Habitat loss, global climate change, water and air pollution, ozone depletion, species invasions, loss of biodiversity, and the accumulation of toxic wastes are among the many environmental dilemmas our society faces. These complex problems pit environmental limits against economic development, diverse cultures, ethics, values, and social stability and therefore require an understanding of science, policy, society, history, and economics. Environmental scientists must use integrated and holistic approaches to understand and find sustainable solutions to these problems. 


To view the a more detailed list of courses for this program, click here.
Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science

Built on the concept that environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary, the program is offered by the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences in the College of Science in collaboration with the department of science, technology, and society in the College of Liberal Arts. The curriculum provides students with a deep understanding of the science behind our environmental problems, along with the complex set of circumstances that impact environmental issues, and how environmental decisions and policies must attempt to find a balance between environmental conservation, human well-being, and economic development. Students augment their hands-on classroom work with in-depth experiential learning through an individual thesis or project providing students with the chance to work on real-world environmental problems under the guidance of skilled environmental scientists.

The program includes a core curriculum and electives chosen to reflect the student’s background and career goals. A minimum of 34 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. All students must propose, conduct, and report on an original research thesis or project.

Environmental scientists and geoscientists use their knowledge of the physical makeup and history of the Earth to protect the environment; locate water, mineral, and energy resources; predict future geologic hazards; and offer environmental site assessments and advice on indoor air quality, hazardous waste site remediation and construction and land-use projects. Most of theirtime is devoted to office or field work and often includes data analysis and report/proposal writing.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some entry-level positions, but environmental scientists and geoscientists increasingly need a master’s degree in a natural science. A master’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for most entry-level research positions in private industry, Federal agencies, and State geological surveys. 

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.) 

 

Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists.

Built on the concept that environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary, the program is offered by the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences in the College of Science in collaboration with the department of science, technology, and society in the College of Liberal Arts. The curriculum provides students with a deep understanding of the science behind our environmental problems, along with the complex set of circumstances that impact environmental issues, and how environmental decisions and policies must attempt to find a balance between environmental conservation, human well-being, and economic development. Students augment their hands-on classroom work with in-depth experiential learning through an individual thesis or project providing students with the chance to work on real-world environmental problems under the guidance of skilled environmental scientists.

The program includes a core curriculum and electives chosen to reflect the student’s background and career goals. A minimum of 34 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. All students must propose, conduct, and report on an original research thesis or project.

Environmental Scientist, Conservation Scientist, Forester/Preserve Superintendent, Atmospheric Scientist, Field Technician, Compliance Manager, Consultant, Salesman (equipment), GIS Specialist, and Lobbyist. 

Employer sectors include: government regulatory agencies, private environmental organizations, engineering/consulting firms, industrial companies, etc. Recent participants include: Harvard Forest, Clarkson University, Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, TES Environmental, Stantec Consulting, LaBelle Associates, University of Arizona, Epcot/Disney, Burns & McDonnell, Seaworld, University of Rochester Lab for Laser Energetics, NYS Dept. of Parks & Recreation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Student Conservation Assoc., Arcadis BBL, AGAT, Solid State Cooling Systems, Environmental Compliance, US EPA, US F&WS, Monroe, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties (NY) Soil and Water Conservation Districts, American University, RIT College of Liberal Arts, Greenpeace USA, Northern Ecological Assoc.