Berkeley #1 in World for Studying the Environment

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On October 28th 2014, alongside its Best Global University Rankings (where Berkeley positioned third of 500), USA News published additional lists of leading universities in 21 academic subject areas. In the field of Environment and Ecology, defined as dealing ‘with the relationship between living things and the physical world’, Berkeley scored top, with an impressive score of 100%. It was followed by Harvard (92%), Stanford (88.8%), UC Davis (88.6%) and Duke (84.2%).

Subject rankings are constructed using data on academic research performance. This is useful since many universities rank in the top 100 in subject rankings but not in the overall Best Global Universities ranking and so it provides recognition for those universities with distinguished but specific research interests. As students, such a ranking is clearly very useful for getting an idea of those universities which particularly excel in chosen areas of interest.

The ranking is based on a combination of bibliometric measures and indicators of global and regional reputation in that field. Bibliometric assessments include types of publications and number of citations as found in the Web of Science, an online research platform which encompasses over 12,000 of the most respected scholarly journals globally, in all fields of research. The Web of Science allows you to determine the number of citations for particular papers or authors which provides a good indication of academic influence.

Work in Environment and Ecology is taken to ‘cover topics in ecotoxicology, environmental technology and ecological modeling, as well as research in environmental health and climate change’.

Berkeley also nabbed the top spot in the subject rankings of Chemistry and Mathematics and in the top three in Space Science, Plant and Animal Science, Physics, Biology and Biochemistry, Engineering and Materials Science.

The full list of Environment/Ecology rankings can be found at: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/environment-ecology

Helene Schulze

Helene is a third year British exchange student majoring in human geography. Her main areas of interest are global geopolitics and environmental politics and she hopes at some stage to go in to environmental reporting.

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