Environmental Analyst

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Environmental Analyst


Due to an increasing public concern about the environment coupled with government legislation mandating corrective and preventive measures, environmental analysts have emerged as pioneering leaders in this rapidly growing field. Environmental problems such as oil spills, sustainability, air pollution, landfills and contaminated ground water are being studied and combated. Environmental analysts examine the impacts, costs and benefits of potential environmental policies. They measure and correct damage already done by past practices, write and enforce government regulations, and try to minimize waste.

Environmental analysts design and direct special studies to obtain technical environmental information about planned projects by contacting and using different sources. They conduct research about various environmental issues that are impacting our lives and changing the nature of the air we breath and the water we drink. Through testing and analysis, they try to find alternative ways to handle projects in an environmentally sensitive manner. This may include collecting and synthesizing data derived from pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitors, meteorological and mineralogical information and soil or water samples.

Using their understanding of the principles of science and engineering, they conduct research studies to develop theories or methods for abating or controlling pollution sources. From their research and findings, they prepare reports, provide consultation and advice and administer programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences.

Part of their work involves consulting with scientists and researchers, public groups, local government officials and various industries. They also assist in establishing initiatives that help to inform all Americans: individuals, communities, businesses, industries and every level of government how they can take action to protect our environment. Analysts are environmental advisors who help create an awareness of the relationship between human activities and the natural environment.

Environmental analysts have a true concern for the natural world and play the role of educators and information consultants. They promote responsible actions, providing information that empowers people to take action for the environment in the work place, at home and at school. Taking action has to start somewhere and if we all think globally but act locally, we can all help in a small way.
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  Interests and Skills  
Environmental analysts are consciously concerned about the decline of our environment therefore seeking ways to improve and promote a safe and clean environment. They should be knowledgeable about the implications of environmental legislation and the effects of human consumption on our environment. They should keep updated on a new technologies and changes in the environmental climate.

Environmental analysts possess good communication skills because they work closely with different types of people promoting environmental awareness and responsibility. They must be passionately dedicated to their projects, be creative in their analyses and be as knowledgeable as possible in environmental field.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Research specific issues such as consumerism, lifestyle choices, resource development, wildlife management, forestry and water quality
  • Synthesize environmental information from many sources and make it understandable to others through various forms of communication
  • Direct, develop, and administer governmental programs for assessment of environmental impact of proposed recreational projects
  • Assess the environmental impact and preparation of impact statements required for final evaluation of proposed actions
  • Direct the identification and analysis of alternative proposals for handling projects in environmentally sensitive manner
  • Set up internal programs within business and industry to promote responsible attitudes towards the environment
  • Plan the enhancement of environmental settings for each proposed recreational project
  • Design and direct special studies to obtain technical environmental information regarding planned projects,
  • Act as a consultant and analyst for individuals, companies and envrionmental groups
  • Promote the integration of scientific, social and economic factors in environmental decisions
  • Produce educational materials for schools, youth groups, communities, field programs and libraries
  • Participate in meetings and conferences with other concerned groups interested in conserving the natural environment
  • Hours of work for environmental analysts vary. They may be required to work evenings and weekends.
  • Environmental education specialists work indoors much of the time, although this also varies from one position to another. They may visit outdoor worksites or nature centers as part of their research activities, or conduct outdoor presentations to groups. They attend many meetings outside of their offices, and may be required to travel.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Environmental analysts work mainly for governments, private companies, advisory and consultant firms or they are self-employed and own their own consulting agency. They may also work for environmental and conservation societies, naturalist clubs, outdoor education centers, heritage and interpretation centers, school boards, or non-profit organizations such as Friends of the Environment or the WWF.

  Long Term Career Potential  
With experience, environmental analysts can become policy makers and writers and eventually advance to the management of very large global environmental projects. As environmental issues are becoming a high priority in society and will not go away with so many of our present polluting tactics, creative analysts will always be needed to solve these important issues. Environmental analysts might also consider opening up their own consulting firm and tackling important issues. Those with PhDs might teach at a university or college or conduct research.

  Educational Paths  
There is no set path for becoming an environmental analyst, however most have a bachelor's degree in environmental studies, recreation or urban planning or a related scientific or technical discipline. Some analysts also have master's degrees, which is always a good idea for helping you obtain a better job with more responsibility.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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