department menu

Course Descriptions & Schedule

Course Schedule

Semester Courses

Semester 1
(12 units)

FIRE 101 (3)

FIRE 105 (3)

FIRE 210 (3)

BIOL 216 (3)

Semester 2 
(12 units)

BIOL 391 (3)

FIRE 353 (3)

FIRE 352 (3)

Upper-Division Elective (3)

Semester 3
(12 units)

BIOL 338 or BIOL 339 (UDGE-BB) (3)

CHEM 311 (3)

PHIL 340 (UDGE-CC) (3)

FIRE 351 (3)

Semester 4 
(12 units)

UDGE-DD (3)

Upper-Division Elective (3)

Upper-Division Elective (3)

FIRE 489 (3)

Semester 5
(12 units)

Upper-Division Elective (3)

Upper-Division Elective (3)

Upper-Division Elective (3)

FIRE 499 (3) 

Course Descriptions

BIOL 216

Biostatistics for Wildfire Science (3 units)

Covers techniques and underlying principles necessary to analyze various types of data used in wildfire science professions. Introduces sampling and experimental design, descriptive statistics, graphical display of data, point and interval estimation methods, and common hypothesis testing methods, including t-tests, linear regression, and analysis of variance. Study cases focus on the use of statistical analysis in support of scientific reasoning, as it applies to firefighting professions. Biology majors cannot take this course for the major.

BIOL 338

Human Impact on the Environment (3 units)

Considers the major areas where human use of resources and consequent waste production (chemical, industrial, and biological) have had a negative impact on specific environments and on the species that inhabit them. An attempt will be made to identify areas of future adverse human impact and to evolve remedial solutions. 

BIOL 339

Conservation Biology (3 units)

Study of the principles of ecology applied to plant and animal populations considered endangered, threatened, or at risk. Investigates the complex factors contributing to the dynamics, decline, extinction, and perhaps recovery of species. Develops a stewardship perspective rooted in biological principles and considers the associated cultural, historical, economic, and political issues. Local, regional, and global conservation strategies are discussed. 

BIOL 391

Fire Ecology (3 units)

Covers an interdisciplinary review and study of wildfires as a natural and man-made biophysical and ecological process. Evaluates the costs and benefits of wildfires and prescribed burns as a tool for land management, and the implications for endangered species, habitat, soils, air quality, and watersheds. Explores fire history, and fire in the context of global environmental change. Addresses current issues in fire ecology in the Western U.S. and globally, including readings and discussions of recent scientific literature. Prerequisites: BIOL 210, 211 or enrollment in the Bachelor of Science in Wildfire Science and the Urban Interface program.

BIOL 392

Natural Resource Management (3 units)

Covers management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects quality of life, ecosystems, and long-term sustainability. Reviews and evaluates how management decisions influence ecosystem health, with a specific emphasis on the impacts related to invasive species, disease, insects, climate change and wildfires. Covers timely and topical relevant readings from the primary literature, especially those dealing with the current state of our knowledge of natural resource management, ecology, and public policy. Prerequisites: BIOL 210, 211 or enrollment in the Bachelor of Science in Wildfire Science and the Urban Interface program.

CHEM 311

Chemicals and the Environment (3 units)

A survey on chemicals of natural and industrial origin found in the environment, with emphasis on the chemical reactions of these substances and the effect on the quality of life on planet Earth. The areas covered are: chemical structures, inorganic and organic chemicals of natural and synthetic origins and the reactions of these chemicals, the effects of these chemicals on the environment (the atmosphere, soil, water ways, plants, and animals, especially human nutrition and health.) Intended for the non-chemistry major. 

FIRE 101

Wildland Urban Interface (3 units)

Overview of the wildland urban interface (WUI), which is a complex mix of native and ornamental vegetation, agriculture, industrial, commercial, and residential areas. Explores the challenges WUI firefighters face where vegetation, vehicles, structures, and infrastructure are at risk. Improves understanding of the WUI, including response strategies, interface awareness, size-up, initial attack, incident action planning, structure triage, structure protection tactics, and health/safety. Covers issues related to land-use planning and design, policy-making, and protection of natural areas.
Fire 101 - Register

FIRE 105

Fire Science (3 units)

Covers fire conditions, tactics, and strategies to mitigate fire and fire behaviors, emphasizing wildland and urban interface fires. Discusses fire chemistry including oxidizers, chemical process of combustion, and properties of solid, liquid, and gas fuels. Reviews basic fire chemistry for hazardous materials, identification, reactivity, and health/safety implications. Explores issues related to pyrolysis, the properties of the states of matter, sources of energy for fires, and the properties of heat and temperature.

FIRE 210

Emerging Technologies and Topics (3 units)

Review of current and emerging topics and technologies on wildland and urban interface fires through readings, case studies, and presentations. Evaluates advanced technology described by subject matter experts who will explain the technology and familiarize students with the tools to analyze and understand the legal, ethical, and operational requirements for new technologies. Evaluate and review the cost benefit analysis and a rigorous, scientific processes for testing, adoption, evaluation, and integration of new technologies, products, and procedures into the fire services.

FIRE 351

Wildfire Law and Economics 351 (3 units)

Discussion of major concepts in environmental laws, regulations, and policies related to land management, forestry, and urban growth. Reviews the evolution of natural resource and land use policy, with emphasis on the local, state, and federal government, and considers the role of science, law, and economics. Examines analytical techniques and tools to evaluate liability, risk, and the social, economic, and environmental consequences of wildfires. Examines the roles of judicial oversight, administrative procedures, politics, key organizations, agencies, and stakeholders. Prerequisite: FIRE 101.

FIRE 352

Emergency Management, Operations and Administration (3 units)

Introduces and discusses emergency management techniques, organizational and professional communication, and strategies for problem solving within fire science. Introduces and explains academic foundations on leadership and administration within the fire service, with an emphasis on multi-professional approaches, cooperation, and coordination. Addresses human resource, labor relations, and legal frameworks to applied fire service settings as well as a study of employee safety, risks and healthy/safe work environments.

FIRE 353

Firefighter Health and Safety (3 units)

Introduces the health and safety implications of firefighting, including hazard identification, situational awareness, and risk assessment. Reviews and examines technical and scientific procedures for evaluating new techniques, protocols, and technologies. Includes a comprehensive review of resources and information, organizations, regulatory, and legal frameworks, including NFPA, NIOSH, CDC, OSHA, NIST, and the IAFF. Covers occupational exposures and limits, injuries, fatalities, health consequences and how tactics, strategies, resources, staffing, personal protective equipment, and situational awareness influence incident outcomes.

FIRE 354

Firefighter Stress, Behavioral and Mental Health (3 units)

Covers industry culture, myths, beliefs, behavioral health, strategies for addressing occupational health and wellness, support services, and behavioral health assistance for first responders. Examines and evaluates the sources of occupational stress and the regularity of incidents that expose first responders to often shocking, dangerous and stressful situations and potentially traumatic events. Covers suicide prevention/awareness, warning signs/symptoms, communication, emotional and physical behaviors, stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, addiction, depression, anger, and separation/retirement.
Fire 354 - Register

FIRE 489

Research Methods and Design (3 units)

Capstone experience focused on a foundation in scientific research, research design, effective communication practices, and interview skills. Integrates interdisciplinary approaches to research in the wildfire and wildland urban interface. Emphasizes fundamental principles and practices of scientific method, research ethics and responsible conduct, and the organization of scientific inquiry in institutions of higher learning. Prepares students for independent research experience in FIRE 499. Prerequisite: BIOL 216 or consent of instructor.

FIRE 499

Senior Experience in Wildfire Science (3 units)

Capstone experience and participation in independent library or laboratory research projects on wildfires and/or the urban interface. Prerequisite 489 and instructor consent.

PHIL 340

Ethics and the Environment (3 units)

A study of recent developments in the field of environmental ethics: Examines the moral and ethical status of the natural world. Environmental ethics is the attempt to think through issues such as: the proper place of human beings in nature, the extent of our moral and ethical obligations to the natural world, the ethical foundations of public environmental policy, the principles that govern environmental use and protection, and the legitimacy of various approaches to environmental advocacy. A survey of classical ethical theories will provide context for discussion of environmental ethics, and examination of current environmental issues (i.e., the Endangered Species Act, the debate over use of public lands) will serve as a “testing ground” for the practical application of environmental ethical theories.

Back to Top