country. The cross-disciplinary program will admit its first students in Fall 2011.
Berkeley Leads in Green Chemistry
The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry promotes activities critical to achieving sustainability and aims to develop greener chemical products. This year the center successfully redesigned lab experiments for Berkeley’s introductory chemistry classes, supported a student seminar on green chemistry, added new labs for Chemistry 4A and 4B, and has worked to develop three new advanced graduate-level chemistry classes. Now Chem1A labs on campus include numerous experiments investigating topics such as bio-fuels and ocean acidification, with overall goals of waste reduction, “using fewer nasty chemicals, while teaching students how chemistry can be used to solve problems.”*
*Robert Sanders, “Green Chemistry in the lab and beyond,” UC Berkeley NewsCenter, March 22, 2011.
Learn More about campus academic opportunities and accomplishments.