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Environmental Studies

Page Index: Environmental Studies

Academic Information:

What is Environmental Studies?

The Environmental Studies Program deals with the relationship between humans and nature, or between humans and natural systems. If "environment" is defined as everything that surrounds us, then environmental studies is not only about natural environments, but also about built, social, and organizational environments, and all of the relationships between them.

Career Information

Typical Job Titles

  • Ecologist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Agricultural Technician
  • Engineering Technician
  • Forester
  • Outdoor Trip Leader
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Fund Raiser
  • Park Ranger
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Educator
  • Project Manager
  • Hazardous Waste Manager
  • Range Manager
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Resource Economist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Chemical Technician
  • Environmental Lobbyist
  • Journalist, Author
  • Soil Conservation Technician
  • Management Consultant
  • Teacher
  • City Planner
  • Urban And Regional Planner
  • Environmental Planner
  • Water/Wastewater Plant Operator
  • Conservation Agent
  • Natural Resource Specialist
  • Wildlife Manager
  • Conservation Systems Analyst
  • EPA Inspector
  • Conservationist
  • Consumer Safety Inspector
  • Occupational Safety Specialist
  • Photographer
  • Fisheries Conservationist
  • Ocean Technician

Typical Places of Employment

  • Agricultural Firms
  • Fertilizer Companies
  • Banks
  • Glass, Cement, Gypsum & Concrete Manufacturers
  • Chemical Corporations
  • Insurance Companies
  • Dairy Producers
  • Dept. of Agriculture Economic Research Service
  • Dept. of Agronomy
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Dept. of Economics Federal Power Commission
  • Dept. of Energy Federal Reserve Bank
  • Dept. of Environmental Science Food & Drug Administration
  • Dept. of Food & Nutrition Population Bureau
  • Dept. of Health Science Safety & Consumers Office
  • Dept. of Reclamation Universities and Colleges
  • Dept. of Transportation
  • Paper & Wood Product Mfrs.
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Restaurants
  • Farm Credit Agencies
  • Seed & Grain Corporations
  • Food & Beverage Companies
  • Tobacco Companies
  • Food Marketing Chains

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Provide expertise, recommendations and leadership to respond to emerging environmental issues and allocation of resources having a bearing on Regional, Strategic Business Unit and Corporate environmental objectives.
  • Diagnose environmental problems, assess the risks, identify and recommend solutions, and coordinate action utilizing environmental specialists and managers, as required; coordinates the delivery of environmental services to the Region.
  • Be responsible for providing a regional environmental perspective and assignment of risks to Lines of Business in the development of plans and budgets in order to meet due diligence and stewardship requirements.
  • Apply knowledge creatively
  • Define problems
  • Assess risks
  • Use laboratory equipment
  • Precision and accuracy
  • Computer literacy
  • Evaluate data and results
  • Organize and report data
  • Inform and explain
  • Liaise, consult and negotiate with government agencies, environmental interest groups and related corporate specialist departments.
  • Provide presentations to public and interest groups.
  • Assess environmental training needs, develop and coordinate the delivery of environmental training to heighten environmental awareness and provide skills and knowledge to regional employees and managers.
  • Coordinate and administer current environmental policies, standards and initiatives; identify risks and voids and recommend solutions to new policy and standards proposals by Corporate.
  • Summarize research findings
  • Report results-written / verbal
  • Analyze data
  • Perceiving patterns- structures
  • Applying logic to problems
  • Attention to details
  • Apply concepts
  • Utilizing formulas
  • Gather information

Alumni Resources

(Listed below are examples of SU Alumni and their Jobs in this major-For more alumni resources, go to Mentor Network)

-Stephen Ambrose - Camp Springs MD 20746 - Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) - NASA Center for Climate Simulation - Principal Scientist
-Julia Balsley - Falls Church VA 22042 - Arlington County Virginia - Environmental Health Specialist
-Heidi Maupin - MD - Army Research Lab - Army Research Lab Specialist

Related Links: Further Explore this Career Field

Professional Associations:

National Association of Environmental Professionals

North American Association for Environmental Educators

The Student Conservation Association

National Environmental Health Association

Ecological Society of America

National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals

Local Government Environmental Assistance Network

American Water Works Association

Society for Conservation Biology

Environmental Organizations with Career Information

Additional Environmental Career Information

National & Global Organizations

Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals (AHMP)
Northern California Chapter:
Pacific Southwest Chapter (including Southern California):
AHMP is a professional association with a membership of more than 4,000 of the nation’s leading experts in environmental, health, safety and security management. AHMP is the only national organization devoted to the professional advancement of the hazardous materials management field.

American Outdoors Association
The American Outdoors Association is an international trade association for the world's finest adventure travel outfitters, tour companies and outdoor educators and their suppliers.

American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE)
The American Academy of Environmental Engineers is dedicated to excellence in the practice of environmental engineering to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare to enable humankind to co-exist in harmony with nature.

American Fisheries Society (AFS)
The mission of the American Fisheries Society is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
AIHA is one of the largest international associations serving the needs of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals practicing industrial hygiene in industry, government, labor, academic institutions, and independent organization.

American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
As a member of the APTA, you are part of an international organization that has been representing the transit industry for over 100 years, since 1882. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services, and by improving those services to meet national energy, environmental, and financial concerns. Over ninety percent of passengers using transit in the U.S. and Canada are carried by APTA members.

American Sanctuary Association (ASA)
Founded in 1998, the ASA is an accrediting organization that requires member animal sanctuaries to comply with a variety of high quality animal care standards and housing requirements. ASA actively works every single day to find sanctuary placement for a multitude of homeless, abandoned, seized and abused exotic animals, non-releasable native wild animals, farmed animals and companion animals.

American Society for Environmental History (ASEH)
The American Society for Environmental History increases understanding of the important role played by the environment throughout human history, from the earliest period to the crucial issues of our own time. Founded in 1977, the ASEH is a non-profit scholarly organization that promotes research and teaching as well as public outreach. Our membership is international and interdisciplinary - and those who join receive a subscription to our quarterly journal, Environmental History, published by Oxford University Press.

American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
A leading professional organization for researchers and educators in the field of aquatic science, working to provide for their needs at all phases of professional development. ASLO is best known for its highly rated research journals, its interdisciplinary meetings and its special symposia. The society supports increasingly important programs in public education and outreach and public policy. It strives to encourage student participation and to increase opportunities for minorities in the aquatic sciences.

American Solar Energy Society (ASES)
The nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation's leading association of solar professionals & advocates. Our mission is to inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy. We advance education, research and policy.

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
AWEA is a national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry - one of the world's fastest growing energy industries. In addition, AWEA represents hundreds of wind energy advocates from around the world.

Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS)
The purpose of AESS is to serve the faculty, students and staff of the 1000+ interdisciplinary environmental programs in North America and around the world. They seek to strengthen teaching, research and service in environmental studies and sciences, and to improve communication across boundaries that too often divide the traditional academic disciplines.

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest.

Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC)
Established in 1987 the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, a non-profit organization, is committed to improving the practice of occupational and environmental health through information sharing and collaborative research.

Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR)
The Association of Post-consumer Plastic Recyclers is the national trade association representing companies who acquire, reprocess and sell the output of more than 90 percent of the post-consumer plastic processing capacity in North America. APR promotes development of the plastics recycling industry by providing leadership for long-term industry growth and vitality.

Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO)
The Association of State Dam Safety Official’s mission is to advance and improve the safety of dams by supporting the dam safety community and state dam safety programs, raising awareness of dam safety issues, facilitating cooperation, providing a forum for the exchange of information, representing dam safety interests before governments, providing outreach programs, and creating a unified community of dam safety advocates.

Association of Watershed & Stormwater Professionals
The Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals is a national network of professionals dedicated to advancing the state-of-the-art in watershed and stormwater management.

Ecological Society of America (ESA)
ESA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists, raise the public's level of awareness of the importance of ecological science, increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science, and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers.

Economics for Equity & Environment
Economics for Equity and the Environment Network is a national network of economists developing new and better arguments for protecting people and the planet. Through applied research and public engagement, they seek to improve decision-making and further understanding of the relationship between economy and ecology.

Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE)
FSEEE is a national organization of government employees holding the Forest Service accountable for responsible land stewardship.

Green Restaurant Association (GRA)
The GRA is a national non-profit organization that provides a convenient and cost-effective way for restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers to become more environmentally responsible.

Green Roof for Healthy Cities North America
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs and green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professional development and celebrations of excellence

Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH)
As the biggest health and safety membership organization in the world, IOSH is committed to creating a world of work that is safe, healthy and sustainable.

International District Energy Association (IDEA)
IDEA fosters the success of its members as leaders in providing reliable, economical, efficient and environmentally sound district energy services. They promote energy efficiency and environmental quality through the advancement of district heating, district cooling and cogeneration and actively lobbyto secure favorable policies, legislation and regulations for district energy.

International Hydropower Association
IHA works to advance hydropower's role in sustainable solutions for clean energy, responsible freshwater management, and climate change. With members active in more than 80 countries, IHA is a non-governmental, mutual association of organizations and individuals. Their work falls into the two broad themes of sustainability and hydropower development.

International Solar Energy Society
ISES promotes solar research and development, provides authoritative advice on renewable energy issues worldwide, advocates for a sustainable global solar industry, supports career growth of Young ISES members, and promotes energy education at all levels.  

International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE)
ISIE is an interdisciplinary forum of natural and social scientists, engineers, policymakers and practitioners that advances systems based analysis methods, tools and solutions in pursuit of sustainable technology, product and service systems, and economies. They promote the use of industrial ecology in research, education, industrial practices, policy, and community development in order to transform society and achieve a more sustainable economy.

International Union of Air Pollution Prevention & Environmental Protection Associations
IUAPPA's goal is to help develop and promote air quality solutions. It brings together governmental and non-governmental organizations from throughout the world to share scientific and technical information to help develop more effective air pollution control policies.

International Water Association
The International Water Association (IWA) is the global network of 10,000 water professionals spanning the continuum between research and practice and covering all facets of the water cycle.

NAEM – Association for EHS Management
NAEM is a professional association that empowers corporate leaders to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces, and promote global sustainability. As the largest network for Environmental, Health and Safety, and Sustainability decision-makers, they provide peer-led educational conferences and an active community for sharing solutions to today's corporate EHS and Sustainability management challenges.

National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)
U.S. Agency Contacts:
The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) represents air pollution control agencies in 45 states and territories and over 116 major metropolitan areas across the United States.

National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)
California Chapter:
NAEP is the multi-disciplinary association for professionals dedicated to the advancement of the environmental professions, a forum for state-of-the-art information on environmental planning, research and management, a network of professional contacts, a resource for structured career development from student memberships to certification as an environmental professional, and a strong proponent of ethics and the highest standards of practice in the environmental professions.

National Ground Water Association (NGWA)
NGWA is composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals — contractors, scientists and engineers, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers. Their purpose is to provide guidance to members, government representatives, and the public for sound scientific, economic, and beneficial development, protection, and management of the world's groundwater resources.

National Marine Educators Association (NMEA)
The NMEA brings together those interested in the study and enjoyment of both fresh and salt water and provides a focus for marine and aquatic studies all over the world.

North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE)
The North American Association for Environmental Education advances environmental education and supports environmental educators in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
California Watch:
Federal Watch:
PEER is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals. They work nation-wide with government scientists, land managers, environmental law enforcement agents, field specialists and other resource professionals committed to responsible management of America’s public resources.

Organic Consumers Association (OCA)
OCA is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. They deal with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, and environmental sustainability.

Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)
North American Region:
The SCB is an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. The Society's membership comprises a wide range of people interested in the conservation and study of biological diversity: resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers, and students make up the more than 5,000 members worldwide.  

Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)
SER is dedicated to reversing degradation across the globe and restoring the earth’s ecological balance for the benefit of humans and nature.

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
SETAC is a not-for-profit, global professional organization comprised of some 6,000 individual members and institutions from academia, business and government. Since 1979, the Society has provided a forum where scientists, managers and other professionals exchange information and ideas on the study, analysis and solution of environmental problems, the management and regulation of natural resources, research and development, and environmental education.

Society of Wetland Scientists(SWS)
An international organization of about 3,500 members dedicated to fostering sound wetland science, education, and management.

Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS)
California-Nevada Chapter of SWCS:
Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization -- founded in 1943 -- that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
As the national trade association in the U.S., the SEIA is the power behind solar energy. Member companies research, manufacture, distribute, finance, and build solar projects domestically and abroad.

Water Environment Federation (WEF)
North America Member Associations:
WEF’s Member Associations and Corresponding Associations provide exciting and informative activities and services to WEF members around the world. Their programs include high quality technical conferences, operator training & certification programs, local and regional legislative and regulatory activities, educational programs, and affiliations with other professional organizations.

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