MESM Specialization: PPR


Faculty Advisor: Trish Holden (Fall 2016) and Roland Geyer (Winter & Spring 2017)

Specialization Description

This specialization prepares students to recognize pollutants, characterize the extent and consequences of pollution in the environment, identify and evaluate alternatives for remediation and prevention, and evaluate the economic and political viability of alternatives. The main goal of the Pollution Prevention and Remediation (PPR) specialization is to prepare students for challenging, rewarding, and long-term careers in pollution management in consulting, industry, government or nonprofit organizations. For example, in a consulting capacity, PPR specialists could occupy scientific or engineering managerial or technical positions where they might develop feasibility plans for hazardous waste sites, collect and analyze field data, work with engineering staff to design new treatments, and administer regulatory decisions. PPR students should have a strong background in the science, management and skills needed to address pollution issues. The PPR specialization advisor will work with you, one-on-one, to determine which courses best fit your training and career trajectory.


MESM students are required to take a minimum of 36 units of electives in their primary specialization. Students who pursue two specializations must meet the 36-unit requirement for each specialization. Some electives may count toward more than one specialization. Most courses associated with this specialization are offered every year. If the course is marked with an asterisk (*), it will be offered every other year.


PPR students should take at least three of the four following elective courses (12 units):

*ESM 214:

Bioremediation: Wastewater and Hazardous Waste

*ESM 219:

Microbial Processes in the Environment
ESM 222: Fate and Transport of Pollutants

ESM 282:

Pollution Prevention

PPR students should take at least one course and possibly two or more courses in each of the following three categories:

Category 1: Science
*ESM 213: Ecotoxicology
ESM 226: Groundwater Management
*ESM 235: Watershed Analysis
ESM 272: Energy and Resource Productivity
ESM 288: Energy, Technology, and the Environment
EEMB 253: Ecology of Lakes and Wetlands
EEMB 271: Ecosystem Processes
Chem 123: Fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry
Geog 114A: Soil Science and Laboratory
Geol 169: Tracer Hydrology

Category 2: Management

ESM 223: Management of Soil and Groundwater Quality
ESM 224: Sustainable Watershed Quality Management
ESM 243:

Environmental Policy Analysis

ESM 248: Environmental Institutions
ESM 281:

Corporate Environmental Management

ESM 283: Environmental Negotiation
ESM 285: Environmental Markets
ESM 286: Environmental Risk Management

Category 3: Technical Skills

ESM 232: Environmental Modeling
ESM 244: Advanced Data Analysis
ESM 245: Cost Benefit Analysis
ESM 263: GIS
ESM 271: Carbon Footprints and Carbon Accounting
ESM 273: Life Cycle Assessment
ESM 296: Adv. Topics in Environmental Management: Informatics; Econometrics
EEMB 279: Modeling Environmental and Ecological Change
*EEMB 217: Flow and Aquatic Ecosystems
Geog 276: Geographical Time Series Analysis
Geog 277: Spatial Environmental Modeling
Geog 278: Practice of Geostatistical Modeling of Spatial Data

Bren students also are encouraged to take courses on advanced special topics, which are frequently taught in an intensive format by visiting professors and lecturers. The PPR specialization advisor will work with you to determine if any of the following variable topics would be appropriate for your program of study.

The following variable topic courses may also provide curriculum opportunities of value for PPR students:

ESM 293: Advanced Special Topics in Energy and Climate
ESM 294: Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Law
ESM 296: Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Management

ESM 297:

Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Policy

ESM 299: Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Science
ESM 430: Workshops in Environmental Science and Management
ESM 436: Workshops in Legal Issue in Environmental Problem Solving
ESM 437: Writing for Environmental Professionals
ESM 440: Advanced Environmental Communication
ESM 595A-Z: Seminars/Group Studies in Environmental Science & Management
The following communication courses also provide opportunities of value for PPR students:
ESM 437: Writing for Environmental Professionals
ESM 440: Advanced Environmental Communication