Field Quarters

Field Quarters offer highly motivated students a total field immersion experience.
These courses provide 15-20 units of credit and will fulfill elective requirements for the EEB majors. Students are not allowed to concurrently enroll in any other courses the quarter they undertake a Field Quarter (except for Bioe 153ABC).  Entrance into field quarter courses is by application/interview typically two quarters in advance of the course.

BIOE 151ABCD Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse

19 units

Generally offered Spring of even years

Prerequisites:  BIOL 20A, BIOE 20B, BIOE 20C or ENVS 23, 24, 100; and AMS 7 and 7L.  Enrollment by application.

Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse is designed to provide hands on research experience for undergrads. The course is intensive quarter long endeavor that consists of 19 units. Approximately half of the quarter is spent in the field at various UC Natural Reserves implementing field projects. The remainder of the course is spent at UCSC where students attend lectures, design research projects, and provide oral presentations to their peers.

Provides equivalency of BIOE 150, BIOE 150L and one EEB General Elective.

BIOE 153ABC Arctic Ecology & Environmental Change Field Quarter - NEW for 2017-18

15 units

Generally offered Spring of odd years

Prerequisites:  BIOL 20A, BIOE 20B & BIOE 20C.  Enrollment by application.

The Arctic Ecology Field Course is designed to introduce students to the contemporary Arctic ecosystem, to the geological and ecological processes that created and maintain this ecosystem, and to current threats to this ecosystem, with a strong emphasis on Disciplinary Communication - writing about science for scientists and for the general public.  Students travel from the subarctic boreal forest of Whitehorse to the high arctic flats of Inuvik, performing experiments and learning communicating their results.  The first part of the course meets twice weekly in spring quarter with one required weekend camping trip.  Students then travel to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, after final exams, where they will begin 17 days of camping and hiking in the North American Arctic.

Provides equivalency of one Topical Elective and two EEB General Electives.

BIOE 159ABCD Marine Ecology Field Quarter

20 units

Generally offered Fall and winter of even years

Prerequisites:  Satisfaction of the Entry Level Writing and Composition requirements.  Admission by interview during previous winter quarter.

The Marine Ecology Field Quarter is a course that combines 4 modules including a field component into a quarter-long lecture-field course that is split between UCSC campus and a field station.  Currently the field locations are Corsica, France and Sitka, Alaska.  This course provides total immersion in marine ecology for very motivated students.  It is specifically designed for students that are anticipating a career in marine biology/ecology and/or those interested in pursuing a graduate degree in marine ecology or conservation.  In addition the curriculum is designed to ensure students make accelerated progress to their degree.  All students in the class develop a research project during first five weeks on campus and then spend five weeks of immersion in directed research without distraction in isolated locations off campus (Corsica, or Sitka; past locations include the Gulf of California in Mexico, South Africa,  and Moorea in French Polynesia).

For students who intend to SCUBA dive, Bioe 75 (Scientific Diving) or the equivalent AAUS Scientific Diving certification is a prerequisite. Note that several SCUBA courses are prerequisites to Bioe75.  Visit to learn about the schedule of these courses and the physical exam options. For those who intend to snorkel/skin dive, UCSC Skin Diving certification is a prerequisite. Visit the Scientific Skin Diving website to learn about the schedule of these courses and the physical exam options.

Provides equivalency of BIOE 108, BIOE 127/L, and BIOE 158L for offerings in Corsica.  For offerings in Sitka provides equivalency of BIOE 108, BIOE 158L and BIOE 165.

Natural Reserve System California Ecology and Conservation

19 units

Offered Fall, Spring and Summer

Prerequisites:  All students must pass an introductory ecology or biology course prior to acceptance. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required.

California Ecology and Conservation is a UC wide course offered through the Natural Reserve System.   It is an intensive program of study with a focus on field methods, ecology, and conservation.  A total of 27 students will be accepted, ideally three from each of the nine general campuses.

Provides equivalency for BIOE 150, BIOE 150L and one EEB General Elective.

ENVS 107ABC Natural History Field Quarter

15 units

Offered Spring

Natural History Field Quarter (NHFQ) focuses on studying natural history and land management issues all over California.  NHFQ is taught every spring quarter.  Applications for this course are due early fall quarter.  

For more information about NHFQ, please visit the Natural History Field Quarter page on the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History webpage.  Information about the structure of the course, the current-year application, and upcoming informational meetings and due dates can be found there.

Questions regarding NHFQ can be directed to Chris Lay, the Administrative Director of the Norris Center and NHFQ instructor.  He can be reached via email (, or phone: (831) 459-4763.

Provides equivalency of one Topical elective and one EEB General Elective for the Ecology and Evolution BS and Plant Sciences BS.  For the Marine Biology BS provides equivalency for two EEB General Electives.