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Career Story: Environmental Scientist For A River Preservation Agency

Environmental Scientist For A River Preservation Agency

Job Title: Environmental Scientist

Type of Company: An association whose duty is to protect and enhance the quality of the Neponset River.

Education: BS, Environmental Science, SUNY Brockport •• MS, Biology, SUNY Brockport

Previous Experience: Water Quality Analyst

Job Tasks: As the environmental scientist for the Neponset River Watershed Association my responsibilities are extremely diverse. I oversee two water monitoring programs, one that utilizes volunteers and a more detailed program looking for areas of pollution throughout the watershed. In addition, I work with towns and federal and state officials to clean up and continue to make progress in areas where pollution has already been identified. Lastly, I have a responsibility to write and review grant applications so that new and diverse projects can be undertaken by our organization.

In a typical day I will read and write grant applications, review data tables and databases and run analytical samples in our lab facilities. In many cases I am also left on my own to figure out how different analyses work and how best to approach a problem we are having in the watershed in terms of water quality and how to improve it. In the summers much of my time is spent outdoors taking water samples in a myriad of places throughout our watershed.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is seeing physical improvement in the Neponset River. That could be from water quality, restoration, or access improvement.

The worst part is the time that's required to actually make the aforementioned progress.

Job Tips:
1.) Get as much practical experience as possible through internships and volunteer positions as you attend college.

2.) Make sure your classes are diverse and include both water and terrestrial systems, and maybe sprinkle in some environmental engineering for good measure.

3.) Take a good environmental law course (and pay attention).

Additional Thoughts: Decide early on where you want to be in terms of a job. Environmental science can be highly specialized and if you know where you want to end up you can make sure you have that specialized knowledge.

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