Scientists work to understand natural processes, characterize environmental problems, and evaluate their solutions. Seattle University offers two science majors that are specifically designed to address environmental issues.
Training for environmental careers can also be provided from the specialized perspective of other disciplines. For example, Physics can lead to careers in geophysics or atmospheric science, Chemistry can lead to careers in toxicology, and Math can lead to careers in a number of quantitative environmental topics (e.g., biostatistics). Students interested in applying specialized scientific training to environmental issues are strongly encouraged to minor in Environmental Science or Biology to provide an appropriate background in natural systems.
Engineers use science and technology to design solutions to problems. Each branch of engineering addresses its own set of problems, but all provide pathways to careers that can improve the environment.
Civil Engineers are responsible for design and management of water resources systems, pollution control plans, and infrastructure that safely addresses natural hazards. Licensed civil engineers often lead teams of scientists and environmental planners. Because of its breadth, Civil Engineering is a great field for students interested in solving large-scale problems.
Other branches of engineering also provide pathways to environmental careers. For example, Mechanical Engineering can lead to careers in energy efficiency or wind power, and Electrical Engineering can lead careers developing the technology necessary for management of renewable energy.
Almost every environmental problem has important social, economic, and educational dimensions. Several programs at Seattle University approach environmental management from these perspectives.
The Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability describes the entire range of environment-related programs.
For students who are interested in approaching environmental problems from within a particular specialization, Seattle University offers minors, double majors, and interdisciplinary study options.
Students may broaden their perspective on environmental issues by taking courses at off-campus research stations or marine labs. A local opportunity is provided by the Blakely Island Marine Station in the San Juan Islands northwest of Seattle, where Seattle University offers several courses. Degree programs can also incorporate experiences at facilities in places such as the Galapagos Islands, Australia, Costa Rica, and South Africa. The Education Abroad Office can provide additional guidance regarding programs and University requirements.