Aerial image of Diamond Head Crater

About the Program

The Department of Oceanography launched the undergraduate Global Environmental Science (GES) program in 1998 with the generous support of the Pauley Foundation. The vision and brainchild of Oceanography Emeritus Professor Fred Mackenzie, the GES program is known for its rigorous math and science foundation, integrated study of environmental- and sustainability-related issues, and faculty-mentored research thesis requirement. This research experience results in every GES graduate having completed a faculty-mentored research project, written a thesis, and presented their research results in a public forum. As a result of the challenging curriculum and research thesis requirements, GES graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce in environmental science-related fields and industries or continue on to graduate studies in many different subjects in the sciences, social sciences, law, medicine, and engineering.

Program Team

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Mission Statement

The GES program is one of the most rigorous and involved undergraduate programs at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Its mission is to prepare students to achieve their goals:

  1. Educate students in creating, developing, and disseminating knowledge through high quality and innovative faculty-mentored student research experiences; 
  2. Train environmental scientists to apply a rich diversity of knowledge systems to sustain and transform our islands and the world.
  3. Cultivate creative and innovative leaders in environmental science impacting local to global communities. 

GES graduates are prepared for:

  • Graduate studies in environment-, science-, sustainability-, and engineering-related fields;
  • Professional degree programs in environmental law and policy, environmental and public planning, public health administration, travel industry management, sustainability, etc.; 
  • Environmental Science-related positions in private industry (e.g., environmental consulting, non-governmental agencies, etc.);
  • Environmental Science-related positions in local, state, and federal government agencies;
  • Entering or returning to teaching with knowledge of how the Earth system works; and
  • Entering the work force in another field as an educated person with the knowledge required to enable us to become wise environmental stewards of the planet.

Below are some examples of possible careers for GES graduates who complete a Bachelor of Science degree and those who pursue an accelerated Bachelor’s and Master’s pathway. Click on the image below for an enlarged view.

The GES program is the first environmental science program to be accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Commission of ABET.

Updated October 13, 2022.