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M.Sc in Environmental Science

M.Sc in Environmental Science

Environment is the complex of all the biotic and aboitic factors that act on an organism and ultimately determine its form and survival.  Organisms respond to changes in their environment by evolutionary adaptations in form and behavior.  Man and his relation to environment is as old as his history on this planet.  Civilization in fact began when man learned to use fire and other tools to modify his environment.  If civilization is to survive, then mankind as a whole has to have an intelligent knowledge of the environment.  This is because basic laws of nature have not been replaced only their complexion and quantitative relations have changed.  The human population of the world has increased and man’s power to alter the environment has expanded.  Like all phases of learning, the science of man’s relations to his environment has been both gradual and spasmodic.  In the present age of specialization in human endeavors, the inevitable connections between different field are often obscured by the huge amount of knowledge within the fields and sometime also if to admit truly, by the stereo typed college courses or syllabus.  As a distinct recognized field of biology ‘Environmental Science’ has now become part and parcel of general vocabulary and general public awareness of the subject has increased.

Environmental science came alive as a substantive, active field of scientific investigations in 1960s and 1970s.  This was driven by the need for large scale interventions to save the planet which due to interference of human beings is on path of degradation.

Education has been the utmost priority of any civilized society since the ages and will remain for all eternity.  To be precise,  environmental education is a process of recognizing values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and added tools necessary to understand and appreciate the inter relationship among man, his culture and his biophysical surroundings.  It creates an overall perspective which acknowledges the fact that natural environment and man-made environment are interdependent.  Its main objective is to improve public awareness and understanding of the environmental issues with a view to promote the conservation and wide use of nature and natural resources.

Today everyone is acutely aware of the environmental science as indispensable tool for creating and maintaining the quality of human civilization.  Consequently, this is becoming an integral branch and subject of academic interest in education and is the one which is most relevant to the everyday life of every man, woman and child.

Environmental education first saw its mention at Stockholm Conference on environmental education, held in the year 1977, in Tbillisi, Georgia Republic.  Here several guiding principles were laid donwn for the adoption of programs in environment education, in many counties that included India as well.  From 1980 onwards, many environment related programs were started in the Indian Universities and at many places; separate departments were also established for the study of Environmental Science.

Environmental scientists also work on subjects like the understanding of earth processes, evaluating alternative energy systems pollution control and mitigation, natural resource management, and the effects of global climate change. Environmental issues almost always include an interaction of physical, chemical and biological process. Environ-mental scientists bring a systematic approach to the analysis of environmental problems.  Key attributes of an effective environmental scientist include the ability to relate space and time relationships as well as quantitative analysis.

Since the Environmental Science programs in multidisciplinary and holistic in nature, they need an in-depth knowledge on the subject.  One must possess a strong inclination and desire to build a career in environmental science.  One should also have an interest in issues related to public health and the environment.  Aspirants willing to make a career in environmental science should be self =-starters and must also have the capability to work in a team or lead a team.

Course and Eligibility

Several institutes and colleges in India, these days offer both undergraduate  and post-graduate programs in Environmental Science.  One can go for B.Sc or a B.e degree in Environmental Science.  The minimum qualification required for this is 12the standard with science subjects.  The course duration is of three years.  You can also pursue Post Graduate courses in environmental science such as M.Sc in Environmental Science.  The duration of this course is two years and the minimum eligibility criterion in this regard is a B.Sc degree in Environmental Science or any other related science subject.  Some institutes also offer a 2 year M.Tech programme in envirionmental science for which B.Tech or B.E candidates are only eligible.  Apart from these, short term post graduate diploma programs are also there in environmental science and environmental management.  Doctoral and post-doctoral programs such as M.Phil and Ph.D in Environmental Science can also be undertaken by students.

Career Prospects

Environmental Science as a career offers immense job opportunities.  The word ‘Environmental Science’ incorporates within it several activities for the protection of the environment.  There are ample opportunities in the job market, varied is the nature/type, all which is needed is focus and drive to act as professional in as environmental scientists, professors, environmental biologists, environmental modelers, environmental engineers and environmental journalists.  Also jobs directly related to degree can be:

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental education officer
  • Environmental manager
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Waste Management officer
  • Water quality scientist

Careers in Environmental Science are so varies that it is very difficult to consider them as any particular category. One can be engaged in Environmental policy, planning, management in government or private sector.  Environmental lawyers may be involved in intensive desk work whereas others may be a mix of indoor and outdoor locations.  People with scientific temperament can engage themselves in remediation, sanitation companies, in manufacturing law firms, nonprofit groups or environmental agencies.  Finding something worth enjoying as jobs within the broad scope of Environmental Science is not at all difficult as there are so many options.

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