About Us

The Department of Environmental Science and Policy (DESP) consists of 21 faculty members, 6 professors emeriti, one Specialist in Cooperative Extension, and over 100 academic staff, postdoctoral, graduate or undergraduate student researchers. Our researchers are helping to improve environmental policies, protect biodiversity, understand ecological processes, and foster an interdisciplinary perspective on environmental and natural resource issues.

We have two undergraduate majors, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning (EPAP), and Environmental Science and Management (ESM).EPAP majors emphasize the social and political aspects of environmental issues, while ESM majors emphasize the ecological aspects of environmental issues. However, both majors take classes in both natural and social sciences, and thus are educated in subjects at the intersection between society and the environment.

Our faculty members draw graduate students from several graduate groups at UC Davis. The majority come from Ecology, while others come from Agricultural and Resource Economics, Geography, Population Biology, Human Development, Community Development, and Transportation Technology and Policy.

Our department is home for faculty from several prominent research centers. While these centers generally span multiple departments, many of them are directed by faculty with appointments our department as noted below. These centers typically concentrate the expertise of affiliated faculty on a particular set of focal issues, but all of the faculty also have interests beyond these centers:

Information Center for the Environment

(Jim Quinn, Mike McCoy)

with focal areas in geographic information systems, bioinformatics.

Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior 

(Mark Lubell, Gwen Arnold)

with focal areas in environmental policy analysis, environmental behavior, analyses of environmental conflict/cooperation.

Center for Ecological Research and Theory

(Alan Hastings, Marcel Holyoak)

with focal areas in mathematical modeling in ecology.

Institute for Transportation Studies

(Susan Handy, Dan Sperling, Joan Ogden)

with focal areas in sustainable transportation, alternative fuels, alternative models of travel, and travel behavior.

Tahoe Environmental Research Center

(Charles Goldman, John Reuter, Alan Jassby)

with focal areas of limnology, aquatic ecosystem analysis, and Lake Tahoe policy.

Coastal and Marine Science Institute

(James Sanchiro, John Largier, Marissa Baskett, Ted Grosholz, Steven Morgan, Gwen Arnold)

with focal areas of economic, ecological and social challenges of rapidly changing and increasingly crowded coastal and ocean environments.