Getting Started: Long Term Planning

Careers for ES Grads

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Environmental Sciences Career Snapshot

Environmental Sciences (ES) is a joint major offered by the College of Natural Resources (B.S.) and the College of Letters and Science (B.A.) that provides broad, comprehensive education in the fundamentals of biology, chemistry, math, physics, and social sciences. The discipline involves the study of interactions between human activities and biological and physical environments, on all scales from the local to global. The ES major culminates with a senior research project, and students choose a biological, physical, or social science concentration for their research area.

Key Skills

  • Develop a broad understanding of contemporary environmental issues and their interconnected nature. Learn to perceive patterns and structures in the academic material you encounter, and to apply concepts creatively to solve problems. This kind of critical and analytical thinking, especially when reviewing scientific work and published documents relevant to your senior research project, is highly regarded and demonstrates you have a solid understanding of a particular research area.
  • Get experience in designing and executing a research project, including data analysis and use of lab equipment. A strong grasp of basic statistics and GIS or other technical skills is valuable.
  • Master software programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, statistical software, and even Arcview, Photoshop, and Adobe, that help build your portfolio of key computer skills.
  • Learn to communicate clearly and well, through oral presentation, scientific writing, or other written forms. This is an invaluable skill that will serve you well in any career path you choose.
  • Develop the ability to work and think independently at the same time that you learn to work well in group settings, as team work is essential.
  • Hone your skills in organization and management to help you navigate and overcome any bureaucratic challenges that may come your way in the future.


Career Pathways

Given the broad nature of the Environmental Sciences degree, our graduates are well prepared for a myriad of career options, ranging from environmental consulting, management, law, planning, or research, to jobs that place you in the great outdoors. Our program also provides an excellent foundation for the pursuit of graduate or professional degrees in the social sciences, conservation, public health, law, or medicine. Employers generally like to see evidence that students have the ability to design research programs, carry them out, and produce research reports – an experience all our majors undergo as part of their senior year research.

Public and Non-Profit Sector Jobs

  • Various government agencies: Work with agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop policies affecting agricultural resources and land use, or the Environmental Protection Agency to control hazardous materials and analyze their impact on the environment. Become an urban planner or architect at the state or local level.
  • Park services and outdoor recreation: Work with local, state, or federal agencies or non-profit organizations on park administration and management, recreation planning, natural resource management, ecotourism, or site operations and maintenance. Direct programs for an outdoor center, environmental organization, or conservation group.
  • Education and communication: Teach environmental sciences (social, biological, or physical sciences) in educational institutions, environmental centers, or outdoor centers. Lobby on behalf of non-profit organizations or political action committees.
  • Research and public service: Conduct research in a university setting, for an environmental organization, or for the state or federal government, focusing on topics such as waste management, air/water quality management, land and water conservation, or fishery and wildlife management.

Private Sector Jobs

  • Environmental consulting: Work for corporations to plan or manage environmental impact statements, building and zoning regulations, real estate development, land use, air/water quality, natural resources, or transportation.
  • Environmental law: Practice law for a private firm or corporation.
  • Business: Work in environmental, public relations, pharmaceutical, or other types of firms in a range of jobs including management, analysis, inspection, or engineering. Because environmental issues will impact many private industries, an educational background in this field of study will be attractive to a broad spectrum of employers.


Recent Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Courtesy of the UC Berkeley Career Center: http://career.berkeley.edu/Major/major.stm

ABM Industries Inc, Safety Coordinator Sonoma Technology Inc, Data Processing AmeriCorps, Hydrologist/Habitat Restoration Technician
Specialist Storrs Land Surveying, Survey Assistant Basics Environmental, Environmental Consultant United States Geological Survey, Biological Cal-Bay Systems Inc, Project Engineer Technician California Department of Health Services, Research University of California , Berkeley , Researcher

Associate Water Resources Engineering Company, California Family Health Council, Research Associate Hydraulic Engineer Citibank, Associate Manager Weston Solutions Inc, Project Scientist Edwards & McCaslin, Associate Staff Writer Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Entomology, PhD, University of California,

Protection Specialist Berkeley Forensic Analysis, Environmental Consultant Environmental Analysis, Masters, Duke University Health Industries Research Company, Research Environmental Health Sciences, Masters,

Analyst University of California, Los Angeles Kirlin Securities, Stockbroker Environmental Law, LLB/JD, University of National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Grants Assistant California Hastings College of Law National Parks Conservation Association, Campaign Environmental Sciences, Masters, University of

Organizer California , Santa Barbara Pacific Bell , Manager Environmental Systems Engineering, MEng, RBF Consulting, Environmental Analyst University of California , Berkeley

Law, LLB/JD, Columbia University

Internship & Career Resources

  • CNR Newsline: The College of Natural Resources Newsline is a moderated listserv that will keep you in the loop about research opportunities, internships, job opportunities, and more. To subscribe to CNR Newsline, send an email from your primary email account to majordomo@listlink.berkeley.edu. Leave the subject heading blank. In the body of the message, type the following command: subscribe cnr_newsline
  • CareerMail: These Career Center mailing lists target specific career fields and topics, so you can choose whichever ones are ideal for you. http://career.berkeley.edu/MailList/MailList.asp
  • What Can I Do With a Major In...Environmental Sciences? http://career.berkeley.edu/Major/EnvSci.stm
  • CalJobs: Search this comprehensive database for full-time, part-time, internship, and summer jobs, both on and off campus. http://career.berkeley.edu/Jobs/CalJobs.stm
  • UC Berkeley Career Center http://career.berkeley.edu



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Environmental Sciences
260 Mulford Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3100
phnoe: 510-643-9479
fax: 510-643-3132

e-mail: es-help@nature.berkeley.edu

Modification Date: 05/11/2005