Since the focus of our Environmental Science
major is land, soil and water, most of our graduates enter careers that deal with those areas. Graduates generally find work in one of five professional areas:
1. Remediation of soils contaminated with organic or inorganic compounds by responding to emergencies, sampling contaminated soils and designing and supervising cleanup and treatment.
2. Evaluate sites, test soils and maintain records for disposal of septic tank effluent, municipal sludge, waste water effluent, and animal manures.
3. Map soils, write soil-profile descriptions and soil-survey reports, compile soils maps and develop geographic information systems to make soils data and interpretations available for land-use decisions.
4. Evaluate the impact of land use on water and soil quality.
5. Evaluate site suitability and/or management for agricultural or forestry production, including landscaping and turf management, restoration of disturbed lands, erosion control, nutrient management, and ag chemical activities.
Where will the jobs be?
The largest category of employers is the private consulting firm. Consulting firms have been recruiting environmental soil scientists from state and local governmental agencies. Environmental problems, such as the cleanup of superfund sites and the continuing difficulty in regulating a wide array of waste-disposal processes, have increased the demand for environmental soil scientists.The traditional employer for environmental soil scientists is the Natural Resource Conservation Service, an agency of the federal government and part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Forest Service in the USDA and the Bureau of Reclamation in the U.S. Department of the Interior also have a long tradition of hiring environmental soil scientists.
In Pennsylvania, there is also a continuing demand for environmental soil scientists to work with the approximately 1000 sewage-enforcement officers in the state and to work as sewage-enforcement officers. The demand is at the private, the municipal and the state level.
Positions held by recent graduates
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - CAFO regulations
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Environmental Cleanup
PA. Dept. of Environmental Protection - Water Quality Division
PA. Dept. of Environmental Protection - Solid Waste Division
County Conservation Districts - Nutrient Management Specialists
County Conservation Districts - Erosion & Sediment Planning Specialists
PA. State Conservation Commission - Nutrient Management
PA. Dept of Agriculture - Nutrient Management
Environmental Education Centers
Engineering and Environmental Consulting Firms
- Wetland Delineators
- Detailed soil mapping
- Wastewater evaluations
- Erosion control planning
- Sewage Facilities Planning
- Stormwater infiltration studies
- Stormwater planning
- Site remediation and environmental cleanup