Environmental Science at LMU: The Living City

Environmental Science at LMU: The Living City

A lab experiment is underway in a Seaver College of Science and Engineering lab at Loyola Marymount University.


Students with a passion for the natural and social sciences, a love of the outdoors, and an interest in learning about urban ecosystems, will thrive in this adventurous, pre-college immersion program built for curious environmentalists.

2018 pre-college students explore the Ballona Wetlands as part of their course field work.

Attending class in LMU’s new state-of-the-art, LEED-certified Life Sciences Building and guided by faculty and staff at LMU’s Center for Urban Resilience (CURes), students enrolled in this engaging field-ecology course, will explore how the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, botany, ecology, social science and engineering intersect to help urban ecologists work together towards solutions to the complex environmental and social challenges facing urban communities.  Students will learn about research being conducted by faculty, staff and undergraduates in the LMU-CURes’ Lab on coyote-management, hummingbird torpor and behavior, tree health and growth, mosquito abundance, water quality, social stewardship mapping, and much, much more!

This in-depth, two-week scientific adventure takes place amid the uniquely complex ecosystem of the Ballona Wetlands, a coastal estuary located just below the bluffs of LMU and the last remaining wetland in Los Angeles.  Students will learn about the diverse flora and fauna that enable this wetland to thrive in the heart of Los Angeles!

Through a series of daily lectures and hands-on lab work, the combination of indoor instruction and outdoor field work will introduce and immerse students in the world of field ecology and the research paradigm. The course work will be augmented by field trips to local sites that are playing key roles in the Los Angeles’ story of urban growth, restoration, and community solutions to complex socio-ecological challenges, including the human-wildlife intersect, habitat fragmentation, protection of wildlife corridors & biodiversity, pollution management, water quality, and green space inequity, among others. 

Students will learn ways they can make a difference in their own communities, by working collaboratively towards sustainable solutions to build resilient communities.

  • Los Angeles Area Excursion

    In addition to their work in the classroom, students will experience the nearby Ballona wetlands as a living laboratory, allowing them to observe local ecosystems while learning about the impact modern society has on them.

  • Program Outcomes
    • Learn to work in teams in the classroom or out in the field
    • Develop an understanding of the principles of Environmental Science
    • Explore ways you can make positive change around environmental challenges
  • Tuition and Fees

    Application Fee: $60

    2019 Program Cost: $4,400*

    The program cost includes:

    • Tuition for two-week, non-credit course
    • Housing for 2 weeks
    • All meals
    • Course materials
    • Use of campus recreation facilities
    • Class field trips
    • A trip to Universal Studios
    • An additional weekend day trip off campus

    The cost does not include transportation to and from the program itself, personal spending money, or other incidentals.

    For additional information about program tuition and fees and payment options, please visit our Fees Page

    *Summer 2020 costs will be available in October

Applications for Summer 2020 will be available beginning November 15.