Career in Environment Science
The Himalayas are melting, The Pacific is rising, Polar bears are dying and we are losing the untapped information and potential of plant species at an alarming rate. We need to protect the earth not just for ourselves but for our future generations. And as Yugratna Srivastava, speaking on behalf of the world’s three billion children at the UN summit at the Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen asked the assembly of world leaders: “If not here, then where? If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” However, to work in this field, you not only need a passionate concern for the environment, but also a clear idea about what needs to be done for conserving and improving it. If you have a logical mind, and a working knowledge of subjects like geography, geology, botany, chemistry and zoology, along with good communication skills, there are quite a few routes to working as an environmentalist without studying environmental sciences per se. Here are some you could consider:
- Environmental Education & Communication: This typically involves conducting awareness programmes in colleges/schools, coordinating community awareness programmes — on rural and specific urban issues and communicating through the media.
- Environmental Journalism: Growing public awareness has generated enthusiasm and concern for environmental protection. People’s voices are now beginning to be heard and reported in the media. Reporting environmental issues such as nuclear tests, construction of dams etc, making documentaries on various aspects of the environment and producing films on various issues concerning the environment are areas that environmental journalists/photojournalists can actively pursue.
- Environmental Law: This would involve working as a lawyer for an environmental consulting firm, environmental organisation, conservation group, or the government.
- Environmental Activism & Social Work: This would involve working with an NGO, fundraising/lobbying for an environmental organisation, conservation group or actively espousing environmental concerns. Don’t expect a fancy salary, but the work can be very satisfying and purposeful.