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Earning an Environmental Science Degree in New York

You can't be home to the most populous and the most densely populated city in the nation and not have your share of environmental woes. NYC, long plagued by issues associated with overpopulation, including increasing greenhouse gas emissions and poor drinking water quality, is undoubtedly one of New York's biggest environmental challenges. But in recent years, it's also become the epicenter of some of the state's most robust environmental efforts.

The NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability has set the stage for a greener future with a roadmap for reducing the city's greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050, which includes expanding solar power resources, upgrading city buildings through low-cost energy efficiency options, achieving a Zero Waste goal through waste reduction and recycling programs, and implementing green building initiatives, among others.

It's a lofty goal that requires both short- and long-term benchmarks and the combined efforts of local, state and national governmental agencies, nonprofits, and private industry. With the right education under your belt, you can earn a front row seat to this monumental undertaking and become part of the city's efforts to create a national and international model for positive environmental change.

What Can I Do with an Environmental Science Degree in New York

New York's environmental efforts are alive and well, thanks to a plethora of agencies in the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors. New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation is the ringleader here, serving as a home to all state programs whose goal it is to protect the environment. This massive organization was given an equally massive boost in funding by Governor Cuomo a few years back - an historic $300 million, to be exact.

There are also plenty of nonprofit watchdogs in the state whose mission involves public outreach and education. Environmental Advocates of New York is a big name here, championing causes for the environment, conservation, wildlife, and public since 1969. In fact, this group had a hand in passing some of the state's biggest environmental laws, such as the bottle deposit law, the first acid rain law, the Clean Indoor Act, and the Hudson River Estuary Management Act, among many others.

Private environmental consulting firms are abundant here, as well, like GRB Environmental Services, Inc., which boasts big name clients like the New York State DOT, the NYC Department of Transportation, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pursue a career in environmental science in New York and you'll be part of a growing profession that also comes with a competitive paycheck. According to 2020 BLS statistics, environmental scientists and specialists in New York earned an annual, average salary of $83,000, while geologists earned $79,670 and hydrologists earned $89,860.

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers, and Hydrologists reflect state data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed September 2021.

Master's in Environmental Science in New York

As expected, New York is home to its share of excellent master's degree programs in environmental science, among both state schools and private universities. NYU's School of Engineering offers an MS in Environmental Science that's rich in both research and scholarly and hands on exploration of areas like contamination remediation, natural and urban environmental systems management, water and energy supply and demand chains, and urban water cycle/watershed studies.

Pace University's MS in Environmental Science is another notable program, coming in strong with research initiatives taking place both in the region and across the globe.

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Bachelor's in Environmental Science in New York

There's also no shortage of undergraduate programs in environmental science in New York for recent high school grads or career changers. The University at Albany's BS in Environmental Science program is among the impressive bachelor's offerings in the state. This program comes complete with your choice of concentration in ecosystems, climate change, geography, or sustainability science and policy and an opportunity to complete an internship with an environmental consulting firm or local/state/federal agency.

Wells College's BA in Environmental Science doesn't disappoint, either, offering students a minor in sustainability, a host of excellent internship and study abroad opportunities, and even an opportunity to participate in the program's Floating Classroom, which takes you along a cruise of Cayuga Lake as you study chemistry and lake biology.

Online Environmental Science Degree Options from Schools in New York

Does your schedule and/or location make studying on-campus difficult or even impossible? Not to worry - New York also has a selection of online programs that'll get you the education you're after. For example, Long Island University - Post is home to the MS in Environmental Sustainability, which delivers up to half the courses online.