Career Possibilities in Environmental Studies
Environmental consultants assess how development projects might impact the water, soil, air or wildlife in the area. All organizations must prepare environmental impact studies when they are planning to develop virgin land or repurpose currently developed land. Consultants suggest how to mitigate any potential impacts. Other jobs for consultants may be to recommend solutions to pollution issues. Environmental consultants require the communications skills to compose technical reports, to engage with the public and to deliver recommendations to clients.
Environmental Educators must synthesize available information about the surrounding environment and teach others about it. This can include education in a variety of settings, print or broadcast journalism, online media, and advocacy. Environmental Studies majors are trained to collect and interpret information and to conduct field work, all vital functions to their position as environmental educators. They convey their passion for the environment through engagement with visitors or students. The need for public speaking skills, acquired in the major, allows them to develop polished and dynamic presentations.
PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST
Environmental organizations shape public perceptions to gain political influence and financial resources for their initiatives. Public relations specialists apply environmental knowledge to write press releases about programs and activities at their employer or client organizations. They utilize advanced writing skills to develop content for the websites of environmental organizations and to compose text for fund raising brochures and letters.
FUNDRAISER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES
Fundraisers rely on solid communication skills to compose letters and make pitches to prospective contributors. They orchestrate fundraising events and plan campaigns through all types of media. In targeting prospective donors for contributions to environmental causes, fundraisers embrace their organizations’ goals and operations. Environmental Studies majors gain this knowledge and convey the benefits of supporting environmental initiatives to others.
If you are interested in pursuing a degree in Law, the knowledge gained as an Environmental Studies major is helpful for attorneys who work on environmentally related cases. Environmental attorneys interview expert witnesses like environmental engineers, biologists, chemists and environmental scientists as they prepare and litigate their cases. They interpret scientific material and evaluate the validity/reliability of those findings. They use advanced writing skills to compose legal briefs and other documents. They draft the language for environmental regulations if they work for governmental entities. In court, they tap presentation skills mastered by Environmental Studies majors.
Organizations of all kinds are looking for greener ways of carrying out their functions. Sustainability specialists assess environmental practices and impacts, they recommend and implement strategies to conserve resources and seek to limit environmental damage. Sustainability specialists must assess the impact of current operations on the environment and to determine the potential value of alternatives. Sustainability specialists use writing, presentation and interpersonal skills to write proposals, organize projects, and urge colleagues to adopt alternative practices.
Generating realistic proposals for environmental policy requires an in-depth knowledge of scientific concepts. Environmental Studies majors acquire solid foundations in biology and the geosciences. They have the research skills necessary to decipher information related to public policy recommendations. They have the analytical and statistical skills needed to interpret and process that information. Advanced technical writing skills are used to compose scientifically oriented policy documents.
ENVIRONMENTAL / CONSERVATION PLANNER
Organizations of all kinds are looking for greener ways of carrying out their functions. Sustainability specialists assess environmental practices and impacts, they recommend and implement strategies to conserve resources and seek to limit environmental damage. Sustainability specialists must assess the impact of current operations on the environment and to determine the potential value of alternatives. Sustainability specialists use writing. presentation and interpersonal skills to write proposals, organize projects, and urge colleagues to adopt alternative practices.
An environmental specialist helps with conducting environmental assessments, takes samples of various elements within an environment (water, soil, etc.) for testing, and takes part in the testing of the elements among other responsibilities. An environmental specialist is highly schooled in environmental law and policy with a bachelors degree in environmental studies or related field. For entry level positions as an assistant, little experience is required, as many people tend to learn on the job. Environmental specialists tend to be highly organized and excellent at written and verbal communication.
NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGER
A natural resources manager serves as wildlife and plant life conservationist and can work in the public or private spheres. Natural resources managers who work for government agencies typically oversee and enforce environmental laws. Those who work in parks take charge of educational programs and tours for park visitors. This may also involve the preservation and sustainable management of park and forest lands. It includes the ecological maintenance of the parks, the management of park visitors, and the observation of their impact. Natural resource managers typically possess a degree in environmental studies or a related field and may have a masters for more advanced jobs. They also have a few years of experience and possess excellent communication and organizational skills.
OTHER CAREER POSSIBILITIES
- Environmental Protection Agency (federal, state)
- US Office of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency
- United Nations Sustainable Development Officer
- Municipal Water Conservation Manager
- Green Energy Entrepreneur
- Corporate Social Responsibility Manager
- Green Economic Developer or City Planner
- Sustainable Community Planner
- Energy Auditor
- Environmental Journalist
- ISO Certification Specialist
- Environmental Nonprofits
- Park Service (federal, state, local)