Image: Banner image of campus logo Merritt College

Natural History & Sustainability Home

Last Update: 11/12/18                                                                  Did you know..?

The California newt, Taricha torosa, is a local species of salamander (all newts are salamanders but not all salamanders are newts!) that grows up to 8 inches long and comes out in bunches once the winter rains arrrive.


Welcome to Natural History & Sustainability (NHS)

  • To find out about the Natural History track of the new Natural History & Sustainability Program, click on photo.

Merritt’s new Natural History & Sustainability (NHS) Program emphasizes the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to tackle the major environmental challenges of the 21st century. The interdepartmental program offers career- and transfer-driven coursework in three tracks: (1) Natural History; (2) Conservation and Resource Management; and (3) Urban Agroecology. It is ideal for students interested in the basic science of the natural world and its effect on human society, and provides training for jobs at local/state/federal parks, environmental non-profits, and environmental consulting firms. Certificate programs are being developed for each track.

NHS Logo


Why a lichen (a combination of fungi and algae) for our logo? Read more about why we chose the mottled tube lichen, Hypogymnia inactiva, to represent our program. Fun fact: The lichen in our logo was drawn by Merritt student Mary Ann King in Prof. Sheila Metcalf-Tobin’s “Botanical Drawing” class.


Latest News

For this first Fall semester of the new program, nine courses have been carefully selected to educate students about the biodiversity and ecology of the Bay Area and beyond. No prerequisites are required except for a love of nature, a desire to keep our community environmentally healthy, and a curiosity to learn something new! Some of these courses also satisfy the Natural Sciences requirement for AA/AS Degrees, the Life Sciences and Lab requirements for transfer to CSU, and the Biological Sciences requirements for IGETC.

(Want to learn about career options in environmental science? Enroll now in the late-start, short-term class  “Environmental Careers, (ENVMT 1),  Oct. 9-Nov. 13)