Introduction to Environmental Sciences
An Environmental Science degree can lead to an exciting field of growth. Watch Shawn McCowan, former program dean at the College of Humanities and Sciences, as he talks about rewarding careers and how they impact our world.
This program is eligible for Title IV funds, but it is not subject to Gainful Employment regulations because it is a liberal arts program offered continuously since 2009.
00:15 Are you passionate about the environment?
00:17 Are you looking for a career that reflects that passion?
00:20 How much do you know about environmental science and its related careers?
00:24 Let's explore the field and talk a little about what you can expect from a bachelor's degree in environmental science from University of Phoenix.
00:31 Environmental science is an exciting area that brings together the natural sciences, environmental law, policy, and ethics to improve the way we interact with our world.
00:39 Throughout your degree program, you'll learn about environmental protection, restoration, sustainable energy, and pollution control.
00:46 Increasing interest in environmental issues, combined with a growing need for sustainability, have expanded opportunities in this already thriving field.
00:54 Let's take a look at some of the areas you'll be learning about.
00:57 Ecology is the study of the interaction between living things and the environment.
01:02 Through research, ecologists provide vital information for the preservation and restoration of species and landscapes.
01:10 This basic information is essential for land managers and policymakers as they make decisions regarding species and ecological communities.
01:18 There is currently a huge need for this research.
01:20 Only 15 percent of species in the United States have been studied accurately enough to judge whether they're endangered.
01:25 At a time when extinction rates are on the rise, understanding the ecology of species and landscapes is essential to their preservation and restoration.
01:34 A career in ecology might take you to a private consulting firm or government agency.
01:38 You may help monitor plant and animal communities, restore degraded landscapes, or provide data for construction and other projects to ensure they're environmentally safe.
01:47 Keeping our environment safe isn't always easy.
01:50 Pollution affects our ecosystem and human health.
01:54 Fortunately, efforts over the last 50 years, including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, have reduced the release of pollutants in the atmosphere and waterways.
02:02 Prior to the Clean Water Act, only one-third of waterways in the United States were clean enough to swim in.
02:07 Forty years after the act's passage, 65 percent of waterways are safe for swimming.
02:12 This is thanks in part to the work of environmental scientists employed both by industry and agencies to ensure compliance with the law.
02:18 Jobs in pollution monitoring and mitigation include stormwater and wastewater management.
02:23 In these careers, you may guarantee compliance by collecting samples in the field for lab analysis.
02:28 Some positions focus on administrative roles, ensure that projects follow procedures and meet expectations.
02:35 You may even be asked to create a remediation plan for polluted sites.
02:39 Our society is dependent on energy.
02:41 Without energy, there can be no electricity, refrigeration, or transport.
02:46 Produce, meats and dairy, could not be shipped.
02:49 Businesses and hospitals could not operate effectively, and computers cannot function.
02:55 Energy is essential for our way of life.
02:58 Over half of our energy comes from nonrenewable fossil fuels, which contribute significantly to air pollution.
03:04 Coal fired power plants provide an incredible 40 percent of our electricity, making it the single biggest source of air pollution in the United States.
03:12 Our overdependence on nonrenewable sources has become more apparent in recent years.
03:17 When combined with the effects of global climate change, renewable clean energies such as hydropower, wind, and solar have become very attractive, but even these energy sources have their drawbacks.
03:27 Environmental scientists play a role in promoting such clean energies from their positions in industry, nonprofit organizations, and agencies.
03:36 Potential careers in energy include consulting about energy management and efficiency, as well as ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.
03:43 An environmental scientist is a critical thinker who analyzes problems, collects and interprets data, and works in teams.
03:51 You'll learn how to improve these skills through collaborative and analytical projects.
03:55 As you pursue your degree, faculty will encourage you to think critically and holistically about environmental issues.
04:01 You'll also receive a lab kit for chemistry to provide you with hands on experience in data collection and interpretation.
04:07 A degree in environmental science will allow you to use your passion for the environment in the best ways possible.
04:12 There are many opportunities in this field, and they can all make an impact in the protection of the environment.