Science & Technology

Challenging Coursework + Original Research

Build the foundation

Evolution. The relationship between structure and function. The chemistry and physics driving organisms and ecosystems. Ways of analyzing and modeling complex systems. Explore the core scientific concepts on which our understanding of the physical world is based, from single molecules to full-blown ecosystems.

Think like a scientist

Dive into inquiry and research from your first classes. In small classes, labs, and field courses, and in doing your own research, you will be challenged to find evidence, evaluate its reliability, and use it to draw conclusions and make sound decisions.

Learn statistics analyzing messy real-life data from available online data sets and original surveys. Practice professional techniques using our impressive collection of field and lab equipment. Develop effective scientific communication and collaboration skills – science is a team effort.

Bring it all together completing an original senior research project or professional internship tailored to your scientific interests and professional goals.

The Most Beautiful Lab on Earth

The spectacular Lake Tahoe Basin is our classroom – even lab exercises often require sunscreen, hat, and waders or snowshoes. In field courses, students explore a new environment with an instructor, learning about the ecosystem, collecting data, living and breathing the course content.


In the Tahoe Meadows


Lake Tahoe from the Mt. Rose Highway


At Lake Tahoe’s Hidden Beach

Sustainability Matters

Commitment to sustainability – environmental, social, and economic – is embedded in our DNA here at SNC.

As scientists, we promote a deep appreciation of the natural world in all its complexity. Our students build on a strong foundation of courses in the basic sciences and scientific analysis with field courses and original research that take full advantage of our amazing location.

Students do internships with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, just upstairs from the SNC science Department, and with USFS, USGS, state parks, Desert Research Institute, medical practitioners, ranches, mines, CA & NV wildlife organizations, and environmental planning firms.

We have held field courses in the Desolation Wilderness, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Death Valley, Rogue River whitewater, Mono Lake and Yosemite, Monterey Bay, and even Belize and South Africa.

Beyond Tahoe

“The Ecology of Capetown”: South Africa, June 2015


Table Mountain


Shark Diving!


Approaching the Cape of Good Hope

Our Students say it Best…

Zachary Pritchard, Environmental Science and Ecology major, spends time researching around the Lake Tahoe Basin

Zachary Pritchard

Major: Environmental Science and Ecology

Class of 2011

SNC captured Zach’s attention because of the unmatchable environmental and ecological conditions in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The amount of attention paid over the years to the preservation and restoration of North America’s largest alpine lake—Lake Tahoe—has turned the region into a haven for scientific research. . . . Read More

Ashley Vander Meer, a Biology, Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Environmental Science major, tests water in Incline Village

Ashley Vander Meer

Major: Biology, Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Environmental Science

Class of 2014

In the fall of 2012, I worked on the restoration of Rosewood Creek for my service learning.  The main cause of the restoration is to reduce sediment loading into Lake Tahoe by restoring a 7,200 foot section of Rosewood Creek between Northwood Boulevard and Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village, Nevada. . . . Read More

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