The master's in environmental science at Florida Tech prepares graduates for career opportunities and advanced academic studies in the use, control and preservation of environmental resources. Because today's increasingly complex technological society has placed new demands on the understanding of human interaction with the environment, the need has never been greater for highly skilled scientists to develop data and information to help decision makers craft policies on the use and protection of our natural environment.
Florida Tech's environmental science program provides a thorough background in the biological and chemical fundamentals of natural environmental systems with specific areas of emphasis related to:
Water and air resources
Water and wastewater treatment
Hazardous and toxic materials
Graduates with a master's in environmental science are the scientists and problem solvers who lead collaborative teams from consulting firms, government agencies and non-profit organizations to solve today's environmental issues.
Small class sizes provide students with close mentorship and support from professors. Students experience an interdisciplinary approach in the master's in environmental science program with interaction from science, mathematics and engineering faculty. Focused on providing students with a well-rounded background, professors prepare graduates to meet the needs of future employers. Florida Tech professors also receive high praise from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).
Florida Tech's environmental science master's program provides a thorough background in the biological and chemical fundamentals of natural environmental systems. The university's location near diverse ecosystems, such as the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, makes it an ideal choice to study environmental science.
Graduates from Florida Tech are prepared for career opportunities, armed with knowledge of the latest body of technical knowledge in the industry and the experience from doing a considerable amount of research. Florida Tech's curriculum emphasizes biological, chemical or remote sensing studies within the environmental science master's degree program. This gives students the well-rounded background necessary to meet the needs of the numerous career opportunities available to graduates.
Working towards an environmental science master's degree involves fieldwork and experiencing the environment.Students have access to numerous research labs, centers and institutes as well as a fleet of aircraft and ocean vessels for hands-on data collection and analysis. Having access to nearby "natural" laboratories including the Atlantic Ocean marine ecosystem, estuarine habitats of the Indian River Lagoon, and the area's other natural resources, gives students unique experience with a variety of environments to develop the skills they need to become environmental scientists. With professors who bring a wealth of experience to the classroom, and a culture that empowers graduates to be future leaders, Florida Tech offers students seeking an environmental science master's degree the perfect setting in which to prepare for the complex environmental issues they'll face in their career.
Because of small class sizes and a close-knit academic community, environmental science master's degree students enjoy individualized attention and mentorship from their professors, which is not often possible at other universities. Students have access to numerous research labs, centers and institutes as well as a fleet of aircraft and ocean vessels for hands on study experiences. Working closely with advisors, students research and develop a thesis, resulting in a peer-reviewed publication.
Research is the foundation of every degree program at Florida Tech. As an environmental science master's degree candidate, students pursue advanced academic studies in the use, control and preservation of environmental resources and the enhancement of the quality of life. With a strong background in biological, chemical and physical sciences, coupled with basic and applied environmental sciences, laboratory and coursework helps develop solutions to current and future environmental problems. The Research recap requires students to develop a plan to address any number of topics in the field including offshore oil spills and drilling impacts, drinking water resources, rising sea levels and more.
Graduates of the environmental science master's degree program leave Florida Tech ready to provide solutions to companies in the private sector, and in local, state, and federal agencies. Students can also enhance their knowledge and professional connections with participation in the Student Organization for Sustainability Action and Florida Tech Environmental Club, both dedicated to environmental awareness and sustainability practices.
One reason Florida Tech is considered one of the top environmental science schools is the high-tech F. W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a teaching and research laboratory that includes an aquaculture facility, climate change institute and research labs. The four-acre Vero Beach Marine Laboratory and Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center give students and faculty direct access to the Indian River Lagoon. The Center for Remote Sensing is a collaborative center between college of engineering, science and aeronautics faculty that encourages excellence in the development and application of remote sensing science and technology.
Many professionals in the environmental science master's degree program are working in the field. The university's location also attracts students from around the world for access to Florida's subtropical climate that offers year-round warm weather and proximity to many diverse ecosystems.
Conducting hands-on research or participation in environmental science internships are an important academic experience every student finds valuable. Providing students with the tools and techniques they will use in future career-related scientific research, Florida Tech students are involved in collaborative experiences with fellow students and faculty to develop and research their theories and applications.
Students have an opportunity to venture into diverse Florida environments to better understand their fragile and complex natures in environmental science internships and research. Students venture into the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in the nation, the Atlantic Ocean and other important environments. Kayaking through the Indian River to study native and invasive species, diving into the Atlantic Ocean to study algae, or researching the effects of local weather on ecosystems are what students might do when involved in environmental science internships and research.
Other topics in the field for environmental science internships and research could include:
Offshore oil spills and drilling impacts
Drinking water resources
Rising sea levels
Natural resource management
Water and wastewater treatment
Effects of local weather on ecosystems
Environmental science internships at Florida Tech provides students an opportunity to work with prestigious environmental organizations including:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Florida Department of Environmental Regulation
Marine Resources Council of East Central Florida
Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
St. Johns River Water Management District
The Center for Remote Sensing is a collaborative center between faculty within the college of engineering, science and aeronautics. The center encourages excellence in the development and application of remote sensing science and technology. Field studies are conducted from the air and sea, either through Florida Tech's fleet of aircraft or small boats, or though off-shore charters.
Core areas of research includes:
Satellite systems and data
Digital image processing
Environmental optics for remote sensing
The center has consulted and provided services to defense contractors, NASA, Department of Energy, water management agencies, Department of State, and U.S. Department of Education, among others.
This group is dedicated to the practice and implementation of sustainable practices for the Florida Tech community. The organization strives to identify and apply sustainability advances not just at Florida Tech but also throughout all colleges, campus facilities and support services.
This club exists to better serve environmental awareness on campus, increase environmental friendliness and create a community of like-minded individuals who share ideas and engage the Florida Tech community through service, fundraising and events.
Environmental scientists use their expertise in support of protecting the environment and human health concerns. They analyze environmental problems and develop solutions. This could include positions such as cleaning up polluted areas, advising policy makers, improving air and water quality or working with industry to reduce waste.
Environmental science careers are found in government agencies at the local, state and federal level, as well as environmental consulting firms, not-for-profit organizations (such as conservancies) and higher education. Environmental scientists often interact with other scientists (chemists, biologists, oceanographers, for example) as well as engineering firms and politicians.
Graduates with a master's in environmental science work for a variety of organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, state environmental and wildlife agencies, solid waste management, law firms, Greenpeace and the National Wildlife Federation.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Health Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.
Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022. While one area of growth is expected to be in private consulting, environmental science careers also include positions as climate change analysts, remediation managers (clean up of contaminated environmental sites), environmental health specialists or environmental chemists. For more information on other careers, check The Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Although not an exhaustive list, examples of jobs in environmental science include:
Air Quality Program Director
Environmental Health & Safety Specialist
Land Use Manager
Natural Resources Conservation Manager
Climate Change Analyst
Director of Conservation Program
Environmental Protection Specialist
Wetlands Program Director
PayScale.com is an online salary information company providing real-time information on job market compensation. The site provides insight on what graduates might expect for entry-level environmental science careers, as well as the earning potential that can be achieved over the lifetime of a career.
For example, the site reports that salaries for environmental science range from $39,800 – $73,600. As in any employment search, income ranges depending on actual job duties and job title, as well as the region of the country and level of education. Check PayScale.com to search the most recent information.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports the median annual wage for careers in environmental science to be $63,570 (2012). Information was gathered from employers in the federal government, engineering service firms, and education. Salaries are highest in the federal government, followed by consulting firms.