Have you always been fascinated by our complex environment and surroundings, and feel concerned about the need to take steps to protect this natural inheritance? Do you want to make a career of making a difference in a real way by helping to improve the relationship between our environment and human development? Majoring in Environmental Biology will expose you to contemporary research methods and pressing issues in the field and will prepare you for a variety of professional directions outside of the classroom.
Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in Environmental Biology. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers an Environmental Biology degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Environmental Biology than others.
- Biological Engineer
- Community Health Educator
- Conservation Biologist
- Drug Developer
- Food Scientist
- Invasive Species Biologist
- Laboratory Technician
- Marine Biologist
- Media Correspondent
- Medical Technology Developer
- Medical Writer
- Molecular Biologist
- Non-Profit Organization Worker
- Public Policy Advisor
- Wildlife Advocate
Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.
Skills Developed through an Environmental Biology Degree
A background in Environmental Biology ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills an Environmental Biology degree can help you develop:
Core Environmental Biology Skills
- An ability to assess and analyze the effects or future consequences of human decisions with regards to natural environments, populations and the overall health of ecosystems and individual species of animals and plants.
- A better understanding of the relationship of human development and population expansion to the real-world effects on nature and our environment.
- Exposure to the core principles of the major sciences and their specific place in the study of the environment.
Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills
- Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
- The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
- The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
- The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
- The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work
Management and Teamwork
- The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
- Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
- The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
- The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects
Professional Associations and Organizations
Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Environmental Biology that you may want to visit as you research career options for Environmental Biology graduates.
- Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists (www.cseb-scbe.org)
- Society for Experimental Biology (www.sebiology.org)
- Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) (www.conbio.org/)
- American Institute of Biological Sciences (www.aibs.org/home/index.html)
- York University Environmental Biology website (http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/program/environmental-biology)