Because of their broad background, graduates from Western Michigan University's environmental studies program may work in the commercial, private, government, educational, and industrial sectors. Recent environmental studies graduates have entered the fields of:
- Environmental advocacy
- Environmental-compliance management
- Environmental monitoring
- Higher education
- K-12 education
- Regional planning
- Solid-waste management
Graduates may also qualify for many other fields. For instance, with the combination of an environmental studies major and a strong background in the natural sciences, a student can prepare for a career as a conservation/restoration biologist or naturalist. Becoming an environmental lobbyist, writer or government planner are just a few of the numerous options available.
Full professional competence in many environmental fields requires study beyond the undergraduate level. The environmental studies program serves well as preparation for further study in natural resources management, environmental justice, conservation/restoration ecology, advocacy, law, urban planning and much more.
Internships and volunteer opportunities
The Student Conservation Association, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1957, provides opportunities for high school and college students and others to undertake meaningful and educational volunteer service in national parks and monuments and public lands throughout the United States. Each year the SCA links nearly 3,000 volunteers from around the nation with public agencies needing help with research, maintenance and public education. The SCA is a great place to look for internship and research experiences for ENVS majors and minors. Most SCA volunteer programs are available only in the summer.
The National Council for Science and the Environment is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the scientific basis for environmental decision-making by bridging the gap between science and policy to catalyze solutions. Students may apply for internships through the environmental internship clearinghouse portal maintained by the NCSE as part of their Campus to Careers program.
Green Corps, a nonprofit organization founded in 1992, provides training and experience to young people interested in environmental advocacy, grassroots organizing and public policy. Green Corps graduates aspire to be among the leaders of the next generation to create a greener and more sustainable future for our communities and world. Interested individuals may apply to Green Corps' Field School for Environmental Organizing which offers paid positions as interns and trainees in environmental advocacy campaigns throughout the United States.