Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Sandra Cutts

Energy Policy Researcher/ORISE Fellow at the EPA–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

2021–2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to Greece.  Host: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of City Planning, Policies & Land Use Modeling

Environmental studies, entailing environmental sciences, is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary academic field which systematically studies the interaction between the environment and humanity. It is a holistic discipline that addresses environmental problems and potentially offers solutions to environmental degradation.

This broad field of study includes the built environment, the natural environment, and the relationship between them. It encompasses study in subject areas such as policy, environmental engineering, urban studies, ethics, geography, planning, anthropology, education, politics, law, social justice, economics, sociology, philosophy, natural resource management, and pollution control—basically any study that deals with environmental science and ecology.

Students of environmental studies use their wide range of skills and analytical tools to address worldwide environmental issues. Potential career options for individuals in the environmental studies field are endless; employment could be with governments, non-profits, corporations, academia, and consulting firms and include professions such as an environmental consultant, attorney, engineer, public relations specialist, educator, environmental policy strategist, conservation officer, analyst, scientist, and environmental protection specialist.

Some environmental studies programs may have designated concentrations, but many programs have extremely flexible concentrations in such fields as geography, urban studies, political science, agricultural sciences, engineering, and sociology. Whatever the case, a desire to make an impact on mitigating environmental destruction, being a creative thinker, being detailed oriented, and possessing problem-solving skills will be important to one’s success.

 Photo Credit: Naja Bertolt Jensen for Unsplash