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Saving the Earth: Environmental Scientists Work in Varied Locales

News headlines feature doomsday pieces about global warming, toxic hazards, and the disappearance of species. Managing the environment and keeping it healthy is a big job, but environmental scientists typically address these issues and more. Your environmental science degree can lead to work with federal, state, or local government agencies, or you also have the option to join an environmental consulting firm. Whichever path you choose, your work should assist in keeping the environment balanced and healthy.

Graduate Degrees Preferred for Environmental Scientists

Although a bachelor's degree in environmental science, biology, or other related field may be sufficient for entry-level positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that graduate degrees are increasingly required of environmental scientists. Research interests in environmental science are widespread enough that specialization is often possible. Examples include:

  • Environmental ecologists study the relationships between living organisms and their environment.
  • Ecological modelers use mathematical modeling and systems analysis to analyze and identify environmental situations, and to project outcomes. This type of modeling can be used to identify hazards and their potential effects.
  • Resource managers use analytical processes, make projections, and use their knowledge of ecology and environmental resources to preserve and manage forests, mineral and water reserves. They may also manage wildlife, plants, and other environmental assets. Environmental resource management is usually significant in its efforts to avoid future environmental and ecological catastrophes

Your degree in environmental science can lead to a comfortable and meaningful career.

More than half of environmental scientists are employed by government agencies. The median salary for those employed by the federal government was $82,490 as of May 2006.