Majors & Programs

Environmental Systems

Degrees Offered: MS

Program Overview

The graduate program in Environmental Systems at Humboldt State University is unique in combining studies in Environmental Resources Engineering, Geology, Energy Technology and Policy, and Mathematical Modeling within a single graduate program. Graduate studies in environmental systems are devoted to providing a solid scientific foundation for the study of environmental problems or the management of the environment. While it is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the student's particular area of emphasis, it is also intended to develop in the students an appreciation for the interdisciplinary character of any environmental systems. The curriculum normally requires two years for completion and includes a thesis or project, depending on the option, as part of the student's program of studies. A candidate for the degree is required to consult with an appropriate faculty advisor and then to prepare an individual program of study that must be approved by a faculty graduate committee. The student must choose one of the following four options.

Environmental Resource Engineering

The Environmental Resources Engineering option of the Environmental Systems graduate emphasizes the application of engineering skills to planning, design, and management problems involving environmental resources. Four general areas of research activity are available in the program, Water Quality, Water Resources, Renewable Energy Resources, and Indoor Air Quality.


Most graduate students in the Geology option focus on geologic analysis or modeling and measurement of geomorphic processes with particular emphasis on neotectonics, uplift, and seismic hazard or hillslope erosion, sediment transport, and channel stability. However thesis projects have covered the range from structural geology, geophysics and igneous petrology to stratigraphy and paleontology.

Energy Technology and Policy

The Energy Technology and Policy (ETaP) option is an interdisciplinary program for students interested in technology and policy issues related to energy, the environment, and society. Students in the program have worked on topics ranging from renewable energy engineering to climate change mitigation and from international development to domestic energy policy. The program offers a rigorous curriculum for students who are interested to make a difference in these important areas of work.

Mathematical Modeling

The Mathematical Modeling option focuses on the study of dynamical systems, deterministic and stochastic modeling and their application in modeling environmental systems, particularly endangered plant and animal populations, sediment transport, bioeconomics, genetics and biostatistics.

Forestry 101

Graduate Options

  • Energy Technology & Policy
  • Environmental Resources Engineering
  • Geology
  • Mathematical Modeling