Living laboratories: Environmental Studies programs in remarkable locations
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Living laboratories: Environmental Studies programs in remarkable locations

For many of us, choosing what to do with our lives can be a complicated process – especially when it comes to our career choice. We’ve been told many times to go with safe and reliable options instead of pursuing our passion – especially if your passion could be labelled ‘unusual’. But if your interest lies in the realm of the environment, you’re in luck! Because according to Prospects UK, more than 65 per cent of environmental science graduates are in full-time employment in the UK six months after graduation.

The environmental sciences are rapidly developing into some of the world’s most popular subjects, and with good reason, too. As the world’s population increases, so will the demand for food and production which will inevitably put pressure on the environment. And with threats of global warming and climate change among the main issues we and future generations face, the need for qualified people in the field has doubled. As President Barack Obama very eloquently said, “What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event. It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

Image courtesy of the University of Queensland

Image courtesy of the University of Queensland

With the growing focus on the environment, the demand for environmental experts has opened up new job opportunities in a range of  different industries.. According to Enviro Education, there are plenty of job possibilities depending on  your particular interest; for instance, you could venture into wetlands restoration, environmental education, politics, the resources industry or laboratory work.

To all nature lovers out there who are passionate about making a difference and preserving the natural landscapes around the world, this could be your calling.

Read on to find out about the Environmental Studies programs in remarkable locations…

FACULTY OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND – AUSTRALIA

Ranked 12th in the world for environmental sciences*, the University of Queensland (UQ), provides unique opportunities for environmental studies due to its proximity to a stunning array of marine and terrestrial subtropical habitats and their endemic biodiversity. At UQ’s research stations on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef and in Moreton Bay, students gain incomparable education experiences.

The Master of Conservation Biology provides a comprehensive education in the rapidly changing science of conservation and environmental decision making. This intensive, field-based program covers ecology, invasive species, marine and wildlife conservation, geographical information systems, rainforest conservation to provide aspiring conservation scientists with a firm understanding of the world’s bio-diversity. Postgraduate Studies in Environmental Management at UQ introduce students to the multidisciplinary nature of environmental management, allowing them to earn a Graduate Certificate, Diploma, or Master’s qualification in this reputed discipline.

University of Queensland Faculty of Science

Image courtesy of the University of Queensland

Graduates are fully-equipped to deal with the application of scientific, economic, planning and business principles, while integrating environmental protection with human development. These tertiary qualifications combined with work experience produces managers who are able to address complex issues in a vast and ever-changing world. Read the full profile…

PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE – USA

When it comes to hands-on education, no one does it better than Paul Smith’s College. And what better way to learn about the environment that right in the heart of the world-famous ‘forever wild’ Adirondacks in upstate New York.

This private four-year college accepts students throughout the year, offering degree programs in Forestry, Environmental Studies, and Fisheries and Wildlife Science, among many more. The college prides itself on creating student-orientated academic courses to ensure everyone has a chance to learn, analyse and ask questions.

But Paul Smith’s is not your average college, employing teaching styles that blend traditional classroom learning, fieldwork, laboratory research, internships and on-the-job experience. Aside from its great programmes, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, there are many reasons why this school would be the perfect place to start your tertiary education.

SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES AND GEOGRAPHY, BANGOR UNIVERSITY – UK

Image courtesy of Bangor University

Image courtesy of Bangor University

With a proven track record in the research department and a top 15 ranking among UK universities for student satisfaction last year, it’s no wonder Bangor University is a favourite with environmental enthusiasts. It’s School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography offers a wide range of programmes such as Forestry, Agroforestry, and Conservation.

But not all classes begin and end indoor as Bangor also provides a living laboratory for teaching and research in the form of the Snowdonia National Park. In addition to park trips, the school organises many UK and overseas filed courses including trips to Tenerife, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany which provides many opportunities to talk to professionals working in the sector. Now where did we put our hiking boots?

SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURAL, EARTH & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (SAEES), UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL – SOUTH AFRICA

There aren’t many places that offer a variety of courses within a school but the University of Kwazulu-Natal is not your average university. With over 12 specialisations in the SAEES, there bound to be something for everyone.

Equipped with world-class teaching and research facilities that include laboratories on all three campuses, the university ensures students get to learn with the very best tools in the business. After all, the UKZN’s main goal is to ensure graduates leave well-prepared to take on the real world through practical training. With over a 1,000 undergraduate students currently enrolled and more than 400 postgraduate students working on Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral research, it’s clear the SAEES is a popular choice with many.

FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT, SOCIETY AND DESIGN, LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – NEW ZEALAND

student picnic

Image courtesy of Lincoln University

A quick Google search and you’ll find New Zealand on almost every top 10 list of beautiful countries, and with such a unique and abundant landscape, it’s not difficult to see why. Its beautiful green lands, hilly tops and stunning forests make it the perfect place to begin your environmental journey.

Aside from its stunning location, Lincoln University has been ranked the students’ top university in the country for its outstanding teaching, work experience opportunities and learning support assessment. Despite having over 3,000 students from 60 different countries in attendance, the school ensures that there is a small student to faculty staff ration (12:1) to allow every student more opportunities to have one-on-one interactions and assistance.

FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT, SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY (SFU) – CANADA

It’s one thing to learn about the environment but another to put those skills you’ve learnt to good use. With Simon Fraser University, you’ll be able to do both with the introduction of the new academic program that has been created to address the important issues around global issues with the environment, sustainability and climate change.

As a graduate of SFU, you’ll be first in line to find solutions to these issues. The Faculty of Environment at SFU is the only one of its kind in Western Canada, but it offers unique programmes such as the SFU-Douglas Degree program, allowing you to study and experience both an intimate college environment and a larger university setting.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Latin Correspondent