Campus to Careers: The Career Paths of Alumni of Interdisciplinary Environmental ProgramsPresented by:David Blockstein, Ph.D., National Council for Science and the Environment, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
Presentation Outline • Lead Organizations: NCSE, CEDD and ECO • The Need for Academic Environmental Programs • Characteristics of Environmental Programs • The Environmental Sector • Federal Employment • Campus to Careers Study
NCSE Objectives • To promote science for the environment • To enhance programs at academic institutions • To catalyze and to advance science-based ideas from diverse communities • To communicate science-based information to the public • To develop science-based solutions for environmental challenges
The Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) is a professional association of deans of colleges of natural resources and the environment, directors of institutes of the environment and other academic environmental programs. There are presently 110 members nationwide.
CEDD Objectives • Advance knowledge and learning in the interdisciplinary environmental sciences and studies. • Improve academic environmental educational and research programs and facilities. • Advance cooperative efforts among CEDD members, with other scientists, and with federal, tribal, state and local agencies.
CEDD Planning Group on Workforce Task: Study the current and future job market for graduates of CEDD's institutions and programs. Determine how programs can improve the preparation of their students for environmental careers. http://www.ncseonline.org/CEDD/workforce
CEDD Planning Group on Workforce Members: David Parker, Director of Career Development, Bren School of the Environment and Management, University of California at Santa Barbara Bill Winner, Program Director, Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, Oregon State University Gwen Geidel, Associate Dean, School of the Environment, University of South Carolina Jeff Cook, President, Environmental Careers Organization Peter Otis, Director of Career Development, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University Mitch Thomashow, Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, Antioch New England Graduate School Joyce Berry, Associate Dean, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University Richard Rich, Director, Institute for Environmental and Energy Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
The Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) • ECO's mission is to protect and enhance the environment through the development of diverse leaders, the promotion of careers, and the inspiration of individual action. • ECO accomplishes this through internships, career advice, career products, research and consulting. • Founded in 1972, ECO has placed nearly 7,500 college, graduate students and recent graduates in environmental internships in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
A Call for Systematic Change The tragedy is that our graduates, steeped in traditional technical education, liberal arts, economics, and the humanities, are themselves too often emerging from our universities blind to reality – oblivious to the realities of a finite Earth. Ray Anderson, Chairman Interface Flooring Systems Inc. NCSE National Conference, January, 2003
Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century “Environmental education and training should be science based, but should be given a renewed focus on preparing students for broad career horizons….” Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century: The Role of the National Science Foundation, National Science Board, February 2000.
Complex Environmental Systems “NSF’s goals in environmental education should be twofold: to prepare the future environmental workforce at many levels- researcher, teachers, resource managers, and technicians-and to raise the environmental literacy of the general public.”-From Complex Environmental Systems: Synthesis for Earth, Life and Society in the 21st Century, NSF Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, January 2003.
Not All Are Created Equal:An Analysis of the Environmental Programs/Departments inU.S. Academic Institutions Until May 2003 Aldemaro Romero* and Christina JonesEnvironmental Studies ProgramMacalester College1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105-1899USA *Present address: Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University, P.O. Box 599, State University, AR 72467, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.macalester.edu/environmentalstudies/MacEnvReview/equalarticle2003
Source: Romero and Jones 2003 n = 1061
Higher Education Environmental programs added per year* Source: Romero and Jones 2003 *14 programs in 1958; 1061 in 2003.
Environmental Programs/Departments by Name (2003) Source: Romero and Jones 2003 n= 1257
Types of Environmental Degrees Offered (May 2003) Source: Romero and Jones 2003
Institutional Locationsof Environmental Programs • Undergraduate • College/University-wide = 41% • Within a University College, Division or School = 44% • Within a Department = 15% • Graduate • College/University-wide = 39% • Within a University College, Division or School = 35% • Within a Department = 26% Source: Focht, W. Study of Environmental Deans' and Directors' Perspectives on Environmental Curricula (draft report from initial findings; Summer 2003)
Table 7. Vital statistics of those programs/departments that responded to Romero’s survey. Data Number Number of Students 32,309 Number of 1998 graduates* 8,471 Number of 1999 graduates* 3.493 Number of 2000 graduates* 2,006 Number of 2001 graduates* 1,657 Number of 2002 graduates* 1,229 Full-time faculty 5,499 In Department/Program 2,396 Shared 4,284 Part-time 2,872 *These are gross underestimations since the numbers depend upon the responses to interviews. Vital Statistics of Programs/Departments of Survey Respondents Source: Romero and Jones 2003 *These are gross underestimations since the numbers depend upon the responses to interviews.
Analysis of Core Requirements for Undergraduate Programs (n = 60) From: Manning, K. 1999. Consortium on Environmental Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Insights from the White Oak Symposium. Center for Resource Economics/Island Press.
Employment By Occupation 2000 and Projected 2010 Occupation Employment (in thousands) Change 2000 2010 Number Percentage Biological Scientists 73 88 15 21.0 Conservation Scientists 16 18 2 8.3 Forest Conservation 20 22 1 3.9 Other Life Scientists 28 33 4 15.9 Chemists 84 100 16 19.1 Environmental Scientists 64 78 14 22.3 Geoscientists 25 30 5 18.1 Hydrologists 8 10 2 25.7 Economists 22 26 4 18.5 Env. Protection Techs 27 34 7 24.5 Projected growth of environmental science occupations Source: ECO 2002, Complete Guide to Environmental Careers
Important and emerging eco-careers • Pollution prevention/waste reduction specialist • Conservation biologist/ecosystems manager • Environmental information technology/GIS • “Dual track” environmental manager • Global climate change researcher • Renewable energy and energy management • “Smart growth” urban planner • Policy integration specialist • Community organizer • Fundraiser, “rainmaker”, dealmaker • Environmental economist • Environmental health specialist Source: ECO 2002
Environmental careers in 2002 Federal government 191,000 State government: 185,000 Local government: 400,000 Environmental industry: 790,000 All other 125,000 Total 1,691,000 Source: ECO 2002
Federal Government Employment Trends: 2003 Source: ECO 2002
Federal Natural Resources Agencies Confront an Aging Workforce and Challenges to Their Future Roles • Renewable Natural Resources Foundation Conference on Personnel Trends, Education Policy and Evolving Roles of Federal and State Natural Resources Agencies • Over 80 delegates from 25 states and numerous natural resource disciplines • In association with American Association for the Advancement of Science • October 2003
Emerging Demographic Trends • “Graying of the Green Workforce” • Agency leadership and science capacity most affected • DOI, Forest Service, and EPA will lose over half SES members by 2007 • Key functions also impacted: • Interior Dept.—61% of its program managers • Forest Service—81% of its entomologists and 49% of its foresters • EPA—45% of its toxicologists, and ~30% of its environmental specialists • Lost institutional memory • Difficulty in maintaining core scientific competencies Source: RNRF 2003
From Campus to Careers: A Study of Career Paths taken by Alumni of Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs at the Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctoral Levels
Campus to Careers Project Context • CEDD members need information about the job market and career paths for graduates • Lack of quality data problematic • CEDD members want to use curricula to address career needs • Planning Group on the Workforce formed
Goals and Objectives • Develop baseline and longitudinal data on the career paths of alumni • Identify career successes and challenges for alumni • Create a standardized methodology for ongoing tracking • Disseminate study results to students, programs, employers, and other stakeholders
Desired Project Outcomes • Accurate data regarding the career paths of graduates • Identification of alumni career successes and challenges, perceptions of how well programs prepared alumni for workforce, further education and scholarship • Informed faculty discussions and decisions regarding curricula and support services to improve the career outcomes of their graduates • Information to assist increasing the diversity of students in environmental programs and workforce • Continuous improvement of all aspects of environmental programs
Desired Project Outcomes cont. • Information for current and prospective interdisciplinary students about available career opportunities, their requirements, and how to obtain them • Methodology for ongoing tracking, including taxonomy of fields and programs • Data provided to academic programs, current and future students, and other stakeholders • Reports • Facilitated meetings
Project Activities The Planning Group on the Workforce has discussed the following activities as a way to further refine the project, gather data and ensure data gets back to programs. • Alumni (1994-04) Career Path Survey • Longitudinal Study • Career Roundtables • Pilot Study
Alumni Career Path Survey • Survey alumni of interdisciplinary environmental studies programs from 1994-2004 • Baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels • Work products: • Comprehensive report for environmental programs • Student guide • Report summary for employers and other stakeholders
Alumni Study Outcomes • The demographic profile of graduates • Educational and professional career progression • How well their education prepared alumni for careers • What programs and students should do differently • Recommended changes to curriculum and teaching methods • How alumni view the delicate balance among higher education’s many goals
Longitudinal Study: Class of 2005 • Baseline shortly after graduation • Annual tracking through 2014 • Comprehensive reports first, fifth and tenth years • Shorter report “updates” with comparative tables other years • Student guides
Pilot Study • Create web-based survey instrument • Pilot with Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, University of South Carolina School of the Environment, UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management • Analyze existing data and report key findings • Identify data gaps • Use this information to design larger surveys
Group Discussion • Concept • Methodology • Partners • Funding • Next Actions