Global debates have been revolving around the effects of human activities on the environment, the need to reduce pollution and collective efforts to handle global warming. Such kind of debates have prompted the growth and need for environmental studies and forestry. Many institutions have come up to offer various degrees that produce professionals in this field and more and more students are enrolling for environmental courses because of the growing need globally.
Forestry refers to the science of creating, managing and conservation of forests. The environment studies refers to the scientific study of how humans interact with their environment, the effects that human behavior brings and the concerted effort to put in place to tackle environmental problems.
What Environmental Studies and Forestry Entails
Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with the environment, the effect that they may bring to the environment and any effect that environmental change brings to their existence. An example is how environmental pollution affects the existence of some endangered species.
Refers to the study of geology, volcanoes, soil erosion and the effect they might bring to the environment and vice versa.
- Environmental Chemistry
Refers to the effects that chemicals bring to the environment including soil content and fertility interference, the effect on water habitat and the effect on plants.
- Social science
Refers to the effect that environmental pollution brings to human existence and how different social setups cause environmental effect or pollution. Includes human-wildlife conflicts.
Need a degree in environmental studies? Then you must have created an interest and love of trees and forests. Forestry as one of the major subsets of this study is intensively handled and this involves forest creation, management, and conservation. Forests are beneficial for human ranging from use as food and purifying the air.
- Environmental law
One of the growing subsets of environmental studies is environmental law. The broad spectrum of environment brings with it conflicts which need a guide and regulations to bar people from breaking, compensation structures have led to the setup of environmental law which is highly studied and applied.
Why You Should Take Environmental Studies and Forestry
- Efficient Use of Natural Resources
Many countries are endowed with many natural resources including wildlife, minerals which in many cases may not be well exploited because of the lack of training and information. Doing environmental studies and forestry provide the needed skill set to help identify natural resources, manage the natural resources, optimize production, use the right methodology and provide efficient and effective supervision of sites. The use of the right techniques to minimize exploitation comes with studying this course and helps many countries to maximize production and income from natural resources.
- Use New Technologies
Environmental studies and forestry lead to professionals that use modern and emerging technologies in their executions ranging from data collection tools, use of new software programs, geographical mapping tools and many more. It is a joy and a challenge to look forward to being among the first people to put new technology into use
- Implement Sustainable Lifestyles
Luxurious living is common practice in the modern livelihoods today. As much as environmental studies and forestry do not discourage luxurious living, it tends to promote sustainable living by promoting recycling of most resources. Reuse and conservation of water, producing own food and reducing energy use are some of the ways that promote sustainable living. Doing environmental studies equips one to implement and advocate to such ways of life.
- Advocate for Environmental Conservation
Industrialization and the growth of the human population have resulted in gradual pollution and degradation of the environment. Pollution has adversely affected the ecological balance and leads to global warming whose effect is visible on the changing weather patterns across the world. Lack of information in one way leads to pollution and environmental studies and forestry students are well equipped to keep the world informed of conservation through lobbying and advocacy.
- Travel and See the World
Are you a traveling enthusiast? Well having to tour the world in line with the profession especially on forestry, working in various parts of the world as an environmental consultant or even attending world environmental summits that happen every year provides you with the best platforms to visit various parts of the planet.
- Understand the Global Nature of Environment Problems
The advanced practice of environmental studies and forestry allows one to understand the complexity of the environmental problem. Having an understanding of the global nature of pollution as well as the effect that one country may cause the world as a whole helps environmental professionals appreciate the need to have a concerted effort towards conserving the environment.
- Manage Human-Wildlife Conflicts
Human population increase is one of the things that has been witnessed in the past few years. The increased population within the limited space has led to human encroachment into wildlife space and vice versa meaning destruction of forests, killing of wild animals and man. Having a specialist with environmental studies and forestry prowess help ease the conflicts and come up with ways to help coexistence.
- Need a Career with a Variety?
The nature of environmental studies and its wide scope makes it have several subsections and a variety of professions that one who studies it can easily fit into. With the study, you will not have to worry about doing the same thing every year as all the variety you need is at your disposal.
Skills You Acquire from the Study
Environmental studies and forestry is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses biology, chemistry, geography and statistics in its studies making those who study it acquire quite a number of skills. Skills acquired from this discipline range from transferable skills, special skills, and sector-specific skills as outlined below:
- Problem-solving skills: Due to the complex nature of the profession, environmental study equips students with skills to solve emerging issues that affect the habitat
- Research skills: Research is largely used in the study as well as the practice especially in data collection and drawing conclusions
- Statistical skills: Data collection, manipulation, analysis, and generalizations are key statistical components that any student looking forward to a career in the environment has to acquire.
- Critical thinking: Great thought and analysis have to be practiced in the situation especially in coming up with recommendations and solutions.
- Communication: To you put your thoughts assertion and recommendations to governments, institutions and people great communication is required.
- Organization skills: The complex nature of the tasks in any environmental field need one to plan on how to do them, organize implementations strategies as well as give guidelines necessary.
Professions from Environmental and Forestry Studies
Graduates from the environment related field have grown into various professions given the scope that the field covers. In most countries, the field has reportedly recorded very few unemployment cases from its graduate pool. In addition to the environment related fields, some of the graduates have been absorbed in other fields because of the transferable skills that are learned during the study and application. Here are some of the professions that this course leads to:
- Consultancy- Providing consultation services to governments, institutions, and people on environmental related decisions including conducting environmental impact assessments.
- Environmental Engineering – Soil type, agricultural and construction-related advice come from environmental engineers who have integrated the skills from both fields.
- Teaching – One can be a teacher offering environmental studies tutoring in learning institutions.
- Town planners – Most town or urban planners are people who have studied environmental related courses and can provide professional guidelines in town setups.
- Environmental conservationists – Institutions, NGOs and governments need conservationists to help in waste management and other conservation activities.
In summary, environmental studies and Forestry is one of the rapidly growing fields both in its study and application prompted by the sudden gradual realization that environmental conservation is key to our existence. The complex nature of the field and the advantage of being an interdisciplinary field pulls interests from many quarters and gives an opportunity for specialization in most of its subsets. Having proven over time to employ so many people within its field and provided solutions to some of the global problems, more emphasis and funding is growing on this field and hopefully will help in creating a balance within the ecosystem.