majestic mountains

Earning an Environmental Science Degree in Ohio

From the Nor'easters that deliver a snow-and-ice-packed punch in the winter to the hot and humid dog days of summer, Ohioans aren't featherweights when it comes to Mother Nature's extremes.

But scientists here are raising concerns about the Buckeye State's environment; concerns that extend far beyond the typical battening down of the hatches for a Lake Erie-fueled snowstorm.

From the soil to the skies, Ohio's environmental woes are substantial and sobering. The safety of the drinking water in Ohio has long been in question, and recent statistics show that more than 2.3 million people here drink water from systems that have been flagged with Safe Drinking Water Act Violations. Air pollution in Ohio isn't any better, with the Cincinnati region earning the dubious distinction of being one of the top 20 most polluted areas in the U.S. for year-round particle pollution. Adding insult to injury, Ohio is home to no less than 38 toxic Superfund sites.

There's a lot of work to do in Ohio, but for dedicated environmental scientists, it's work that comes with its share of rewards. Earn the right education and you, too, can become a steward of Ohio's environment as you set your sights on achieving a cleaner and healthier tomorrow.

What Can I Do with an Environmental Science Degree in Ohio

From governmental agencies to nonprofits and watchdog groups to private consulting firms, protecting Ohio's environment is the mission of many.

The Ohio Environmental Council is a big name in environmental protection here, long considered the state's largest environmental advocate. For more than 50 years, the Environmental Council has worked to restore and protect the quality of the air, water, and land in Ohio.

SEED Ohio is another major player that consists of a group of nonprofit partners like the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, and the Ohio River Foundation who work together to address some of the state's most complex environmental issues.

Environmental consulting in Ohio is big business, with companies like HZW Environmental Consultants providing environmental and safety consulting to enterprises throughout Ohio and the U.S.

While your paycheck will likely vary based on your educational level and the sector in which you work (private industry often pays more than nonprofits and governmental agencies), 2020 BLS statistics show impressive salary averages for professionals in environmental science in Ohio. For example, environmental scientists and specialists earned an annual, average salary of $79,450, while geoscientists earned $80,770 and hydrologists earned $86,630.

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 Ohio

Advancing to the top of the field in environmental science usually requires a solid graduate course of study. Fortunately, Ohio is home to its share of excellent master's degrees in this emerging field.

Ohio University's MS in Environmental Studies is a great example of this field's interdisciplinary focus. The university boasts a number of high-profile partners like the Midwest Biodiversity Institute, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for exciting practical experiences and applied research opportunities.

OSU, one of the biggest players in post-secondary education in the state, also offers an excellent master's program in environmental science. The MS in Environmental Science here gives students the opportunity to personalize their program through one of four specializations: agroecosystems science, climate change science and policy, water issues, and environmental public health.

Bachelor's in Environmental Science in Ohio

Both OSU and Ohio University also offer undergrad programs in environmental science for those new to the field.

OSU's BS in Environmental Science comes complete with an internship experience and optional study abroad experience. Students of this program have studied the environment and sustainability in locales like the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Iceland.

Ohio University's BA in Biological Sciences - Environmental Biology is ideally suited for students with an interest in natural resource management or for those with graduate study on their mind.

Undergrad options are plentiful in Ohio, with schools like Cleveland State University, Ohio Dominican University, Capital University, Ashland University, and Miami University also offering bachelor's degrees in environmental science.

Online Environmental Science Degree Options from Schools in Ohio

It's quite common to find partially and even fully online degrees in environmental science, thanks to many schools recognizing the needs of today's adult learners. These programs offer convenient and flexible distance-based study that allows students to earn their degree from the comfort of their home.

For example, Findlay University offers an MS in Environmental, Safety, and Occupational Health Management program that can be completed on-campus, online, or through a combination of online and on-campus study.