How do you think the increasing environmental issues of the planet will impact the field of environmental science and studies?
I have been interested in studying the environment since my freshman year in high school when I took my first environmental biology class and wonder how the ever increasing issues that the environment today is facing will end up changing various parts of the study. For example, job availability, wages, areas of study, and every day requirements or jobs of a person in the field of environmental studies or science. #environmental-science #environmental #environmental-engineering #environmental-services
The environmental issues are not increasing. They are and have been right in front of us for so very long that many people do not pay attention to them. (Note: When I state "We" I mean the USA) We have more trees now than at the start of the 1900. We do not pollute the air, water and ground as we once did. We actively move to clean up issues of the past. We are also actively looking to improve our environment and how we management.
Unfortunately, many of our partners around the globe do not. I have lived on four continents and each had different issues and methods but some had little in what would be called environmental policy. Others had environmental policy that they followed and environmental policy that was written which wasn't always and sometime was never followed.
If I had to point to one thing that should change that most likely will not its the use of reusable containers for things like water. I am all for plastic bottles if they were to be recycled. Juice boxes are a waste because the many layers they are made of can't easily be recycled. We would be better off going back to glass milk bottles because of the ease they were cleaned or collected and recycled. There is so much waste that is just wasted because it was designed to throw away. From fast food wrappers to the plastic car bumpers that can't be recycled without a mass effort made.
Environmental science jobs are definitely on the rise particularly as they relate to air and water quality, "clean energy", site remediation, and climate resilience. The field is also increasingly multidisciplinary so don't be surprised if you find yourself working side by side with other scientists, engineers, politicians, urban planners, architects and public health professionals. If you're looking for a field of study I would strongly recommend environmental engineering.
The environmental field is growing - what was once a small field several decades ago has steadily grown as the connection between the environment, human health, and the economy has become more clear. There will be more jobs in the future. Wages are commensurate with education, experience, and job type. The current, hot topic is "resilience" (to flooding, and other natural disasters). However, all of the core environmental areas will remain relevant and viable for a career (water, air, waste, etc.). I recommend you select a traditional science major, then earn a masters with an environmental focus. Look at job postings that are of interest to you and the lists of prerequisites; you will notice a focus on traditional science backgrounds, even in more "environmental" focused positions. Best of luck.
The stresses modern society places on the planet seem likely to elevate the importance of environmental science and studies in the years to come. In addition, I expect that in time, enviromental scientists will be deployed to other planets like Mars as we seek to colonize and establish human life there.