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.

 Environmental Systems students explore Tahoe Meadows during class

In the Tahoe Meadows

Science students examine the ecology systems surrounding Lake Tahoe, looking down at the lake from Mtn. Rose Highway

Lake Tahoe from the Mt. Rose Highway

Animal Behavior students spend class catching crayfish at Hidden Beach at Lake Tahoe

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

Ecology students from the 2015 trip to South Africa hike to the top of Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain

2015 Ecology class goes shark diving in Cape Town, South Africa

Shark Diving!

2015 Ecology students study the ecology of Cape of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa

Approaching the Cape of Good Hope


Our Students say it Best…

Nicole Lutkemuller, Science Major, speaks about her research at student symposium

Nicole Lutkemuller

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

Kimberly Oyervides

Major: Environmental Science and Ecology

Class of 2016

I’ve always had a passion for science, and how things work and influence each other. I chose to purse a degree in environmental science knowing that it would give me a opportunity to get a job working outdoors were I love to be. Now that I've graduated I'm working for a private company as a forester, coordinating with the USFS and BLM. . . . Read More


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