Introduction to Environmental Geosciences header
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Welcome to Environmental Geosciences and Environmental Studies

Welcome to environmental geosciences and studies. These are rapidly growing fields that are still developing. See SCIENCE CAREERS: In the Geosciences, Business Is Booming, and SCIENCE CAREERS: Hydrogeologists Tap Into Demand for an Irreplaceable Resource, both from the 8 August 2008 issue of Science.

The fields of environmental geosciences and studies both give you many career choices. But the many options mean you need to give some thought to which path you will follow. Know first your long term goals, then select courses that will lead to your goals.

To help you get started, you might like to buy and read The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century, produced by The Environmental Careers Organization. A new paperback copy costs about $18 and used copies cost about $8.

environmental careers

In reading the book, you will find some good advice that applies to all career paths. Employers are looking for students who:

  1. Know their field. For environmental science jobs, this means a firm foundation in a science such as atmospheric science, geology, or oceanography. For environmental studies this means policy and geography.
  2. Write well. Most of your career will require writing reports. The Texas A&M University Writing Center provides a wide range of help.
  3. Work well in teams. In many of your classes, you will be required to work with several other students as a team. You might think this is unfair, especially if you are teamed with someone who doesn't want to work hard. This is an opportunity to learn team skills, including how to motivate team members, and how a team interacts with a supervisor (your professor in this case).
  4. Know how to collect data in the field. Begin now to get this experience.
    1. Get outside and observe phenomena described in your courses. In GEOS-105 we will discuss air pollution. Why not look around when you're outside, observe whether or not the air is hazy. Why is it hazy or not? etc.
    2. Plan now for summer employment of internships that will give you field experience.
      1. Can you find an internship? This may be hard before you are a junior or senior.
      2. Consider working as a summer-camp counselor, especially one that helps campers learn about the environment.
    3. Learn about native flora and fauna. Learn to use a field guide and how to key out species. Start with College Station, then expand into other areas.
  5. Are familiar with geographic information systems (GIS). Take a GIS course.

I subscribe to High Country News that describes the environmental problems of the American west. It emphasizes approaches to solving problems that bring together environmental experts, citizens, land developers, ranchers, miners, loggers, and others with economic interests in the western environmental problems. It is well worth the subscription price of $37/year for the paper copoes or $24/year for the web copies.

high country news cover

High Country News is a bi-weekly news magazine that reports on the West's natural resources, public lands, and changing communities. Covering 11 western states, from the Great Plains to the Northwest, and from the Northern Rockies to the desert Southwest, High Country News is a respected source for environmental news, analysis and commentary on water, logging, wildlife, grazing, wilderness, growth and other issues changing the face of the West.
High Country News

Join the Texas A&M University Geosciences Student Association and get to know your fellow students. The chair this year is Chelsea Hanchett.

Updated August 26, 2008

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