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    • #43080
      Shawn McCrohan

      A recent email to AAEE was a query regarding the kinds of opportunities someone who is interested in environmental studies and, potentially environmental education, might be available.

      I thought I would post my response to the question here and see if anyone else has anything great to add! Here is what I shared:

      My granddaughter is a senior in high school and is interested in environmental studies. I came across this site and wonder what educational background does she need and what schools have such programs?
      Environmental studies and environmental education are separate but very related to each other. The former often involves a hard science, and the latter teaching others about the environment. There are lots of great schools and programs out there for folks who would like to pursue environmental studies as an undergraduate. I would recommend doing a simple google search to see if you can come up with the top schools for that program. Related course work would also include Natural Resource Studies, so you can add those terms to your google search. Typically those degrees also include a focus or emphasis on biology, ecology, hydrology, geology, geography, wildlife, and earth systems.
      However, regardless of her interests and academic field of choice, she would most certainly benefit from participating in our Basic Environmental Education Certification Program. You can read about that program on our website, here
      We advocate for ANYONE who teaches or communicates about the environment to learn how to do so in a way that is understandable to their audience. Not all environmental educators work in a school or at a nature center. Many have science backgrounds as their primary field and through default must communicate with their communities about natural resources and critical environmental sustainability topics. 
      For example, my undergraduate degree was in environmental studies, obtained in the mid-90s at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. At that time, such a degree prepared me to work for an environmental consulting firm, doing environmental impact assessments, studying soil make up, understanding the earth’s processes. It gave me the foundation to understand a breadth of topical areas related to our planet, about which I can speak to in some form today. That kind of degree left out the details about communicating and educating others, which is what I knew I wanted to ultimately do. It wasn’t until I returned to school for my Master’s degree in the mid-2000 that I applied what I knew to teaching and learning about the environment. I obtained my Masters degree from Prescott College in Arizona in 2007.
      If it is environmental education that she is interested in, the schools I would personally recommend include Prescott College in Arizona, Antioch New England, or any of the others listed on the NAAEE Website that have obtained their higher education accreditation in Environmental Education for undergraduate and/or graduate programs. 
      I hope this helps! I’d be glad to speak with, or email communicate with your granddaughter if she has specific questions or would like to know about my career path. You can read more about me on my LinkedIn profile, here
      Would anyone else like to share their experience with us? I’d love to hear about it!
    • #43082
      Shawn McCrohan

      From Ellen Bashor


      Just responding on behalf of Prescott College–We have many degrees in both Environmental Education and Environmental Studies, as well as a combination of both or the opportunity to have one or the other as your major or minor. For example, an undergraduate could have a major in Environmental Education and a minor in Marine Biology and spend their time studying in Kino Bay, Mexico and on the Gulf of California while also building skills in things LoriAnne mentioned such as communication & education and even curriculum or program design. This approach to an undergrad degree would open the door to a variety of career paths involving nature & people. We also offer a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and a Masters of Arts in Education/Environmental Education/Environmental Studies and more, as well as a PhD in Sustainability Education. All of these can be combined with a Teacher Certification pathway too if someone’s interested in brining the environment to the formal K-12 setting. This is also why we work closely with AAEE and their Certification program to make sure that environmental educators are prepared wherever their career path takes them.

      Would love to hear more about your granddaughter’s interests and how Prescott College could craft a degree that was right for her — feel free to shoot me an email at ebashor@prescott.edu!

    • #50606
      Rachel de Masi

      As a high school Environmental and AP Environmental Science teacher, these are really great resources for my students. Thank you for sharing. There seem to be an endless number of career paths for a student interested in Environmental Science, or Environmental Education. A fellow environmental science teacher at my school told me that she recently attended a University of Arizona graduation (last fall), where there were a surprising number of graduates from the Environmental Engineering program. The program information can be found here: https://engineering.arizona.edu/majors/environmental. On the U of A website it states, “The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a 15 percent increase in environmental engineering jobs over the next decade”. This seems to be a very interesting emerging field in and I hope to have my AP students involved in researching it in the fall.

    • #50670
      LoriAnne Barnett

      That’s terrific, Rachel! Thanks for sharing! Good idea to point students toward that field.

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