Backpack through tropical rainforests in Costa Rica, research the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, or delve deeper into sustainability in New Zealand. No matter your interest in Earth Systems Science there is a myriad of unique experiences well suited to ESS majors. Of course ESS majors, like other SNS majors, need some careful planning to make study abroad work in their academic plan, but ESS majors have some of the most exciting options abroad and upper-division electives and undergraduate research electives should fit well with program opportunities.
Programs Specifically for Earth Systems Science
Sustainability: Sciences, Landscape Architecture & Environmental Management
Explore stunning New Zealand while you study topics such as agroecology, GIS mapping, biodiversity, and resource assessment, among many others. Renowned for excellence in environmental and resource studies, Lincoln University provides courses firmly anchored in the needs and issues of the real world. You will take courses in either the Sciences or Environmental Management & Planning fields.
Tropical Biology & Conservation, Monteverde
Explore the flora and fauna of Monteverde, one of the richest wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics. Extensive field trips and captivating lectures in the forest illustrate key biological concepts, and dedicated instructors will help you build your skills as a scientist as you conduct your own research project. Other highlights include a week-long backpacking trip, two weeks of camping, and a brief homestay.
Marine Biology & Terrestrial Ecology, Univ. of Queensland
Participate in innovative research in the diverse marine ecosystems of Queensland. This program will take you from the bio-rich Australian rainforest around Lamington National Park to nesting turtles at Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Study marine biology and human and terrestrial ecology with fellow UC students in courses designed with labs, extensive fieldwork, and hands-on research.
Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Sustainable Development Track
The number one university choice for Israeli undergraduate students, Ben-Gurion University in Beersheva is a leader in sustainable development, environmental studies, global health, and Israel studies. BGU, a world leader in sustainability research, offers the Sustainable Development and Environment Track, with a required research seminar and field study, plus other related courses. tudy the ecological, economic, social, cultural, demographic, and political aspects of sustainable development in the Middle East.
Biodiversity, National Univ. of Singapore
Explore biodiversity, along with local language and culture, and learn about tropical ecosystems and diverse communities of this island-nation, with a field excursion to a Malaysian island for research.
These are only programs that target coursework in Earth Systems Science. Immersion, exchange, field studies, and international school programs should also have a selection of offerings to suit Earth Systems Science majors.
Immersion & Exchange Programs Suggested for Earth Systems Science
Univ. of Copenhagen
Denmark is a global leader in the use of renewable energy, advanced technologies, and creation of a sustainable society. Enjoy small class sizes within this large, research-based university, and access many opportunities to participate in research projects in your major. You may take first year graduate level courses for upper-division credit provided you have the appropriate background.
Univ. of the West Indies
Barbados is an excellent location to focus studies on tropical and marine science. The University of West Indies at Cave Hill offers a wide selection of courses including: Caribbean Island Biogeography, Tropical Ornamental Plants, Climate Variability and Predictability, Coral Reef Ecology, Fisheries Biology, and Environmental Chemistry. The Cave Hill campus is also home to the Barbados Sea Turtle Project which offers opportunities to volunteer for 1 to 2 month periods throughout the year.
Univ. of Cape Town
Small class sizes, field work, and hands-on lab work all complement studies at the University of Cape Town. The Department of Environmental & Geographic Sciences is known for its commitment to sustainable living. Some focus areas include climatology, climate change, soil erosion and land degradation, and environmental management. The Department of Biological Sciences houses the Bolus Herbarium, Marine Biology Research Centre, the Plant Conservation Unit, and the Animal Demography Unit, among other research centers.
ESS students will find courses in the Department of Earth & Ecosystem Sciences, Human Ecology, and the Faculty of Engineering. You may take first year graduate-level courses for upper-division credit provided you have the appropriate background.
English Universities: Univ. of East Anglia
You have access to innovative fieldwork in development, ecology, and energy engineering. And world-leading research and teaching at UEA's School of Biological Sciences covers the full spectrum of biology, from biomedicine and developmental biology to microbiology, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, ecology, and conservation.
National Univ. of Singapore (NUS)
At this highly ranked research institution, you can enjoy many science courses with lab or field research components. ESS courses have been taken by many UC students and address such issues as climate change, land and water use, alternative energy, and the building of livable high-density cities.
By no means is this list comprehensive, but you may also search additional program opportunities.
UCEAP Courses Publicly Approved
The School of Natural Sciences has made some previously approved courses for SNS substitutions and/or requirements available to the public. This is not a comprehensive list of courses available but it may be a starting point in your research.
Course Approval and Course Approval Forms
With a few exceptions of previously approved courses (ask your academic advisor), courses will need to be approved to meet individual degree requirements. In these cases, students will use the Course Approval Form for the school that would typically offer such a course at UC Merced:
The school will usually require a syllabus or equivalent in order to do a review. Keep in mind that syllabi may be protected intellectual property of certain professors or universities and may not be publicly posted online. If it is a UC Center program, you may be able to acquire syllabi through your study abroad advisor. If the program is with a local host university and the course is not posted online, you may be able to inquire with the instructor or host university in some cases.
No matter your academic intentions while studying abroad, you should consult your academic advisor in Natural Sciences and your MyAudit report to plan out your study abroad academic goals. Once you narrow your search to 1-3 study abroad programs consult your program page or ask your study abroad advisor about resources for researching courses in your program.