Environmental Science: The Living City

Summer 2021

Session Dates: July 18 - July 31, 2021

Location: Online

Researching environmental concerns on a local and global scale.


The pre-college "Environmental Science: The Living City" application deadline has been extended to April 15, 2021.

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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 who want to explore a human-nature connection. 

Painted hummingbird casts made out of Alumilite urethane resin.

This engaging field-ecology course has been adapted to a virtual learning experience. Students will be engaged in their local ecosystems as well as the LMU campus and surrounding environs, with the use of drone technology.

Students enrolled in this inspiring field-ecology course will explore how the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, botany, ecology, social science, animal 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 more! 

This in-depth, two-week scientific adventure takes place amid the virtual back-drop of a 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! Students who may attend LMU in the future will be forever changed after learning about all the ecosystem services the Ballona Wetlands has to offer!

Through a series of daily lectures and hands-on lab work (materials will be mailed to students), the combination of virtual interactive instruction, indoor lab work and outdoor field work in each student’s local ecosystem will introduce and immerse students in the world of field ecology and the research paradigm. Specific topics include hummingbirds, corvids, coyotes, osprey, trees, songbirds, and more. Artistic components of the course will include the production of a painted hummingbird cast. 

The Los Angeles story is a complex one of urban growth, restoration, and community solutions to complex socio-ecological challenges, including the human-wildlife intersect, habitat fragmentation, climate change mitigation, protection of wildlife corridors & biodiversity, pollution management, water quality, and green space equity, among others. 

This virtual course will allow students to share their local ecosystem with others in the course, and each student will learn ways they can make a difference in their own communities by working collaboratively towards sustainable solutions to build resilient communities.

Scientific Research Starts Here

Though our programming will remain online in 2021, the outcomes are still very much the same:

  • Learn scientific research methods while working in teams
  • Develop an understanding of the principles of Environmental Science
  • Explore ecology and wildlife
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Dive Deeper

  • Pre-College Summer Programs for high school students will be offered exclusively through online instruction in summer 2021.

    Students who participated last summer enjoyed a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities that enhanced their academic studies. Whether competing for first place in our virtual “House Competition,” receiving daily 1-on-1 and group support from current LMU undergraduates, or dropping into nightly social activities with peers – students felt that one aspect of summer they loved most was the sense of community they built during their time online with LMU.

    • Learn to work in teams in a virtual classroom setting
    • Develop an understanding of the principles of Environmental Science
    • Explore ecology and wildlife in your own local neighborhood
  • Application Fee: $65

    2021 Program Cost: $2,700

    The program cost includes:

    • Tuition for online two-week, non-credit course
    • Course books and materials*
    • College preparedness workshops with LMU Admission and Financial Aid offices
    • Career readiness workshops with LMU's Career and Professional Development office
    • Online social activities with LMU's student ambassadors 
    • Aaccess to researchers, staff, and students to answer any questions about science majors and field research, the college application process, life at LMU and more!

    *A personal computer or video conferencing capable mobile device and internet access are required for this course and are not covered in the cost of tuition and fees. 

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

  • This class is open to rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.


    • Online Application
    • Personal Essay: Read the Prompt Now
    • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
    • High School Transcripts
    • $65 Application Fee
    • TOEFL Scores (for International applicants whose primary language is not English)

     The deadline to apply is April 15, 2021.

Create the World You Want to Live In

The pre-college "Environmental Science: The Living City" application deadline has been extended to April 15, 2021.