Environmental Changemakers Certificate Now Available

New program focuses on science of climate change

Feb. 27, 2023 - The schools of Social Ecology, Physical Sciences and Engineering have launched a new certificate program for students interested in becoming “environmental changemakers.”

The Environmental Changemakers Certificate, now available to all UCI undergraduate students, requires one course from each of the three schools. The goal is to provide instruction in the science of climate change, the technological responses and the challenges of policy and behavioral change.

“This ground-breaking certificate demonstrates the value of collaboration across disciplines in our quest to prepare students to become the best advocates for our planet,” says Jon Gould, dean of the School of Social Ecology.

“The School of Physical Sciences will give these certificate-holders the hard science training they need to be credible and trustworthy voices in environmental change movements,” said James Bullock, dean of the UCI School of Physical Sciences.

“The structure of the certificate exemplifies one of our key strengths here at UCI in that it goes all the way from basic science, via engineering solutions, to public policy. And all three of these are needed to effect real change, which is ultimately why we decided to go with the ‘changemaker’ name for this exciting new certificate. I am looking very forward to seeing this rolled out,” says Magnus Egerstedt, Stacey Nicholas Dean of Engineering at the UCI Samueli School.

After successfully completing the three courses, students can apply for the certificate by reporting on their coursework, what they learned and their future goals. After review, students can receive a digital certificate. The certificate will not appear on transcripts, but students can display them online and list them on their resumes.

“By completing the certificate, students will explore multiple facets of environmental changemaking, from technological innovations to regulations to the ways that human behavior shapes climate change,” says Susan Bibler Coutin, professor of criminology, law & society and the School of Social Ecology’s associate dean for academic programs.

Those who earn the Environmental Changemakers Certificate should be able to:

  • explain the processes controlling Earth system stability and sustainability;
  • apply this knowledge to minimize and mitigate environmental degradation; and
  • understand appropriate technological approaches to support effective policy and behavioral change.

For more information, visit the website.

- Mimi Ko Cruz, School of Social Ecology