Campus to Careers: The Career Paths of Alumni of Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs Presented by: David Blockstein, Ph.D., National Council for Science and the Environment, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Campus to Careers: The Career Paths of Alumni of Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs Presented by: David Blockstein, Ph.D., National Council for Science and the Environment, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors


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Title: Campus to Careers: The Career Paths of Alumni of Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs Presented by: David Blockstein, Ph.D., National Council for Science and the Environment, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors

Campus to Careers The Career Paths of Alumni of
Interdisciplinary Environmental
ProgramsPresented byDavid Blockstein, Ph.D.,
National Council for Science and the Environment,
Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
Presentation Outline
  • Lead Organizations NCSE, CEDD and ECO
  • The Need for Academic Environmental Programs
  • Characteristics of Environmental Programs
  • The Environmental Sector
  • Federal Employment
  • Campus to Careers Study

NCSE Objectives
  • To promote science for the environment
  • To enhance programs at academic institutions
  • To catalyze and to advance science-based ideas
    from diverse communities
  • To communicate science-based information to the
  • To develop science-based solutions
  • for environmental challenges


The Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
(CEDD) is a professional association of deans of
colleges of natural resources and the
environment, directors of institutes of the
environment and other academic environmental
programs. There are presently 110 members
CEDD Objectives
  • Advance knowledge and learning in the
    interdisciplinary environmental sciences and
  • Improve academic environmental educational and
    research programs and facilities.
  • Advance cooperative efforts among CEDD members,
    with other scientists, and with federal, tribal,
    state and local agencies.

CEDD Planning Group on Workforce
  • Task  Study the current and future job market
    for graduates of CEDD's institutions and
    programs.  Determine how programs can improve the
    preparation of their students for environmental

CEDD Planning Group on Workforce
  • Members
  • David Parker, Director of Career Development,
    Bren School of the Environment and
    Management, University of California at Santa
  • Bill Winner, Program Director, Environmental
    Sciences Graduate Program, Oregon State
  • Gwen Geidel, Associate Dean, School of the
    Environment, University of South Carolina
  • Jeff Cook, President, Environmental Careers
  • Peter Otis, Director of Career Development,
    School of Forestry and Environmental Studies,
    Yale University
  • Mitch Thomashow, Chair, Department of
    Environmental Studies, Antioch New England
    Graduate School
  • Joyce Berry, Associate Dean, College of Natural
    Resources, Colorado State University
  • Richard Rich, Director, Institute for
    Environmental and Energy Studies, Virginia
    Polytechnic Institute

The Environmental Careers Organization (ECO)
  • ECO's mission is to protect and enhance the
    environment through the development of diverse
    leaders, the promotion of careers, and the
    inspiration of individual action.
  • ECO accomplishes this through internships, career
    advice, career products, research and consulting.
  • Founded in 1972, ECO has placed nearly 7,500
    college, graduate students and recent graduates
    in environmental internships in the public,
    private and nonprofit sectors.

A Call for Systematic Change
  • The tragedy is that our
  • graduates, steeped in
  • traditional technical
  • education, liberal arts,
  • economics, and the
  • humanities, are themselves
  • too often emerging from our
  • universities blind to reality
  • oblivious to the realities of a
  • finite Earth.
  • Ray Anderson, Chairman
  • Interface Flooring Systems Inc.

NCSE National Conference, January, 2003
Environmental Science and Engineering for the
21st Century
  • Environmental education and training
  • should be science based, but should be
  • given a renewed focus on preparing
  • students for broad career horizons.
  • Environmental Science and Engineering for the
    21st Century The Role of the National Science
    Foundation, National Science Board, February 2000.

Complex Environmental Systems
  • NSFs goals in environmental education
  • should be twofold to prepare the future
  • environmental workforce at many levels-
  • researcher, teachers, resource managers,
  • and technicians-and to raise the
  • environmental literacy of the general
  • public.-From Complex Environmental Systems
  • Synthesis for Earth, Life and Society in the 21st
  • NSF Advisory Committee for Environmental Research
  • and Education, January 2003.


Not All Are Created EqualAn Analysis of the
Environmental Programs/Departments inU.S.
Academic Institutions Until May 2003 Aldemaro
Romero and Christina JonesEnvironmental Studies
ProgramMacalester College1600 Grand Ave., St.
Paul, MN 55105-1899USA Present address 
Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State
University, P.O. Box 599, State University, AR
72467, USA,,
n 1061
Source Romero and Jones 2003
Higher Education Environmental programs added per
14 programs in 1958 1061 in 2003.
Source Romero and Jones 2003
Environmental Programs/Departments by Name (2003)
n 1257
Source Romero and Jones 2003
Types of Environmental Degrees Offered (May 2003)
Source Romero and Jones 2003
Institutional Locationsof Environmental Programs
Undergraduate College/University-wide
41 Within a University College, Division or
School 44 Within a Department
15 Graduate College/University-wide
39 Within a University College, Division or
School 35 Within a Department 26
Source Focht, W. Study of Environmental Deans'
and Directors' Perspectives on Environmental
Curricula  (draft report from initial findings
Summer 2003)
Vital Statistics of Programs/Departments of
Survey Respondents
Source Romero and Jones 2003 These are gross
underestimations since the numbers depend upon
the responses to interviews.
Analysis of Core Requirements for Undergraduate
Programs (n 60)
Total () Env. Science () Env. Studies () Nat. Resources ()
Natural Sciences
Biology 70 79 50 64
Chemistry 67 83 39 55
Organic Chemistry 17 38 0 9
Geology/Earth Sciences 50 67 33 36
Ecology 53 54 39 64
Calculus 48 63 17 45
Statistics 63 58 50 55
Economics and Policy
Env. Economics 25 13 6 45
Environmental Policy 42 33 33 36
Additional Requirements
Synthetic Course 32 21 50 9
Internship 22 38 11 9
Final Project 53 38 67 36
Concentrations? 62 58 50 55
From Manning, K. 1999. Consortium on
Environmental Teaching and Learning in Higher
Education Insights from the White Oak Symposium.
Center for Resource Economics/Island Press.
Projected growth of environmental science
Source ECO 2002, Complete Guide to
Environmental Careers
Important and emerging eco-careers
  1. Pollution prevention/waste reduction specialist
  2. Conservation biologist/ecosystems manager
  3. Environmental information technology/GIS
  4. Dual track environmental manager
  5. Global climate change researcher
  6. Renewable energy and energy management
  7. Smart growth urban planner
  8. Policy integration specialist
  9. Community organizer
  10. Fundraiser, rainmaker, dealmaker
  11. Environmental economist
  12. Environmental health specialist

Source ECO 2002
Environmental careers in 2002
Federal government 191,000 State
government 185,000 Local government 400,000
Environmental industry 790,000 All
other 125,000 Total 1,691,000
Source ECO 2002
Federal Government Employment Trends 2003
Agency Full/Part Time Employees Projection
Forest Service 42,653 Some growth
Army Corps 34,367 Down
National Parks 23,898 Down
EPA 18,633 Down
Energy 16,067 Some growth
NRCS 12,188 Some growth
NOAA 11,980 Down
BLM 11,688 Some growth
USGS 10,170 Down
Fish and Wildlife 9,323 Some growth

Source ECO 2002
Federal Natural Resources Agencies Confront an
Aging Workforce and Challenges to Their Future
  • Renewable Natural Resources Foundation Conference
    on Personnel Trends, Education Policy and
    Evolving Roles of Federal and State Natural
    Resources Agencies
  • Over 80 delegates from 25 states and numerous
    natural resource disciplines
  • In association with American Association for the
    Advancement of Science
  • October 2003

Emerging Demographic Trends
  • Graying of the Green Workforce
  • Agency leadership and science capacity most
  • DOI, Forest Service, and EPA will lose over half
    SES members by 2007
  • Key functions also impacted
  • Interior Dept.61 of its program managers
  • Forest Service81 of its entomologists and 49
    of its foresters
  • EPA45 of its toxicologists, and 30 of its
    environmental specialists
  • Lost institutional memory
  • Difficulty in maintaining core scientific

Source RNRF 2003
From Campus to Careers
  • A Study of Career Paths taken by Alumni of
    Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs at the
    Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctoral Levels

Campus to Careers Project Context
  • CEDD members need information about the job
    market and career paths for graduates
  • Lack of quality data problematic
  • CEDD members want to use curricula to address
    career needs
  • Planning Group on the Workforce formed

Goals and Objectives
  • Develop baseline and longitudinal data on the
    career paths of alumni
  • Identify career successes and challenges for
  • Create a standardized methodology for ongoing
  • Disseminate study results to students, programs,
    employers, and other stakeholders

Desired Project Outcomes
  • Accurate data regarding the career paths of
  • Identification of alumni career successes and
    challenges, perceptions of how well programs
    prepared alumni for workforce, further education
    and scholarship
  • Informed faculty discussions and decisions
    regarding curricula and support services to
    improve the career outcomes of their graduates
  • Information to assist increasing the diversity of
    students in environmental programs and workforce
  • Continuous improvement of all aspects of
    environmental programs

Desired Project Outcomes cont.
  • Information for current and prospective
    interdisciplinary students about available career
    opportunities, their requirements, and how to
    obtain them
  • Methodology for ongoing tracking, including
    taxonomy of fields and programs
  • Data provided to academic programs, current and
    future students, and other stakeholders
  • Reports
  • Facilitated meetings

Project Activities
  • The Planning Group on the Workforce has discussed
  • following activities as a way to further refine
    the project,
  • gather data and ensure data gets back to
  • Alumni (1994-04) Career Path Survey
  • Longitudinal Study
  • Career Roundtables
  • Pilot Study

Alumni Career Path Survey
  • Survey alumni of interdisciplinary environmental
    studies programs from 1994-2004
  • Baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels
  • Work products
  • Comprehensive report for environmental programs
  • Student guide
  • Report summary for employers and other

Alumni Study Outcomes
  • The demographic profile of graduates
  • Educational and professional career progression
  • How well their education prepared alumni for
  • What programs and students should do differently
  • Recommended changes to curriculum and teaching
  • How alumni view the delicate balance among higher
    educations many goals

Longitudinal Study Class of 2005
  • Baseline shortly after graduation
  • Annual tracking through 2014
  • Comprehensive reports first, fifth and tenth
  • Shorter report updates with comparative tables
    other years
  • Student guides

Pilot Study
  • Create web-based survey instrument
  • Pilot with Yale School of Forestry and
    Environmental Studies, University of South
    Carolina School of the Environment, UCSB Bren
    School of Environmental Science and Management
  • Analyze existing data and report key findings
  • Identify data gaps
  • Use this information to design larger surveys

Group Discussion
  • Concept
  • Methodology
  • Partners
  • Funding
  • Next Actions
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