The state and welfare of our planet is well and truly under threat. As the earth’s average atmospheric temperature continues to rise, so too do wildlife extinction rates, severe weather changes and global sea levels. If the frequency of detrimental environmental effects continues as it is, it’s likely that future generations will struggle to save the world from ultimate destruction.
Due to the dangers of climate change, global authorities are drawing our attention to some staggering statistics. In the US, for example, carbon pollutions from factories, farms and vehicles are driving up the temperature. As Popular Science explains, the region has seen more than twice as many record highs of heat and record lows of cold in the course of recent years. While many people embraced the early February summer seen in New York City this year, others were faced with the severity of this complex issue.
February saw another strange occurrence of extreme heat, except this one loomed over the Arctic. The 2018 statistics show that daily arctic temperatures have exceeded previous recordings in the last 60-years. This news has shocked scientists worldwide, and many professionals are confused about how to handle the issue. As Amelie Meyer, researcher of ice-ocean interactions with the Norwegian Polar Institute explains, “To have zero degrees at the North Pole in February is just wrong – and quite worrying.”
Unfortunately, this is just a very slim sample of the thousands of statistics out there that demonstrate the negative effects of global warming. As a result, members of the public are turning their heads to and embracing the principles of environmentalism. One new trend, ‘Biophilia’, states that humans have an innate connection to nature. As The Independent points out, “Because the wilderness is our natural habitat, biophilia advocates say that we feel more at ease in nature-infused environments.” So, with the threat of the natural world being swept away from us, it’s no wonder that so many students are enrolling in environmental studies.
For those keen on pursuing a career in environmental conservation and preservation, it’s a good idea to choose a course that relates to contemporary theories and methods. New technologies, energy-saving ideas and eco-friendly initiatives are constantly evolving, encouraging our natural science and environmental education to move and adapt with the times.
Here are five of the finest environmental institutions…
SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY – USA
Soon celebrating its 50th anniversary, the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State has developed a long-standing reputation for providing an exceptional environmental education.
With an extensive array of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that take a practical stance towards experiential learning, you’ll be able to interact with real-world resource managers. The Natural Resources Program Planning course, for example, helps students develop planning, budgeting, and communication skills useful for the development and and management of many types of natural resources programs.
What makes this school unique is that it genuinely cares about the well-being of our planet. A dedicated professional faculty understands the importance of connecting students to coursework most relevant to their careers in sustainability. That’s why the school consistently produces confident environmental professionals ready to save the world.
The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources is widely recognized for its commitment to research. With the faculty organized into a number of research groups, such as the Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab and the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, the school promotes the stewardship of all the world’s diverse natural resources and confronts today’s most pressing sustainability issues. Plus, with the incredible Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park readily available, you’ll gain exclusive access to and hands-on experience with water resource, restoration and conservation activities.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI – FINLAND
The University of Helsinki recently introduced this brand-new environmental science department. Students love the school’s provision of niche subjects like Aquatic Sciences and Environmental Ecology, also relishing the fact that lectures are often delivered in both Finnish and English.
Connected to the ES department is the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). This cross-faculty research unit delves into a variety of research themes. A core component is the topic of consumption and bio-production. By asking key questions, HELSUS addresses the world’s most critical issues, such as ‘how do we cover the needs of our growing population with the use of biomass?’, and ‘how should we develop sustainable services to fulfill the needs of future generations?’
Alongside an interactive research institute, the university boasts a group of planetary pioneers to steer you through these questions. These experts approach specialist topics with the use of participatory and interdisciplinary methods. This is a great way to learn, granting students one-to-one opportunities with environmental professionals, allowing them to acquire a range of practical tools and techniques to take into the professional realm.
DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY – SOUTH AFRICA
Brighten your environmental experience by joining sunny Stellenbosch in South Africa! By boosting student skillsets with courses like the BA in Development and the Environment, this school connects learners to social anthropology, geography and public management modules.
You can also further your undergraduate experience by applying for a Masters scheme. A particularly popular route is the MPhil in Urban and Regional Science. This course combines the impact of urban spatial aggregation, modern day living conditions and the role of urbanism in today’s world.
The department’s research projects also link to the effects of urbanization. By focusing on mobility and migration in South Africa, participants aim to assist urban and rural communities that require development. As a Geography or Environmental studies student at Stellenbosch, your studies won’t just benefit you but also the communities around you.
COLLEGE OF LIFE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER – UK
As proud winners of the Athena SWAN award for dedication to providing excellent degrees in Bioscience, the University of Exeter is advancing way ahead.
This college offers students the option to study ecological and scientific subjects at one of two cutting-edge campus spaces. If you choose St. Luke’s campus, you’ll be placed in a traditional setting with a stunning surrounding landscape. These grounds recently achieved a Green Flag Award for the fifth-year running, largely thanks to its herbaceous borders and wildlife facilities.
With regards to the university’s largest site, Exeter’s Streatham campus also won a Green Flag award for achieving a national standard in its parks and green spaces. Once again, this demonstrates the department’s investment in its student learning environments.
As Professor Dan Charman states, “Whether you are a student, researcher, industrial partner or research collaborator, we hope your experience with us is fulfilling, enjoyable and successful. We will always strive to deliver a first-rate experience for everyone who works and studies with us.”
FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT, UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO – CANADA
The University of Waterloo takes great pride in global partnership. As the motto states: “Waterloo will shape the future by building bridges with industry and between disciplines, institutions and communities.”
In conjunction with building bridges, the faculty also builds on student confidence. For around 40-years, the Waterloo Faculty of Environment has impacted society on both a local and global level. Fixated on building a greener tomorrow, the undergraduate and postgraduate courses teach students fundamental skills required to drive social and environmental change.
Especially for environmental students, The faculty also lays on regular data sharing activities for environmental students. Recently, Waterloo’s Ecology Lab teamed up with the UW Library team to conduct outreach initiatives. For example, in January, the Lab collected data along Laurel Creek for a water analysis project. This school shares data through an open-source platform called Dataverse, so, as a talented student at Waterloo, you’ll obtain exclusive access to these invaluable files.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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