Courses & Schedules

This course examines natural hazards in relation to human populations and activities around the world. It focuses on disasters generated by weather, climate, and geomorphic processes (such as hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, and earthquakes) as well as global climate change. It considers risk assessment, hazard perception, population change, and impact on the built environment.

An introduction to soil science emphasizing applications to agronomy, archaeology, botany, ecology, engineering, geography, geology, land use planning, hazardous materials management, and water quality. Technical exercises emphasize low-cost scientific analytical equipment.

This course focuses on the flow of water between Earth¿s atmosphere, surface and the root zone of the soil, with a focus on the watershed unit. The hydrologic processes affecting surface and groundwater resources in a watershed, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, and runoff will be examined in lectures and labs.

An exploration of the atmosphere, how it differs from place to place and time to time. The role of radiation, temperature, humidity, evaporation, cloudiness, precipitation, and surface factors (topography, exposure and altitude) in differentiating world climates. Climate's influence on man physically and culturally, in history and prehistory. Climate change, drought and flood, and solar radiation are among the topics investigated in detail.

An advanced course focusing on evidence of past climate change and predicted future change. Research methods used to reconstruct past climates are explored. Climate dynamics and the response of the environment will be examined.

Intensive study of selected topics related to Environmental Systems. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit with consent of instructor.

An overview of land use planning and associated concerns, such as environmental protection, transportation, open space preservation, housing, economic development, urban design, and public finance. Consideration of the evolving forms and functions of cities, towns, and rural areas and society's attitudes toward development, environmental concerns, and the appropriate role of government in regulating land use. Course addresses general plans, zoning, growth management, environmental impact assessment, and the local political process relating to planning. Current trends in planning and sustainable community development.

Exploration of evolving planning thought and processes as a basis for understanding planning practice. Comprehensive planning, incremental, and communicative action models. Planning and local politics. The values and ethics of the professional planner. Mediating environmental and land use disputes. Basic analytical, methodological, and communication skills utilized in urban, environmental, and business planning.

The theory and practice of environmental impact assessment ("EIA"). The role of EIA and impact mitigation in policy development and implementation. The practice of preparing environmental review documents as mandated by state and federal law. The relationship between environmental review and comprehensive planning.

Overview of the law governing land use in California. Fundamentals of the legal system and legal analysis. Substantive law regarding planning and zoning, subdivision, development conditions, growth management, land use initiatives, vested rights, and design review. Constitutional protection of property rights.