Environmental Sciences Berkeley


Environmental Sciences Senior Thesis

The Senior Research Seminar in Environmental Sciences is the culmination and pinnacle of the progression through the Enviromental Sciences (ES) major in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley.

The year-long senior thesis is a demanding but rewarding opportunity for students to make use of the skills and knowledge gained in previous coursework, applying them to a real environmental problem in which students may have a significant role in furthering public understanding and determining future policy. Students will gain experience in designing and executing independent research, and in presenting research results effectively in oral and written form. A good thesis can be a persuasive demonstration of the student's capabilities in applications for employment or graduate school, and for many students this project fundamentally determines their professional directions after graduation.

All ESPM 175 thesis projects are expected to:

Class meetings, assignments, and individual conferences are designed to provide students with extensive guidance and feedback in all phases of the projects, including constructive criticism on written assignments and formalized oral presentations, student discussion groups, conferences with instructors, and consultations with environmental practitioners.

The work is carried out over two mor more semesters. The first semester is spent refining a research proposal, writing introductory material, designing methods, gathering and analyzing preliminary data. The second semester is spent completing data collection and analysis, and writing and revising many thesis drafts. Two semesters of work with extensive input will allow students to produce a thesis of publishable quality. This course follows the prerequisite course ESPM 100ES: Introduction to the Methods of Environmental Sciences in which students develop their research proposal.