Till a couple of decades ago, for most people, the environment was merely a place they lived in. Pursuing a detailed course in that subject was something that was unfathomable. The 1990s was when the human race in general got conscious of all the damage it has done to Mother Nature. It is then that it started taking steps to deal with the same. What followed was an intensive study, exploration and research in the field of renewable resources.
In a matter of years, more and more students from different backgrounds started taking up the study of the environment. From sociologists to lawyers, anthropologists to engineers, everyone started using their expertise in their respective fields and applied the same for the betterment of the environment that we live in. This has led to unleashing new potential in the field of environmental studies.
All of this has cumulatively ensured that we work towards sustainable development in an effort to ensure that we leave the earth a better place for our future generations. As a consequence of this awakening, today there are a number of career options for those trained in the field of environmental science. This article explores some of those career options for you.
1. Environmental Lawyer
These people represent companies, organisations or at times even farmers. Legal personnel who have a deep concern for the environment are the ones who are best suited for this job. The major job role for these lawyers is to ensure that justice is served to the wildlife, tribal inhabitants of the forests and their flora and fauna.
For this they may be under the payroll of a company or organisation, or they may even be self-employed. Usually people who seek this profession are the ones who choose job satisfaction over monetary gains.
2. Environmental Biologist
This is one field of study that has immense scope in terms of research. A student biologist is given a wide array of specialisations to choose from. They can pick amongst ecological conservation, water or land specialisation. For postdoctoral degrees one can even go for landscape analysis and management.
The primary job role of an environmental biologist is to look for ways and means to ensure that the ecological balance is maintained and to suggest precautionary measures to minimise the effect of human activities on the environment.
3. Environmental Teacher
Almost a decade back, the Supreme Court of India passed a dictate that stated that environmental education should be made a compulsory subject at all levels (from primary school all the way up to graduation). This has created immense job opportunities for teachers in this field.
4. Environmental Geologist
The role of an environmental geologist is to study the chemical contents in soil and water. They are responsible for taking measures in order to ensure that the same remains uncontaminated (or in the practical sense, as minimally contaminated as possible).
While doing so, it is also the duty of an environmental geologist to ensure that plants and animals which need these basic resources to survive are not deprived of their accessibility to the same. Thus, this is a highly challenging career path and only the creamy layer of the academic strata makes its way to this course.
5. Environmental Scientist
The job role of an environmental scientist may vary with respect to the organisation that they are working for. Evaluating environmental disasters (like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Chernobyl Disaster or any recent oil spill) is a part and parcel of their daily lives.
These people create graphs and maps to illustrate the effect of air or water pollution and they pass on their findings to government officials. This in turns allows government officials to make informed decisions about environmental laws that impact the way humans and wildlife interact with each other.
Thus, it will be fair to say that the major objective of an environmental scientist is to investigate and solve environmental problems in order to foster sustainable development.
6. Environmental Manager
Any industry will be producing certain amount of waste. How it disposes off this waste is what makes the difference between preserving the environment and destroying the same.
It is the role of the environmental manager, who is associated with the firm, to ensure that the waste is discarded in a manner such that there is minimal damage to the environment caused in the process. This is one of the most highly paid jobs in this industry.
7. Environmental Engineer
The major job role here is to combine the principles of basic engineering with the knowledge of biology and chemistry in an effort to ensure human activities do not cause considerable damage to the planet we live in. Designing projects that lead to preservation of the environment and initiating things like water reclamation facilities falls under the jurisdiction of an environmental engineer.
These technical experts are also responsible for advising the government (or any third party environmental firm that they work for) about the clean up protocol for areas that are already contaminated. They do so by analysing scientific data (that is prepared by environmental geologists) and providing technical support on environmental mediation projects.
8. Environmental Blogger
A lot of what we know about the environment is from what we read on the Internet. Thus, blogging is an effective tool of mass enlightenment (and all of us are well-aware of the fact that it is only when common people join hands with one another can we hope to tackle the challenge of restoring the environment to its former glory).
This makes the role of an environmental blogger a very important one and plays a major role in fostering change in the society.