College of Natural Resources

Photo of College of Natural Resources students

The College of Natural Resources (CNR) serves society by generating and disseminating knowledge in the biological, physical, and social sciences in order to protect the Earth’s natural resources and ensure economic and ecological sustainability for future generations. Our roots extend to the beginning of the UC system, when the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act established universities to foster agricultural teaching and research. The state of California created the University of California and the College of Agriculture in 1868. 

In 1914, the College of Agriculture launched a program to study forests and wildlands, along with their resources and services, that eventually became the School of Forestry. In 1974, the two schools joined with other environmental, biological, and food sciences to form the College of Natural Resources.

Today, CNR has more than 120 faculty and approximately 1,800 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. We remain committed to engaging the issues that shape our world, from sustainable food systems to obesity, from water policy to energy policy, and from the far-reaching impacts of climate change to the linkages between the human genome, diet, and disease.

Ways to Connect

Across a century of change, the gift of a baseline

Binoculars in hand, Sarah MacLean has navigated highway overpasses, suburban streets, and farmers’ yards to retrace the steps of Joseph Grinnell, the pioneering naturalist and founding director of UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ). She and other scientists are searching for insights into how a century of change has affected the biodiversity of California. 

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CNR women of distinction

Throughout CNR’s history, women have contributed to its diverse and comprehensive research and discoveries, including many “firsts,” both within their respective fields and at Berkeley. Explore a sampling of the college’s trailblazing women.

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