Passionate About the Environment? Here are 10 Programs for You!
Study what you love while building a better future for everyone.
Looking for a career that will prepare you for the future? Look no further! Tens of thousands of new environmentally-related jobs are expected to be created in the next few years as Canada moves towards greener power, greener business, and greener practices.
Although the pandemic has had huge health and economic impacts on the world, air and water that is cleaner from the reduced human activity shows that we can improve our environment. If your passion for the planet goes above and beyond your own carbon footprint, consider a degree in the environmental field.
Plan ahead for the planet
With most of the world's population now living in cities, enrolling in a program like Planning at the University of Waterloo is more important than ever. Learn how to make our cities more livable, design efficient transportation systems, preserve heritage buildings, and more.
If you'd rather put yourself to the task of conserving and restoring ecosystems, you can find your calling in Environment, Resources and Sustainability or apply your knowledge of science and math in the Environmental Science program.
Get others involved through business
As zero-waste advocate Anne-Marie Bonneau explains, "we don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." One way to extend your efforts beyond your home is to create change in the corporate world.
To get started, check out Environment and Business, the only program of its kind in North America. Sustainability is the new smart business, and students in this program combine finance, ecology, entrepreneurship, ethics, and everything in between in class and during paid co-op experiences.
You can also help address climate change, global food and water security, resource management, and economic growth — all through Waterloo's flexible Geography and Environmental Management program.
To make a difference in people's lives locally and internationally, pursue a degree in International Development. Do an eight-month placement while learning to tackle issues of economic inequality, social injustice, and environmental change.
The hands-on approach
For those who'd like to build a better world with their own hands, you can tackle the elements and develop designs as an environmental engineer or geological engineer. Between learning to clean up pollution problems and preventing future environmental ones, you'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through paid co-op work terms.
Hands-on doesn't stop there. Take to the skies in the Geography and Aviation program, which earns you a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Commercial Pilot Licence. Combine classroom with cockpit and learn about landforms, and weather patterns as you become a pilot.
Finally, computer science and geography are a powerful combination. In Waterloo's Geomatics program, you'll learn to use remote sensing, computer mapping, geographic information systems (GIS), and GPS to analyze all kinds of data. Help governments understand demographic change, identify promising new locations for businesses to expand, track crime rates or the spread of disease, or developing transportation routes.
With the insights and experiences you'll gain from environmental programs like these, changing the landscape of our communities and the world will look less like an impossible dream and more like a quantifiable, encouraging plan.
Take that first step and start your journey towards positive, global environmental change.
Browse all programs at the University of Waterloo
Photo credit: Jeff Topham, One Ocean Expeditions