The program will provide a unique opportunity for students to combine Geotechnology, the environmental sciences and other related fields in the context of multidisciplinary study. It will also train the students with professional skills they need in career development, such as environmental communication, written Communication, project management, and leadership.
The students should expect to learn the latest geotechnology (GIS, RS and GPS) and how to apply this technology to the environment-related fields and careers. Students in this program will gain hands-on skills via field data collection, laboratory analysis, environmental modeling, and internship experiences for future careers.
In 2004, the US Department of Labor identified geotechnology (GIS/RS) as one of the three most important emerging and evolving fields, along with nanotechnology and biotechnology (Nature, Vol. 727, p376). This proposed PSM aims to apply geotechnology to environmentally-related fields. Job opportunities are growing and diversifying as geospatial technologies prove their value in more areas, which include the environmental sciences. This PSM concentration also will meet the increasing demands of geotechnology in the related governmental agencies, the private sectors and local, regional and national NGOs.
Prospective careers for graduates of this program include the following: Environmental Manager, Natural Resources Manager, GIS Analyst, Remote Sensing Specialist, Cartographer, Planner, Safety and Emergency Manager, Surveying Manager, Biodiversity Analyst, Ocean Surveys Analyst, and Water Quality Analyst and Teacher.
Some of the public agencies hiring environmental scientists and geographers with GSI/RS skills include those in the Federal government: National Imagery and Mapping Agency, National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Forest Service, National Parks Service, and the Census Bureau.
At the state, county, and local levels, environmental scientists and geographers with GSI/RS skills work in: environmental conservation, urban planning, emergency management, health planning, housing and community affairs, parks and recreation, coastal restoration, transportation authorities, waste and water management districts.
Environmental scientists and geographers with GSI/RS skills often work in private business sectors or as occupations such as: environmental consulting firms, GIS firms, utilities, site location consultants, insurance industry, port and airport authorities, travel agencies, tourism and publishers of maps, atlases, textbooks, and news and travel magazines.
Some existing or prospective industry partners include:
- NASA Wallops Flight Facility
- Marine Science Consortium
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Monroe County Planning Commission
- Monroe County Conservation District
- Brodhead Watershed Association
- Pocono GIS
Anyone with a B.A. or B.S. degree in environmental studies, geography, GIS, earth science, marine science, environmental chemistry, recreation & leisure and any other environment related majors, would find the program to be a valuable stepping stone to career advancement.