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Northern Arizona University

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Chapter 2, Section 7:
Environmental Information and Education

Environmental information professionals, including educators, specialize in communicating with the public about ecological and earth health issues. Environmental educators may teach in elementary, middle or secondary schools; others work in colleges or universities. In addition to teaching college students, university-level environmental scientists often conduct field research in their area of expertise. Many teachers of biology, chemistry, geology and the other sciences explain environmental processes and relationships in their courses, although they may not have the “Environmental Educator” title. The college degrees required to teach environmental subjects focus on earth sciences and communication skills. Graduates from these programs are also qualified to work in science museums, hands-on leaning and activity centers and outdoor education programs. A good site with many important environmental education links is the Environmental Education Resources.

Environmental information professionals who are not school teachers may become communication specialists who work for newspapers or in the electronic mass media. In addition, private industry, government agencies, tribes, foundations and other organizations employ professional communicators to represent them in the public arena. Environmental interpretation is a third area in the communications field. Professional environmental interpreters work in parks, nature centers, zoos, public gardens, exhibition halls and other outdoor venues where they describe the component populations and dynamics at work in the local landscape.

Employment:
There are many thousands of teachers, professors and researchers on environmental subjects and opportunities for environmental interpreters and information specialists is expanding rapidly.

Key Job Titles:

  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Park Wildlife Interpreter
  • Environmental Public Relations Spokesperson
  • Environmental Reporter or Commentator
  • Zoo or Nature Center Interpreter

Salary:
The salaries of environmental sciences teachers and college professors vary from state to state. Average school teacher salaries in Arizona are $35,000.

Resource:
Brown University maintains a list of many of the environmental studies programs at U.S. colleges and universities at: http://envstudies.brown.edu/Dept/ but environmental degree programs in Arizona can be found in Chapter 4 of this web site. The Center for Conservation Biology Network offers another list of college environmental programs at: http://conbio.rice.edu/cnie/dep/

		

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Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP)
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)
PO Box 5768     Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768     Phone: (928) 523-1275     Fax: (928) 523-1280
E-mail: eeop@nau.edu

Last updated: May 27, 2005