Environmental Scientist

Summary

Environmental scientists measure and record features of the environment and study, assess and develop methods of controlling or minimising the harmful effects of human activity on the environment.

Duties & Tasks

Environmental scientists may perform the following tasks:

  • plan and conduct research into the physical and biological nature of the environment
  • undertake laboratory work
  • monitor the environmental impacts of development activities
  • conduct research and prepare proposals to minimise the impact of industrial, agricultural and urban processes on the environment
  • develop conservation plans
  • investigate and report on breaches of environmental guidelines
  • run community education programmes
  • assist with environmental emergencies, such as chemical spills and accidents
  • analyse pollutants, identify their sources and assess their effects on the environment
  • monitor the effects of pollution and land degradation, and recommend ways of prevention and control
  • rehabilitate land, water and air affected by mining, logging, construction, degradation or pollution
  • research matters of immediate and long-term importance to governments and communities, such as the impact of land clearing on native animals and the impact of waste products on waterways
  • negotiate with, and provide advice to, industry, government and the public on environmental matters, such as the management, re-use or disposal of hazardous materials
  • assist with the development of environmental policies, strategies and codes of practice
  • conduct environmental audits.

Specialisations

Ecologist

An ecologist studies the relationship between the environment and the organisms and actions that affect and are affected by it, including animal and plant life, weather patterns and human activity such as agriculture, urban development and pollution.

Environmental Officer

An environmental officer ensures that businesses and organisations pursue sound management practices that support plant and animal life.

Working Conditions

Environmental scientists usually work with a range of other professional and technical staff. The amount of indoor and outdoor work they do depends on the individual job.

Personal Requirements

  • a logical approach to problem-solving
  • aptitude for technical tasks
  • good communication skills
  • able to work as a part of a team.

Related Courses:

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