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
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.
“The Ecology of Capetown”: South Africa, June 2015
Approaching the Cape of Good Hope
Our Students say it Best…
Major: Environmental Science and Ecology
Class of 2012
As a junior majoring in Environmental Science and Ecology, SNC science student Nicole Lutkemuller showed that she could identify lodge pole pines on satellite images from the wavelengths of light reflecting off the trees’ needles. . . . Read More
Major: Environmental Science and Ecology, Outdoor Adventure Leadership
Class of 2016
I began my experience at SNC with a Yosemite backpacking trip, and immediately felt connected to the world in an entirely different way. For my senior research methods course, I designed a study to research the effects of prolonged wet and dry periods on soil denitrification in wetlands of the Sierra Nevada. Denitrification is an incredibly important ecological process by which nitrates are removed from soil and runoff, and it hasn't been studied in Sierra mountain environments! . . . Read More