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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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  • ASI: Student opportunities

    Find out about the major in sustainable agriculture and food systems, sustainable agriculture courses, and opportunities at the Student Farm.

  • ITS: Transportation Technology and Policy Graduate Group

    Program provides an interdisciplinary education for addressing pressing transportation, environmental, economic, and social problems.

  • Energy efficiency courses

    The Energy Efficiency Center recommends courses for students interested in learning about practical and theoretical aspects of energy efficiency.

  • JMIE: Academic opportunities

    UC Davis has the most comprehensive offering of environmental degree programs in the nation. Find out about eco-courses, graduate groups, departments and programs.

  • UC Davis Design Department

    Academic department includes sustainable fashion, interiors, lighting and exhibit design.

Student Involvement: Classes and Majors

Sustainability issues are often incorporated into UC Davis curriculum, whether for an undergraduate class, graduate programs or continuing education for professionals.

Photo: A male student leans over a desk with materials for crafting models

Students construct paper prototypes for Professor Siminovitch's light emitting diode (LED) luminaire design project at the California Lighting Technology Center.

A comprehensive list of UC Davis courses with the word "sustainable" or "sustainability" in their course titles or descriptions, in addition to courses suggested by faculty, were compiled in 2010 for the Climate Action Plan. The list was last updated in May 2014 for the campus' Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report. In winter 2016, faculty compiled a focused list of courses that address climate science and climate change actions.

For an introduction to environmental awareness topics, the student-run Campus Center for the Environment has created a list of lower division courses with few or no prerequisites that can help expand environmental awareness.

One of the most specific courses on sustainability is the Education for Sustainable Living Program, a two-unit seminar series also open to Davis community members. The interdisciplinary lectures focus on specific topics such as transportation, purchasing, energy use, waste reduction and green building. The program's overall focus is on defining sustainability principles, applying them to daily life and the university, and encouraging campus community members to work together to carry out the principles. Students can also gain experience in "walking the talk" by committing to an Action Research Team project, for two additional credits.

Thematic course lists and majors

Photo: Students hear a lecture on UC Davis' sustainability efforts

Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability staff frequently talk to classes about sustainability topics.

Several UC Davis research groups maintain lists of classes and majors related to sustainability and their specific areas of study.

Professional and continuing education

UC Davis offers educational opportunities for professionals interested in expanding their knowledge of sustainability issues, especially in relation to energy efficiency, sustainable building design and green entrepreneurship. 

UC Davis Extension offers certificate programs focused on California's green economy to industry professionals in several fields. The Green Building and Sustainable Design certificate program focuses on efficient energy and water use for healthier communities and is intended for planners, architects, developers, contractors, landscape architects and interior designers. The Green Building and Renewable Energy certificate program combines information about planning, design, engineering and construction with renewable energy systems. The Energy Resource Management certificate focuses on energy efficiency, cost savings and risk reduction especially for government and business leaders already involved in energy management issues.

The Green Entrepreneurship Academy at the Center for Entrepreneurship is designed for scientists and engineers who want to explore commercialization and potential impact of their research. Taught by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business school faculty, this one-week program focuses on transitioning "environmentally sustainable research out of the laboratory and into the world."

Additional suggestions for continuing education and business development are available from the Energy Efficiency Center.

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