Maintaining a vibrant and thriving global environment has become a hot button issue in the last 40 years. There are steps that individuals can take to make a tangible impact. College degrees in protecting ecosystems and practices for sustaining human civilization are options. The top five include environmental science, natural resource management, environmental engineering, environmental policy and management, and green and sustainable management. Here is a closer look at each of these disciplines under the umbrella of environmental sciences.
This degree would be considered the most holistic of all the disciplines because of the broad focus of the curriculum. For example, there is an emphasis on factors that contribute to pollution, the impact to and of humans, and implications of business practices. They achieve this with advocacy, strategies and protocols that promote conservation such as recycling and alternative energy solutions. Degrees are awarded from the bachelor to the doctorate level.
While the environmental science degree is a generalist, the environmental engineer is more specific with developing solutions for preventing damage. They use theories from hard sciences such as biology, geology, and chemistry to address problems. This includes data analysis and collection, isolating and evaluating hazards, and on-going quality controls. Bachelor degrees are the start however, a master’s degree is necessary for research and academic positions.
Natural Resource Management
As the name signifies, attention is given to renewable and non-renewable resources including air, water, energy, and soil. The goal is to find innovative technologies to improve upon quality while mitigating further decline. The steps include development of sustainable practices for humans and business as well as reducing the level of exposure to hazards. They can be found on committees that engage in policy creation and interpreting environmental law as it relates to natural resources.
Environmental Policy and Management
Individuals looking to make a direct impact on laws, policies and guidelines for protecting the environment gravitate to this degree. It concentrates on sustainability, ethics, and core technology and sciences. This information is used to affect a positive change to current practices that encompass the environmental science disciplines. The ethics of sound policy management uses the criteria of safety, health and well-being of all living organisms. Online environmental management degree programs are available for a bachelors and masters.
Green and Sustainable Management
The degree holders in this discipline focus heavily on green strategies and sustainable principles through technology and innovation. Their role is a reflection of the real-time changes to natural resources and the effect of 21st century ideas and products. From there, they make recommendations regarding the most sustainable and how to implement them. A bachelor or masters of science degree is awarded.
Global warming is a buzz word that denotes a precipitous decline in the health of various ecosystems. Two of the top environmental degrees work on solutions, while three others stress management. They are all environmental scientist that collaborate towards the same goal of protecting the environment and human civilization.
Pic via Lizzie Weakley, the author of this article, is a freelance writer.
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