Environmental Engineering and Sciences

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Environmental engineers specialize in either preventing or cleaning up pollution or environmental emergencies. Engineers who work to prevent pollution look for and help defend against potential sources of damage to the environment.

Engineers who specialize in cleaning up accidents decide how to clean up environmental problems quickly and efficiently. Engineers are called upon to resolve complex problems such as oil spills, hazardous waste, and polluted lakes and wetlands.

Jobs include:

Geographic information systems analysts Chemical engineers Civil engineers

Water and air quality engineers Solid and hazardous waste engineers Marine biologists Pollution control technicians Wastewater treatment plant operators

Sample Occupations

• Geographic information systems (GIS) specialists use computers to demonstrate interactions between human activities and ecological systems. GIS analysts are in demand at planning agencies, research centers, and consulting agencies, because these specialists can produce important data that is needed to make decisions.

• Air-quality managers do highly sophisticated monitoring, conduct chemical and statistical analyses, and perform computer modeling to determine whether industries are complying with air-quality regulations. They also conduct research to create new technologies to reduce air pollution.

• Hazardous-waste managers include environmental engineers, ground-water scientists, toxicologists, industrial hygienists, and other specialists who manage hazardous wastes. One of their prime goals is to reduce the generation of hazardous wastes.

Solid-waste managers are environmental engineers, urban planners, business and finance managers, and other professionals who develop systems to manage solid waste safely.

A worker analyzes data at a computer workstation. (U.S. EPA. Reproduced by permission.)

• Water-quality managers include chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineers, hydrologists, toxicologists, planners, and other professionals who reduce pollutants in lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands.

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