One of the most urgent needs of the new millennium is to preserve, protect, and restore the life support systems of our planet. Nowhere is this need more pressing than in southern California where entire ecosystems have been eradicated or fundamentally altered and where the air, water, and soils that support life are constantly threatened by human activities. The field of environmental biology translates what we know about biology and natural systems into practical solutions for life, productivity, and environmental quality. This rapidly growing discipline embraces such diverse topics as maintaining healthy workplaces and homes, sustaining production of food and other products from agricultural ecosystems, ensuring the health of natural ecosystems, and preserving the diversity of life on our planet. Because of increasing demands and pressures on the biosphere, environmental biologists will need specialized training to address the complex problems of the new millennium.
The Biological Sciences Department at Cal Poly Pomona added a program in Environmental Biology to its curriculum in 2003 to meet these demands, becoming the first such program in southern California. The Department has several options for majors in Environmental Biology and a multitude of study sites to explore, creating a rich environment for students interested in the environment. With faculty and students carrying out research at an on-campus ecological reserve, a nearby desert-studies field station, sea-going research vessels, and nearby mountain, desert and marine habitats, there are abundant opportunities for field studies and innovative research opportunities. As environmental awareness is surging across campus, students and professors in the Biological Sciences Department are studying environmental problems locally and around the world.