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Courses and Internships

Pacific Courses Related to John Muir


The following courses relate to John Muir or have a regional or environmental emphasis. These courses are offered through the History Department:

John Muir's World: The Origins of the Conservation Movement
John Muir (1838-1914) is considered by most the "father" of the modern Conservation Movement. This course traces his life, his conservation crusades, and his global legacy. Home of the John Muir Papers, University of the Pacific's Library will be used by all students in the course for research on an aspect of John Muir's contributions to conservation. Field trips to the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez and to Yosemite National Park are often a part of this course.

American Environmental History
Topical survey of historical roots of environmental crises in contemporary North America beginning with western concepts of natural history. Main focus: three centuries of changing American attitudes, policies and activities that led to the rise of the Conservation Movement by the late nineteenth century. Tensions between users and preservers, and the development of an ecological school of environmentalism since the 1940s are covered.

History of the American West
A study of the causes and consequences of America's westward expansion and settlement, from Spanish and French beginnings to modern times, with emphasis on the people, the myths and the technologies that have shaped western development and culture.

History of California
A survey of the Golden State from its first description as a mythical island in the sixteenth century to the state's economic and political prominence in our own times. Native American beginnings, Spanish Mission Period, Mexican California, the Gold Rush and its consequences, and Modern California from World War II to the present are emphasized. Class participants select famous "California History Makers" and present their own research with presentations on notable figures in the State's unique history, from Spanish friars and explorers to politicians, inventors, scientists, Hollywood's most influential, and others in California's Hall of Fame. Especially recommended for future educators, but open to all.

A number of other environmentally focused courses are available through the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department.

Internships and Experiential Learning


Students can earn course credit through the internship program offered by the John Muir Center. The internship consists of a supervised experiential learning opportunity involving:

  • Library or museum research and operations on a subject connected with John Muir's life or legacy
  • Field or office work within an environmental organization or federal, state or local environmental agency
  • Educational work through an environmental institute or institution


Contact the John Muir Center to learn more.

John Muir drawing from John Muir Papers, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. © 1984 Muir-Hanna Trust