Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Techniques, May 2012 | Go to article overview
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Environmental Scientists and Specialists

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS AND SPECIALISTS use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment. They identify problems to minimize risks to environmental health and to the population.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, environmental scientists and specialists determine data collection methods for research projects, investigations and surveys; collect environmental data for analysis; analyze samples and other information to identify and assess threats to the environment; develop plans to prevent, control or fix environmental problems; develop plans to restore polluted or contaminated land or water; provide information and guidance to government officials, businesses and the general public; prepare technical reports and presentations that explain their research and findings.


Many environmental scientists and specialists work to reclaim lands and waters that have been contaminated by pollution. Others assess the risks new construction projects pose to the environment and make recommendations to governments and businesses on how to minimize the environmental impact. Some environmental scientists and specialists work for the government to ensure that federal regulations are f011owed. Others work for consulting firms that help companies comply with regulations and policies.

Some environmental scientists and specialists focus on environmental regulations that are designed to protect people's health, while others locus on regulations designed to minimize society's impact on the environment.

The Workplace

Most environmental scientists and specialists work for private consulting firms or for federal, state, or local governments. They work in offices and laboratories and may spend time in the field gathering data and monitoring environmental conditions. Environmental scientists and specialists may work in all types of weather and often have to travel to meet with clients.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in environmental science offers a broad approach to the natural sciences.

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