Docstoc

careers in environmental science

Document Sample
careers in environmental science Powered By Docstoc
					STUDY AND CAREERS IN
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE




THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY




Study and Careers in Environmental Science   Page 1
                ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
       postgraduate  established in 1992
       undergraduate established in 1995

       Teaching Staff:
           across the University
           4 Faculties, 9 Departments

       BSc                UAI ~81
       BSc(Environmental) UAI ~83


Environmental Science
The Environmental Science program was established at the University of Sydney in
1992 as a postgraduate degree, with the content based upon information provided by
consultation with industry (public and private sectors). This was extended in 1995 to
encompass an undergraduate degree covering similar material as well as
concentrating on the science of the environment.
The aim and intent of the program was to:
a) teach environmental science as a complimentary subject to Science students.
b) to provide students with quality interdisciplinary units that illustrate how the
different mainstream disciplines interact in the natural and built environment, and
investigate how social considerations play their role.
c) allow students the greatest flexibility in designing their study programs, so the
graduates would not all possess the same qualifications, and hence would not
compete with each other in the job market.
d) produce graduates with the necessary “specialist” knowledge and training, as well
as the complement of generic skills, for employment in any environmental field they
may apply themselves to.
Because the subject matter is so broad, the most qualified teaching staff are drawn
from all around the University, but in particular from the Schools of Biological
Sciences, Geoscience, and Chemistry. In some cases external lecturers are used.


Students applying for the BSc(Environmental) need a UAI ~83.




                  Study and Careers in Environmental Science                            Page 2
                        BSc(Environmental)
       • Proscribed but general 1st year
       • 2nd year
          - 2 ENVI units (applied ecology, atmosphere)
          - 3 Science units (science of the environment)
       • 3rd year - 4 units
          (law, economics, ethics,
          EIS, risk assessment, GIS,
          alternate energy, sampling)

       • Honours


BSc(Environmental)                students take 8 units each year (4 per semester)
1st Year. Proscribed but general, with only one specialist unit which covers
geomorphology and environmental history. The other units are in Biology,
Chemistry, Geology and Mathematics.
2nd Year. Two specialist units (equal to 1/4 of the year), covering conservation
biology and applied ecology, and atmospheric processes and climate. Students are
also required to select 3 units from the subjects of soil science, chemistry, biology,
microbiology, plant science or geography. The remaining 3 units are left to student
choice.
3rd Year. Four specialist units (equal to 1/2 the year) make up one major, covering
law, resource economics, ethics, planning, alternate energy, EIS and risk
assessment, sampling (statistical techniques). The remaining 4 units are personal
choice but it is expected that students would select a Science major to complete the
“double major” that was the intent of the program.
Honours. An Honours year is available.


For a more comprehensive outline of the specialist units, please refer to the website
             www.usyd.edu.au/envsci




                   Study and Careers in Environmental Science                            Page 3
                    Environmental Studies
      • major in the general BSc
      • combination of 3rd year ENVI units and
         other environmentally-focussed units
      • like any other “science” major
         but made up of
        “social science”
         units
      • Honours


Environmental Studies
One intent of the Envrionmental Science program was that the ENVI units would be
available to as wide an audience as possible but prior to the creation of the
Environmental Studies major this was not allowed.
A major is defined by its 3rd year units, and the case of the ENVI units these are
social-science based rather than science-based. Hence the new major for 2006 was
called Environmental Studies, keeping the Environmental Science tag for the double
major that exists in the specialist degree.


For a more comprehensive outline of the difference between the major and the
specialist degree, please refer to the website
              www.usyd.edu.au/envsci




                  Study and Careers in Environmental Science                         Page 4
         Postgraduate Environmental Science
       • research Masters - MSc(Environmental)
       • coursework program
            Grad Cert Applied Science (EnvSc)
            Grad Dip Applied Science (EnvSc)
            Masters Applied Science (EnvSc)
            Masters EnvSc & Law
       • PhD



Postgraduate Environmental Science
MSc(Environmental).
• A research degree available to graduates with an Honours Science degree or a
Grad Dip.
Applied Science.
• Coursework degrees available to any graduate.
• 3 tiers - Cert (24 CPs), Dip (36 CPs), Masters (48 CPs). Postgraduate units are all
worth 6 CPs, hence the above awards require the completion of 4, 6 and 8 units
respectively.
• Covers coursework similar to that taught to undergrads as well as material specific
to postgrads (eg. WILD, ICOM, computer resource modelling).
PhD
There is no specific PhD for Environmental Science but research in any area in
Environmental Science can be undertaken under the general PhD in Science.




                   Study and Careers in Environmental Science                           Page 5
                                         Geomorphology
                                            Ecology
                                     Catchment Management

     Research in Environmental Science

Environmental Research at the University of Sydney covers a varied array
of subjects concerned with the natural environment, the built environment,
rural (agriculture) and industrial (mostly mining) impacts, and society.




             Study and Careers in Environmental Science                      Page 6
                                           Geology
                                          Hydrology
                                          Chemistry
                                         Paleoclimate
Research in Environmental Science




    Study and Careers in Environmental Science          Page 7
                                 Research in
                               Environmental
                                     Science




                                       Climate
                                     Atmosphere
                                      Pollution




Study and Careers in Environmental Science        Page 8
        Sustainability
        Urban planning
        Society




Research in Environmental Science




    Study and Careers in Environmental Science   Page 9
           Careers in Environmental Science




Despite the breadth of the topic, Environmental Science is not an area like
accountancy or sales where there are thousands of new permanent jobs waiting for
applicants all year ‘round. It is very competitive and often short-term. The reason
for this is associated with the history of environmental awareness within the
community.
There have always been “environmental” jobs and those who worked in them. As
people became more concerned with our impact on the environment, industry
diverted more resources and jobs into that arena. This meant that people without
environmental qualifications but with on-the-job experience were getting the
environmental jobs. Today, most tertiary institutions provide some sort of
environmental qualification, and some of these employees have gone back to
university for further education, to beef up their qualifications in areas such as
environmental studies. Consequently, students just out of high school who do an
environmental degree must compete not only with those already in the workforce
but with those who have workplace experience and who have gone back to
university to enhance their knowledge or to “re-train”. Despite this, employers
currently tend to seek properly qualified staff and new environmental graduates
compete more than adequately.
One thing is certain – the job market for environmentally trained people is there and
has gotten bigger with time. This reflects the increased concern of the general
public with the environment around them. They can see the problems, are starting
to understand that their own lifestyles are the root concern and are looking to at
best fix the problems and at worst manage them.




                                                                                        Page
                  Study and Careers in Environmental Science                              10
               ENVIRONMENTAL CAREERS
       Potential Government Employers

       * Dept. Infrastructure, Planning and
            Natural Resources

       * Dept. Environment and Conservation

       * CSIRO          * EPA            * ANSTO




Career Opportunities
Employment opportunities in environmental areas can be broken into two main
groups: public (government) and private sectors. In the public sector, environmental
work can be classified in two ways, as field-based or office-based work. Field-based
work involves actually going into the filed to take samples, to monitor etc, and is
often situated outside of the big cities, sometimes in the large rural towns. Initial
employment is usually determined by qualifications and promotion by experience.
Starting pay is equivalent to other science-based employment at ~$35K but does not
rise as rapidly afterwards as it can in some occupations (think of it as similar to
highschool teachers). However, there is a great deal of job satisfaction as
compensation. Office-based work is normally concerned with management and
policy, and is mostly located in the big cities. Initial employment is again by
qualification, with starting pay ~$35K. But promotion is now often tied to higher
qualifications and can be rapid, with consequent rapid rises in salaries.
There are lots of different areas within the public sector that contain environmental
employment opportunities, and below are listed some of the places where our
graduates have found work:
Dept. of Public Works (NSW)                Dept. of Tourism (Venezuela)
Dept. of Environment (NZ)                  RTA (NSW)
Local Government                           ANSTO
National Parks and Wildlife Service        State Forests
Healthy Rivers Commission                  Teaching




                                                                                        Page
                   Study and Careers in Environmental Science                             11
     ENVIRONMENTAL CAREERS

* MDBC
* Healthy Rivers Commission
* National Parks and Wildlife Service
* State Forests
* RTA, other State Gov. Depts
* Local Councils

* Education




                                                    Page
       Study and Careers in Environmental Science     12
               ENVIRONMENTAL CAREERS
       Potential Non-Government Employers
       * Australian Conservation Foundation
       * Nature Conservation Council
       * GreenPeace
       * World Wildlife Fund
       * Wilderness Society




Career Opportunities
The private sector contains the classic “greenie” NGOs as well as landcare
organisations and catchment management groups and watchdogs. The most
important private employment group is consultancies. There are also the related
employers such as mining companies and land developers. Tourism is a small but
significant source of opportunities too. Private sector work is not as clearly defined
as in the public sector, with graduates often required to do both field- and office-
based work. While initial employment is again tied to suitable qualification and
starting pay is still ~$35K, promotion is tied to performance.
Our students have been employed in various areas of the private sector such as:
Private consultancies (eg. DASCEM, Douglas Partners)
Tourism operators (eg. Kakadu, S.Africa wildlife reserves)
Adventure companies




                                                                                         Page
                   Study and Careers in Environmental Science                              13
    ENVIRONMENTAL CAREERS
Potential Non-Government Employers
* Landcare organisations
* Catchment management groups
* Private Consultancies
* Mining Companies
* Developers
* Tourism Operators




                                                    Page
       Study and Careers in Environmental Science     14
                                       “I really enjoyed my
                                       program, particularly
                                       because of the interaction
                                       with such a diverse range of
                                       students from Australia, the
                                       UK, the Philippines and
                                       China. All of our countries
                                       face similar environmental
                                       challenges, but all countries
                                       are at different stages and
                                       choose different ways of
                                       dealing with those
           MApplSc(EnvSc)
           MApplSc(EnvSc)              challenges.”
                   Duncan Blair - Trout Unlimited
Duncan Blair, an international student from the United States, saw the postgraduate
Environmental Science program as a way to get a new perspective on environmental
issues. Duncan did an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Public
Policy at Harvard University and had worked for New York City Parks Department doing
environmental education and interpretation prior to enrolling in a coursework Masters of
Applied Science (Environmental Science) degree at Sydney Uni.
"I really enjoyed my program," Duncan recalls, "Particularly because of the interaction
with such a diverse range of students from Australia, the UK, the Philippines and China.
All of our countries face similar environmental challenges, but all countries are at
different stages and choose different ways of dealing with those challenges."
Duncan did his research project on reserve selection in Australia, focusing on two case
studies in Sydney's western suburbs. Duncan recalls, "I felt that I had great support
from the Environmental Science program while completing my research project. My
advisor was great, the library system was excellent and I was able to make connections
to do all the interviews and field work that I needed."
After graduation, Duncan returned to the U.S. to work in the conservation non-profit
sector. He now is the Director of Volunteer Operations for Trout Unlimited, a private
non-profit organization with over 125,000 members in 450 local chapters that is
dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and salmon
fisheries and their watersheds. Duncan's department assists Trout Unlimited's local
chapters choose conservation projects that improve habitat for trout and salmon, key
indicator species in coldwater watersheds across North America. As a bonus, he also
gets to fly fish a lot.
Duncan says, "The Masters program was great experience in researching, writing and
completing an independent project. I have a much broader perspective than my peers
here in the U.S. because of the time I spent at Sydney Uni."




                                                                                           Page
                  Study and Careers in Environmental Science                                 15
                                      “I chose the course because it
                                      offered access to areas of
                                      study that a basic BSc didn’t
                                      like law, ethics and
                                      agriculture”
                                      One of the skills that Damian
                                      says he learnt in the BSc(Env)
                                      was to find the best answer by
                                      listening to both sides of the
                                      story.
         BSc(Env) Hons

                 Damian Gibbins – State Forests

Damian Gibbins was part of just the second group of students to enrol in a
BSc(Environmental) at the University of Sydney.
"I chose the course because it offered access to areas of study that a basic BSc
didn't," Damian explains, "like law, ethics and agriculture".
Although he 'majored' in plant ecology in the School of Biological Sciences, he was
attracted by the broader issues pursued in Geography and chose to do his honours
project on the management of pollution due to logging. One of the skills that Damian
says he learnt in Environmental Science was to find the best answer by listening to
both sides of the story. Damian's approach to his project proved fruitful, and State
Forests offered him a three month long field work position when he graduated. From
field work, Damian moved to volunteer work on image analysis of aerial photos, a
technique he used during his honours project.
Now, Damian is enjoying the constant challenge of working at State forests full time.
He is developing new approaches to image analysis that digitally provide 3-
dimensional information for surveying areas of forest. Developing a digital method of
image analysis enables a level of cross-talk between field workers, image analysts
and forest managers that was previously impossible.
"I think one of the best things about the Environmental Science degree," says
Damian, "is that the diversity of experiences in the degree allows you to feel
comfortable in a range of situations; you're more versatile than a graduate from a
more 'mainstream' degree."
Damian was one of several analysts working to define the extent of impact of the
bushfires experienced in NSW during the summer of 2001/2002.




                                                                                        Page
                  Study and Careers in Environmental Science                              16
       “….wanted to be involved in the field of
       environmental conservation and protection.”
       When she found out about the postgraduate
       program in Environmental Science, she saw it as
       the perfect way to convert her general science
       degree into something more applied, and in the
       specific area that she was interested in.


                          BSc, GradDipSc(EnvSc)

                         Rachel Miller – NPWS

Rachel Miller always knew that she wanted to be involved in the field of
environmental conservation and protection. When she found out about the Graduate
Diploma in Environmental Science offered at The University of Sydney (now
superseded by the Applied Science program), she saw it as the perfect way to
convert her general science degree into something more applied, and in the specific
area that she was interested in.
"The research project was a really beneficial part of the course," says Rachel, "The
topics chosen for the research projects were totally up to the individual students, and
they ranged from Chemistry or Biology to Geology or management strategies, and
each of the coursework subjects we did could be applied to our projects somehow."
As a result of Rachel's research the Long-nosed Bandicoot population at North Head
was the first to be listed as endangered under new legislation, and measures were
taken to preserve it. Rachel's work landed her a job with the NSW National Parks
and Wildlife Service's Threatened Species Unit, monitoring the same bandicoot
population for the recovery plan that is to be implemented.
Now, Rachel works for the National Parks and Wildlife Service. "I think through the
Grad Dip I gained skills that have been of great value in the workforce," she says,
"Not just the field research, but report writing, management, and computing skills
which have added immense value to my career opportunities".




                                                                                          Page
                   Study and Careers in Environmental Science                               17
                        Contacts
Director: Assoc Prof Gavin Birch
   ph: +61-2-9351 2921
   email: gavin@geosci.usyd.edu.au
In the first instance please contact
Admin. Coordinator: Dr Craig Barnes
  ph: +61-2-9351 2972
  email: craigb@mail.usyd.edu.au
Web:          www.usyd.edu.au/envsci




                                                       Page
          Study and Careers in Environmental Science     18
  STUDY & CAREERS IN
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE




   This presentation was prepared by
            Dr Craig Barnes




                                             Page
Study and Careers in Environmental Science     19

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:216
posted:3/9/2009
language:English
pages:19