Environmental science is not the most popular degree to obtain. It is also not recognized enough. The people who are studying environmental science are often labelled as “tree-huggers”. The truth is many people don’t know what this field of study actually entails. Environmental science is a broad field that is interdisciplinary. This means that it is spread across many other disciplines. Some of the disciplines that are studied when doing environmental science are, chemistry; biology; physics, soil science and geology to name a few. It is a rapidly growing field with so many specialities.
How I knew a career in environmental science was something I wanted
For a large portion of my high school life I was uncertain about what I wanted to do in the future. Indecisive is an understatement to describe how I felt. Figuring out what I was passionate enough about and wanting to do it for the rest of my life was stressful. Being an outdoors person and spending time between the classroom and extra-curricular activities was something I thoroughly enjoyed. The first realization I had was that I knew I was not keen on crunching numbers all day in an office. I knew I was interested in the environment and was keen on learning about the climate we live in. This was a result of Geography which was one of my high school subject choices. I also had the best teacher who sparked my interest in geography. Aside from geography I had also chosen physics. I could definitely picture myself working in a lab all day. I knew then that I was going to go into the science field.
Besides school work, I was constantly taking hikes and keen on visiting conservations, learning about the environment. I found animals were also inspiring to me. When travelling, the scenery and landscape were always the first thing I focused on. The natural environment was for me. I knew I wanted to make a difference and study some aspect of the environment. With constant research and Googling career options it was no surprise that I had chosen environmental science. I didn’t even do biology in school and I’m now studying towards a degree with a biology major. As challenging as it was, I can confidently say I’ve never doubted that decision once. I enjoy what I do and being passionate about it helps me get through the workload.
What to expect when studying environmental science
Many people are under the impression that the natural environment and its process is not that important. Except it plays a vital role in our mere existence on this earth. Like any other science degree, environmental science has maths and science at its core with the science of the earth and its processes being almost half of the degree. It is not an easy degree, very few are! And it comes with challenges. Being a budding environmentalist is the best thing since bubblegum. Lab work, fieldwork and studying theory is what a typical week consists of. Follow the link below to view some of the many career options the field of environmental science offers : http://www.environmentalscience.org/careers .
Being a part of a global movement that aims to conserve and protect our earth is incomparable. I knew I wanted to be a part of a greater cause and what better way to do that than understanding the world we live in and making changes for future generations.
By Lushano Naidoo
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