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Career Exploration

For current job opportunities visit the ES Department Sharepoint.

For more specific job search databases, see our jobs page.

 

Environmental studies majors have a broad reach of possible paths to take while preparing for a career. The major has an interdisciplinary nature and students can choose a variety of minors to complement their interests. Please explore the many directions that environmental studies majors can pursue.

There are many tracks to take, but on this page you will find the following;


Environmental Planning and Design

Environmental planning and design is a field which emphasizes an understanding of the planning and management of the physical environment, and the interaction of natural and social systems. Some specialties within this field are Environmental Geomatics/Planning, and Landscape Architecture/Industry.  Professionals typically fall into two areas—those that concentrate on a specific geographical area (e.g., city, state, ecosystem) and those who specialize in a particular issue (e.g., air and water quality, transportation). Regardless of their concentrated area, planners focus on problems and issues about the physical environment and propose solutions to solve them. While most environmental planners and designers work at the local level, many planners are interested in national issues and their global effects.

Recommended Minors
  • Sociology - studies groups, the ways people behave in groups and how an individual's attitudes and actions are influenced by them.
  • Political Science - equips students to understand political life, to be effective citizens, and to achieve positions of political leadership.
  • Economics - prepares students to be able to apply the theory of economic issues and policies.
  • Global Business - students gain traditional functional knowledge and analytical skills, yet are increasingly adept at leading diverse teams of innovators and managers from around the world.
Types of Employers
Nonprofit and Private Sector:
  • Architectural Firms
  • Botanical Firms
  • Construction Firms
  • Engineering Firms
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Environmental Health and Safety Consultants
  • Environmental Jusitice Groups
  • Golf Course Architects
  • Land Trusts
  • Landscape Designers
  • Law Firms
  • Policy Institutes
  • Real Estate Development F'irms
  • Ski Resorts
  • Utility Companies
Our graduates have worked the following positions in the private sector:

Transportation Planning Analyst - Kimley-Horn and Associates

Wind Energy and Solar Energy Project Developer - Renewable Energy Systems

Land Management Assistant - Minnesota Native Landscapes

 

Government Agencies:
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of the Interior
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Housing and Urban Development Department
  • NJ Historic Trust
  • NJ State Office of GIS
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Township and County Planning Departments
  • Transportation Department
Our graduates have worked the following positions in the public sector:

Community Planner - National Park Service

Protection Specialist - Environmental Protection Agency

Wetland Conservation Act Administrator - Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District

Pollution Control Specialist - Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Conservation and Recovery Specialist - US Environmental Protection Acency

 


Environmental Policy, Institutions, & Behavior

Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior examines the human dimensions of environmental problems. It addresses such issues as how human actions affect the environment; how societies adapt to changes in natural resource availability; and how individuals, nations, and international agencies respond to environmental hazards. Students should be prepared to deal with local, regional, and national differences in the use of resources; with social and environmental aspects of health and illness; with alternative strategies for environmental management; with the ethical, moral, and legal dimensions of environmental and resource issues; and with the roles of governmental and non-governmental agencies in environmental affairs.

Recommended Minors
  • Economics - prepares students to be able to apply the theory of economic issues and policies.
  • Sociology - studies groups, the ways people behave in groups and how an individual's attitudes and actions are influenced by them.
  • Political Science - equips students to understand political life, to be effective citizens, and to achieve positions of political leadership.
  • Psychology -  courses can complement their overall liberal arts education.
Types of Employers
Private and Nonprofit Organizations:
  • Agricultural Organizations
  • Banks
  • Chemical Manufacturers
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Dairy Industry
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Fertilizer Companies
  • Food & Beverage Companies
  • Food Marketing Chains
  • Glass, Cement, Concrete Manufacturers
  • Insurance Companies
  • Paper and Wood Project Manufacturers
  • Restaurants
  • Seed & Grain Corporations
  • Tobacco Industry
Our graduates have worked in the following positions with private and nonprofit organizations:

Process Analyst - Agstar Financial Services

Zero-Waste Education Manager - Eureka Recycling

Environmental Consulting Associate - Vieau Associates Inc.

Project Coordinator - Great Plains Institute

Energy Program Coordinator - Clean Water Action MN

 

Government Agencies
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Agronomy
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Environmental Science
  • Department of Food & Nutrition
  • Department of Health Science
  • Department of Reclamation
  • Department of Transportation
  • Economic Research Service
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Farm Credit Administration
  • Federal Power Commission
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Population Bureau
  • Safety & Consumers Office
Our graduates have worked in the following positions in the public sector:

Protection Specialist - Environmental Protection Agency

Natural Resources Aid - Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Pollution Control Specialist - Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Wildland Firefighter - United States Forest Service

Environmental Health Specialist - Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health

 


Environmental Sciences

An environmental science degree can prepare students for a wide range of careers in industry, government, consulting, and education. Many labor market experts predict that environmental industries will be a major source of new jobs in the next decade. Some technical specialties will require further graduate training either for career entry or advancement. Some students choose to combine their undergraduate degree with an MBA or law degree. Since environmental issues will impact most sectors of the job market, an educational background in this field will be attractive to a wide range of employers.

Recommended Minors
  • Biology - introduces students to the breadth of biological studies while enabling them to focus on areas of particular interest for further study.
  • Psychology -  courses can complement an overall liberal arts education.
  • Physics - curriculum covers the basics of classical and modern physics, examining human understanding of nature from elementary particles to the cosmos.
  • Mathematics - committed to giving its students a solid and broad-based mathematical foundation that helps prepare them for a variety of careers as well as graduate study in mathematics.
Types of Employers
Private and Nonprofit Organizations:
  • Chemical Manufacturers
  • Environmental Advocacy Groups
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Environmental Education Centers
  • Environmental Public Relations Firms
  • Environmental Research Organizations
  • Food Manufacturers
  • Insurance Companies
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Recycling Centers
  • Scientific Journals
  • Testing Labs
  • Waste Management Companies
Our graduates have worked the following positions for private and nonprofit organizations:

GIS Specialist - GeoCOMM

Environmental Technician - Institute for Environmental Assessment

Arborist - Rainbow Treecare

Project Coordinator/Engineer - S.J. Louis Construction

Environmental Technician/Consultant - Braun Intertec

Staff Scientist - ATC Associates Inc.

 

Government Agencies:
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Department of Commerce
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Forest Service
  • NJ Department of Environmental Protection
  • National Science Foundation
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Peace Corps
  • Public Health Service
  • Soil Conservation Service
  • Travel and Tourism Department
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Our graduates have worked the following positions in the public sector:

Scientist/Research Fellow - Cloquet Forestry Center

 

 


Environmental Communication

Environmental Communication refers to the study and practice of how individuals, institutions, societies, and cultures craft, distribute, receive, understand, and use messages about the environment and human interactions with the environment. This includes a wide range of possible interactions, from interpersonal communication to virtual communication, participatory decision making, and environmental media coverage.

 Recommended Minors:
  • Communication - focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media.
  • Sociology - studies groups, the ways people behave in groups and how an individual's attitudes and actions are influenced by them.
  •  History - analyzes human experience in context as it changes over time
Areas of Study and Practice
  • Environmental rhetoric and discourse
  • Media and environmental journalism
  • Public participation in environmental decision making
  • Social marketing and advocacy campaigns
  • Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution
  • Risk communication
  • Representation of Nature in popular culture and green marketing
Our graduates have worked in the following positions:

Senior Manager or Development and Communications - Environmental Initiative

Assistant Editor - Solar Today Magazine

 

 


Environmental Education

Environmental education is a field which many of our graduates choose to persue. Environmental education refers to organized efforts to teach how natural environments function, and particularly, how human beings can manage behavior and ecosystems to live sustainably.  The term often implies education within the school system, from primary to post-secondary but includes all efforts to educate the public and other audiences, including print materials, websites, media campaigns, etc.

Environmental Education is a field which most minors will complement, depending on what type of discipline is of interest. Examples include biology, chemistry, geology, education, communication, english, global business, economics, history, peace studies, etc.

Our graduates have worked in the following positions:

Naturalist - Denali National Park

Interpretive Naturalist and Intern Coordinator - Three Rivers Park District

Seasonal Naturalist - Dodge Nature Center

Program Coordinator - American Alpine Institute

Board Member - Minnesota Association for Environmental Education

Instructor - Outward Bound Wilderness Expeditions

Naturalist - Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Department Coordinator - Saint John's Outdoor University/CSB/SJU Environmental Studies

Teacher - Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme

Employee - Will Steger Foundation