Environmental Science Student Opportunities
Recent internships for Environmental Science students include:
- NSF sponsored Research for Undergraduates (REU) Programs – Muskingum students have participated in a variety of REU programs at different Universities studying environmental issues. Examples include one student who studied at Furman University as part of their Basin Research program and another who participated in the University of Delaware’s REU program monitoring water samples in the Chesapeake Bay area.
- Yellowstone National Park – summer internships as seasonal park rangers, with varied duties that may include tour guides, trash collection, fire services, trail maintenance, and safety training and enforcement.
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association – field instructors lead units for 4th-8th grade students integrating global education, multi-cultural studies, environmental issues and the arts.
- Ohio Division of Wildlife – opportunities are available in both the areas of fish and wildlife management.
- Columbus Zoo – opportunities to participate in animal care and educational programs.
- Colgate-Palmolive offers a Corporate Technology Summer Program for college juniors and seniors to learn within a corporate setting. Participants are responsible for a research project under the guidance and support of a mentor.
Research opportunities are available through the departments that make up the interdisciplinary environmental science major. Biology, Chemistry, and Geology professors at Muskingum perform field work at The Wilds throughout the academic year and particularly in the summer. Student research during the summer is often supported through the College’s Summer Muskie Fellows Program. Some examples of research activity include:
- Dr. Danny Ingold (Biology) works with students studying grassland birds at The Wilds. His current summer research student is studying nest site fidelity among ground-nesting birds at The Wilds.
- Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau (Chemistry) and Dr. Toyin Osunsanya (Biology) have worked on a joint project to determine the relationship between the chemical composition of the soil and the resultant bacterial population of reclaimed strip-mined land from The Wilds.
- Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau (Chemistry) is studying polymer-catalyst composite materials used in the electro-oxidation of pollutants in wastewater treatment processes. She works with a current student participating in the Muskie Fellows program in conjunction with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to analyze water and soil samples from the Salt Creek Watershed.
- Dr. Stephen Van Horn (Geology) is working with another student in the Muskie Fellows program, studying the distribution of Ostracoda (a nearly microscopic crustacean) at The Wilds. Dr. Van Horn and his research students have also conducted a survey of major ion concentrations in surface water.
Career Possibilities for Environmental Science Majors:
Career paths for Environmental Science majors are extremely varied. Possibilities include, but are not limited to working as an environmental consultant, performing government service in agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Forest Service, working for a non-profit organization such as the World Wildlife Fund or The Nature Conservancy, performing laboratory analysis of environmental pollutants, and environmental education.
Alternatively, students may chose to continue their education and earn advanced degrees by attending graduate or professional school in a number of more specialized programs including those in environmental law, engineering, scientific research, and economics.