What Can You Do With a Desert Studies Certificate?

Bring greater insight whenever your work touches desert ecosystems and cultures. California is 25% desert, and we’re in the heart of it, so that might be very often. Deserts and humans meet in biology, eco-tourism, history, art, geology, education, and more. Understanding and protecting these delicate and challenging places is important work. 

Continue Your Education

Earn your Desert Studies Certificate as part of an associate degree program that matches your long-term goals. At Copper Mountain, you can fold desert studies into a wide range of programs, including:

  • Environmental Science
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • History
  • Liberal Arts
  • Political Science

Choose an AS or AA with a “T” attached to it for guaranteed transfer to a CSU. Any CMC associate degree will transfer to any four-year—the “-T” degrees transfer very efficiently to a university in the Cal State system. If you’re headed to a different system or university, work with your CMC counselor and an advisor from that school to build a program that transfers well.

Find Your Dream Career

Earning a Desert Studies Certificate brings an environmental focus to many careers, and a specific environmental focus to careers in natural resources and conservation. With this certificate alone, you would qualify for entry level roles in:

  • Desert-based businesses
  • Eco-tourism
  • Environmental disaster response
  • Conservation

Add this certificate to more education and experience to build or strengthen a career as:

  • Anthropologist
  • Desert-based artist
  • Botanist
  • Conservation scientist
  • Ecosystem and natural resource manager
  • Environmental disaster specialist
  • Forester
  • Geologist
  • Environmental policy expert

Your Desert Studies Cert. Program Map

  • 1

  • 2

Sample electives are shown; you may choose others within this program.

Desert Studies Cert.: What to Expect

  • Completion Requirements
    • 15 units of required courses
    • 18 total units
    • Grade of “C” or higher in all required courses
    • 2.0 minimum GPA
  • Required Courses

    BI 005: Molecular and Cellular Biology | 5 units 


    BI 006: Biology of Organisms | 5 units


    BI 004: Elements of Biology with BI 004L: Lab | 4-5 units

    ENV 001: Environmental Science | 3 units

    G 001: Physical Geology | 4 units

    HIST 019: California History | 3 units


    ANTH 002: Cultural Anthropology | 3 units

    BI 048A: Directed Research Seminar


    ART 048A, B, or C: Directed Research Seminar


    GEOG 048A, B, or C: Directed Research Seminar | 1-3 units

  • What You Learn
    • ​​Best practices in desert studies, including ethical behavior and research 
    • Scientific methods to test hypotheses and apply findings 
    • How to present your findings clearly

Related Programs

Contact Admissions

Admissions & Records
300 Quad
6162 Rotary Way
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Phone: 760.366.3791 or  760.366.5201 ext. 4232