A program that focuses on the scientific study of the origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and natural history of living populations, communities, species, and ecosystems in relation to dynamic environmental processes. Includes instruction in biodiversity, molecular genetic and genomic evolution, mesoscale ecology, computational biology and modeling, conservation biology, local and global environmental change, and restoration ecology.

Environmental biologists work to understand the impact of various factors on natural systems and areas.

Ecosystems can suffer from pollutants such as agricultural runoff or chemical waste. Preventing the issues these factors can cause is a matter of understanding the environments at their healthiest and helping to implement regulations that allow them to thrive. Environmental biologists spend a good amount of time assessing the health of ecosystems based on the organisms that dwell there. They use various techniques to monitor, map, and manage shifts in the environment such as water quality, soil health, or organism behaviors. By harvesting data through sample collection and chemical analysis, they are able to project the impact of future developments and help officials to make decisions that are better for the environment.

Work in environmental biology may include...

  • Assessing environmental health and external impact factors
  • Collecting samples and specimens
  • Analyzing and recording data
  • Conducting tests using lab equipment and techniques
  • Traveling to work sites to observe, record, or collect information

A large percentage of environmental biologists work for the government in some capacity, usually for federal agencies or state environmental protection divisions. Many consult with architectural firms and industrial designers; they may work in industry compliance, ensuring that companies do not violate environmental permits or policies. Of course, researchers and academics can be found working at universities, and technicians,

Becoming an environmental biologist requires undergraduate study in biology and chemistry. It can be helpful to take courses in soil science, aquatic ecology, and environmental policy. Many jobs in environmental science will hire candidates with Bachelor's degrees, but those who want to conduct their own research or manage studies tend to go on to graduate school. Master's and Doctoral programs in environmental science allow students to conduct independent field studies and prepare them to present their findings in an acceptable way.

Environmental biology is a great field for scientists who want to have a positive impact on both the natural and constructed elements of our world. Are you ready to make a career of it?

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