Careers in Environmental Science

Is a degree in Environmental Science right for me?

If you are considering what major you might want to pursue in college, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like investigating the natural world?
  • Do you like working with plants and animals?
  • Do you like being in the outdoors (hiking, camping ...)
  • Do you think you might like a mix of working outdoors, in a lab, and/or in an office environment?
  • Are you concerned about environmental problems?
  • Would you like to help make the world a better place to live?
  • Do you like problem solving?

If the answers to one or more of these questions is YES, then getting a degree in Environmental Science from Eastern Nazarene College may be the right choice for you.

Another way to consider this is whether or not you have the NATURALIST INTELLIGENCE. The naturalist intelligence is one of several ways of learning identified by Howard Gardner in his theory of multiple intelligences. According to Gardner, someone with the naturalist intelligence would be good at observing, organizing, and understanding patterns and structures in the natural environment. For a list of the types of things that someone with the Natural Intelligence might like to do, check out New Horizons for Learning. These activities might include:

  • Observing plants and animals in nature or doing experiments in nature
  • Using microscopes, magnifying lenses, telescopes, and binoculars to study nature
  • Interest in plants, animals, dinosaurs, rocks, weather
  • Keeping collections of insects, rocks, leaves, or other natural objects
  • Nature photography, drawing, or journaling
  • Gardening
  • Caring for pets
  • Categorizing, classifying, or naming natural objects
  • Visiting zoos, planetariums, botanical gardens, and aquaria
  • Studying books about nature
  • Volunteering for a local conservation organization or animal shelter

If you think that pursuing a career in ecology or the environmental sciences may be right for you, below are some resources that may help you make a good, informed decision.


What are some of the things I can do with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science?

Environmental science is, by nature, a multidisciplinary field. Among the job titles/positions that people might hold in the environmental sciences are those listed below.

  • Air/water quality manager
  • College or university professor/high school teacher
  • Compliance officer
  • Environmental educator/naturalist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Environmental physician/nurse
  • Environmental planner
  • Fisheries manager
  • Forester
  • Industrial hygienist
  • Natural resource specialist
  • Project manager
  • Sanctuary or preserve manager
  • Stewardship director
  • Wetlands scientist
  • Wildlife biologist

For additional ideas about the types of jobs that are available in the environmental sciences, see the web sites below.


What kind of skills will I need to develop for a career in ecology and the environmental sciences?

Environmental careers require a number of important skills. Among the most important are those listed below.

  • Researching literature and gathering information
  • Conducting field and laboratory investigations
  • Analyzing and evaluating data
  • Using a variety of computer applications
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing reports and grant applications
  • Preparing and delivering oral presentations
  • Communicating with a wide variety of audiences and age-groups
  • Interpreting scientific concepts for the non-scientific person
  • Applying concepts
  • Recognizing patterns
  • Conflict resolution
  • Maintaining precision and accuracy


Will I need to go to graduate school to pursue this career?

There are a variety of jobs in Environmental Science that require graduate degrees on top of a bachelors. Speak with Professor Twining about whether the field you are interested in requires a BS, MS, or PhD.


Environmental Careers Information Web Sites

Check out these web sites that provide information on the environmental jobs market, the types of jobs that are available in the environmental sciences, resume development tips, initernships and co-ops, and other information regarding how to find jobs in the environmental field.

Career Opportunities for Majors in Environmental Sciences (from Career Services at Rutgers University) 
EnviroEducation.com: The Environmental Education Directory 
Environmental Career Planning for College Students
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Opportunities for Students
Occupational Outlook Handbook - Job Outlooks for Biologists in the US 
Occupational Outlook Handbook - Job Outlooks for Environmental Scientists in the US


Job Search Information For Graduates

 

ENC Brickley Center and Career Services 
ECO-Jobs.com 
Environmental Careers World 
Environmental Jobs and Careers at ejobs.org 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Career Opportunities 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Opportunities for College Graduates 
EcoEmploy - Environmental Jobs and Careers 
EELink - Multi-Site Job Search from NAAEE


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