Environmental Science: The Living City

Summer 2024

Session Dates: June 23 - July 6, 2024

Location: On-Campus

Researching environmental concerns on a local and global scale.

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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.

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 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, students will find themselves immersed 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 course will teach students ways they can make a difference in their own communities by working collaboratively towards sustainable solutions to build resilient communities.

Scientific Research Starts Here

Hear from former #SummerLions as they reflect on their experience engaging in field research, lab work, and seminar lectures on environmental science and ecology.

Dive Deeper

  • Environmental Science: The Living City is a residential program on LMU's Los Angeles-area campus. There are no commuter options at this time - all participants are required to live on campus for the duration of their program.

    • Learn to work in teams in a classroom setting
    • Develop an understanding of the principles of Environmental Science
    • Explore ecology and wildlife in Los Angeles' Ballona Wetlands
  • Application Fee: $65

    2024 Program Cost: $5,800

    The program cost includes:

    • Tuition for two-week, non-credit course
    • Housing and meals for two weeks
    • Course materials
    • Use of campus recreation facilities
    • Class field trips
    • Two weekend social trips off campus

    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)


Create the World You Want to Live In

Join our mailing list or submit your summer 2024 application by our March 15, 2024 deadline.