Environmental studies encompass the relationship of human activity with the environment. As a consequence of this interaction, this field strives to find solutions to problems. Environmental studies use the principles of the physical sciences, commerce/economics, and social sciences to solve contemporary ecological issues.
This field surrounds the arts and sciences. In the former, it explores the subjective topics of politics, philosophy, social issues, economics, and law. The more objective sciences include geography, oceanography, ecology, anthropology, and environmental concerns, such as pollution.
This degree provides opportunities in professions involving sustainability, conservation, ecology, global warming, and alternative energy sources. A short list is:
Environmental Consultant: Land developers engage consultants in determining if their intended use of the land will affect the wildlife, nearby bodies of water and surrounding soil conditions.
Educator: Convey your sense of excitement in your interactions with visitors or students, and public speaking skills at various venues, including college campuses.
Public Relations: You may generate press releases about programs and activities at your employer or client’s organizations.
Policy Analyst: The job applies the knowledge of environmental science to developing policies. These policies should be beneficial and viable for the environment and the surrounding communities.
We covered the emphasis of science courses in our post titled, What is the Benefit of a Degree in Environmental Science vs. Environmental Design? You can expect a heavy dose of science classes in environmental studies. Examples are:
Planet Earth: A review of climate, oceans, water, landforms, and ecosystems. In addition to the effect, the population has on the physical environment.
Oceanography: This pertains to the biological and physical properties of the ocean. To understand this science requires the involvement of a host of sciences. A short list is geography, hydrology, meteorology, climatology, physics, seismology, and biology.
Weather and Climate: This too encompasses several sciences. For example, you may study geography, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, and biochemistry. It examines the formation of cyclones, hurricanes, thunderstorms, cloud formations, and precipitation.
Math: This entails the study of calculus, integers, and derivatives.
Biology: Contemporary biology covers the structure of living cells. It is the study of creation, disease, molecular structures, and genetics.
Some schools offer an assortment of classes, in addition to the above, that also concentrate on environmental issues. Examples are:
Water Resources: This course explores the properties of water, storage methods, contamination, pollution, and accessibility of potable water sources.
Food and Society: This course involves cultural and social influences on food.
Environmental Ethics: Environmental ethics looks at doing what is right and good for the world. You will also learn how to resolve disputes for all affected parties ethically.
You are not limited to a Bachelor of Science program, per se. There are areas of specialization, such as Science, Geospatial Information Science, and Environmental Policy. Tarleton State University offers such a multidisciplinary program. Students gain an understanding of the biological, geological, and human factors that affect environmental quality. This approach will provide students with the option to explore their environmental interests.
Bachelor of Arts
In addition to a Bachelor of Science, you have the choice of a B.A. in Earth and Environmental Studies. This degree provides the knowledge to work in government agencies, consulting firms, education, and regulatory entities. The degree looks at how humans have altered earth. This plant examines the chemically and biologically influences of populations on the planet.
Examples of courses you can expect in either a bachelor of arts or science degree are:
Environmental Geology: This course examines global warming, earthquakes, energy resources, volcanoes, sediment deposits, rock formations, and natural disasters.
General Biology: An in-depth introduction and exploration of the study of life from atoms, molecules, and organelles (specialized structures in a cell). Emphasis is on cell structure and function, and metabolism, the gene, molecular genetics, and evolution.
In addition to the general Math/Statistics/Calculus classes, there are courses in Environmental Policy, Sustainability, Political Issues, and Global Health.
An environmental scientist’s job duties are numerous. They perform water tests to determine how toxic liquids might flow and permeated the soil in the event of leakage of hazardous materials. They create graphs and heat maps that show how air pollution has changed over time. This information is valuable to policymakers who are in a position to enact and enforce laws to mitigate pollutants.
Entry-level positions in this profession typically prefer a bachelor’s degree or higher in environmental science or related scientific field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports the median pay for these scientists at $69,400 with a Bachelor’s degree.