Environmental

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field that integrates areas of life, physical, and earth science to study and address problems facing the environment. Careers in this field implement science-based solutions to problems facing our environment and ecosystems.

What is Environmental Science?

Environmental science focuses on using scientific principles and processes to address issues facing our environment. It also is focused on natural resources. Careers in this area can be found across many different fields of study, from educational entities like schools, zoos, and nature centers to government agencies.

 

The five major fields of environmental science are social sciences, geosciences, environmental chemistry, ecology, and atmospheric sciences. The idea is to combine multiple perspectives and data sources, to build up a fuller understanding of natural and human environments.

 

Fieldwork is an important part of most environmental science degrees, which often include trips to a variety of different countries and world regions, giving those who study environmental science the opportunity to experience different habitats, climates, land formations and societies. You can also expect to spend a fair amount of time in the lab, learning how to carry out different types of tests and analysis. In addition, students often undertake voluntary work in an environment-related role, which provides valuable experience to prepare them for future environmental science careers.

 

A degree in environmental science prepares you for the hands-on aspect of this field, where studies directly inform the education, policies and legislation of environmental sustainability.

 

 

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Programs & Education

In-person

Biodiversity in Your Backyard: Gardening for Butterflies

Omaha, NE

Butterflies, bees, wasps and birds are all an important part of a group called pollinators. In addition to Nebraska's only Science on a Sphere exhibi...

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In-person

Build Your Own Natural Disaster: Hurricanes and Tornados

Omaha, NE

Learn about the causes and effects of hurricanes and tornadoes through hands-on activities, discussions and in-class demonstrations in this natural sc...

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In-person

Build Your Own Natural Disaster: Floods, Droughts, and Landslides

Omaha, NE

Learn about the causes and effects of floods, droughts and landslides through hands-on activities, discussions and in-class demonstrations in this nat...

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In-person

Wonderful World of Water

Omaha, NE

Using Science on a Sphere and hands-on activities, student will explore water in space and how water on Earth makes our planet special. From weather ...

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In-person

2022 Summer Fish & Feathers Internship

Niobrara, NE

If you enjoy working outdoors, fishing, birding, exploring national parks and working with communities, you may be eligible for a 12 week paid summer ...

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In-person

2022 Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program

Omaha, NE

The mosaics in science internship program is coordinated by the National Park Service and Environment for the Americas. Together, we work to provide u...

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Example Careers

Hydrologist

Education Requirements
Bachelor's or master's degree

Average Salary
$65k


Hydrologists study water and how it moves. They research groundwater, precipitation, bodies of water, rivers, and how these can all affect one another. Hydrologists also analyze water quality. They solve problems about water quality and availability.

Environmental Lawyer

Education Requirements
Bachelor's degree and law degree

Average Salary
$81k


Environmental lawyers provide legal counsel and representation about issues concerning the environment, including hazardous waste, water and air quality, alternative energy sources, waste management, and other green initiatives. They can also work on creating policies to protect the environment.

Horticulturist

Education Requirements
Bachelor's Degree

Average Salary
$56K


Horticulturist specializing in ecological landscapes and urban forestry may create landscapes that provide ecosystem services, such as stabilizing slopes, reducing erosion, improving air and water quality, or even reducing the energy usage of buildings. They may also design parks and botanical gardens, or own a landscaping business.

Environmental Policy Analyst

Education Requirements
Bachelor's degree

Average Salary
$67K


One could argue that environmental policy is one of the most important career specializations in existence today. Environmental policy analyst need at least a bachelor's degree in environmental policy, environmental studies, environmental science, energy policy, political science, ecology, or a closely related field. People who have a degree in environmental policy are knowledgeable in quite a few areas. They study ecology and the environment, such as how climate change works and what factors contribute to it, as well as laws and policies related to environmental changes, such as government regulations that limit the amount of waste companies can emit, or even citywide recycling initiatives. Other important areas of knowledge may include common sources of pollution, methods to protect nonrenewable resources, economies, and statistics.

Forester

Education Requirements
Bachelor's degree

Average Salary
$41K


Foresters play important roles in land management, conservation and rehabilitation. They plan and help carry out forestry projects, like planting new trees, monitoring and conserving wildlife habitats, choosing and preparing timber plots, assessing current timber value and suppressing forest fires.

Environmental Engineer

Education Requirements
Bachelor's degree

Average Salary
$78K


Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They work to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control. The employment outlook for environmental engineers is excellent. The field is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Sustainability Officer

Education Requirements
Bachelor's degree or Masters degree

Average Salary
$83K


The sustainability officer is responsible for providing an ongoing evaluation of the company's profits, personnel, ecological outlook, and other factors that affect company performance. They report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or an executive management team. The position of the sustainability officer is to have direct contact with most, if not all, of the personnel involved in the production process. The job requires a person who is dedicated to reducing the company's carbon footprint, in and above compliance to environmental regulations set by the government. The position is multi-faceted and provides the opportunity to be involved at almost every level of production. To become a sustainability officer, you should have a bachelor's degree in business or an environmental science field, such as biology. The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) also offers a professional certification if you wish to pursue this career.

Career salary data provided by: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook handbook and O*NET OnLine.

If environmental science is not your thing, there are other areas of science!

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