About Social Ecology

The 21st century presents us with a wide array of opportunities for creating a better world. Such opportunities range from local communities creating innovative solutions to their problems, to communities around the world meeting the challenges of a globalized economy. Making the most of these opportunities calls for scholarship that is rigorous and innovative, thoughtful and engaged—scholarship that is steeped in the best traditions of social science, and able to break new ground.

Faculty in the three highly-ranked departments within the School of Social Ecology share a commitment to scholarship that views human behavior in a larger social and institutional context, that moves beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, and that seeks to disseminate knowledge beyond the confines of the university to a broader public. The faculty pursue knowledge production and dissemination in the service of fostering informed social action as they address issues ranging from global poverty to prison overcrowding, from gang violence to healthy child development, from health risks to community empowerment. The School is an internationally recognized pioneer in developing interdisciplinary approaches to social problems that encourage flexibility and independent thinking among faculty and students and nourish collaboration across different fields and with people of many different experiences.

We strive in our teaching, at both graduate and undergraduate levels, to develop future leaders in education, research, public policy, and community action who can contribute those skills to the critical issues that confront local communities, the state of California, the nation and the world.