A department of diverse faculty & students dedicated to solving critical environmental challenges with cutting-edge research.

The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs to educate, inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists. Department faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research in the following areas:

mecury sampling


Topics of study include the characterization of pollutant emissions from combustion sources, the understanding of atmospheric photochemical processes and the quantification of human exposure to air pollution.

stream survey


Topics of study include the use of remote sensing, field observations and modeling to address the most pressing questions in the fields of water quality, lake clarity, stream and creek ecosystems and mountain ecohydrology.

soil samples


Topics of study include soil hydrologic conditions, the evaluation of current and past environmental conditions and the characterization of physiochemical processes in the region’s soils.

plant survey


Regions of study include mountain meadows and sierra forest, riparian communities along creeks and streams and the vast open space of the Great Basin rangelands.

big hou=rn sheep


Topics of study include interactions between wildlife and land uses, avian ecology, forestry-wildlife relationships, endangered species management, reproductive ecology, nutrition and foraging ecology, predator-prey interactions and population dynamics.

In the News

Sarah Bisbing

Bisbing’s appointment to the Whittell Forest & Wildlife Area Director role in early 2020

There is a renewed vision for the Whittell Forest & Wildlife Area, one that sees the mountain forest supporting a range of experiential learning, research and creative activities.


Environmental science professor Nancy Markee retires, leaving behind integral programming.

Markee joined the Department in 1993 as a human ecologist with a background in biological sciences and human behavior.

erica bigio

Department hires dendrochronologist as a new instructor

Bigio’s teaching draws upon her experience in applying tree-ring dating for fire history and paleoclimate, which studies climates of past geological time periods.