Ecosystems and Human Impact

Resources, Strengths, Career Paths, Skills

As we have become more aware of the critical role of Earth’s natural ecosystems and the life-supporting ecological services that they provide, there has been an emergence of widely adopted Ecosystem-Based Management and Ecosystem Restoration practices to preserve these natural wonders. Public and private sector organizations alike have adopted these practices and have created positions to implement them. Minimizing the use of resources while lowering costs is an important incentive for businesses, government, and individuals to innovate and operate more sustainably. To achieve this, there is a need for skilled analysts, consultants, educators, advocates, planners, and policy makers. Many of these jobs did not exist several years ago and this “green” sector of the economy is expected to continue to grow.

Ecosystems and Human Impact majors are in a unique position to take advantage of the many new “green” job opportunities which, according to the federal government, are expected to grow 52% between 2000 and 2016.

Transferable Skills: Students of the Ecosystems and Human Impact major complete their education with a unique blend of scientific skills and an understanding of the way humans impact the Earth by using natural resources. Students will take a multidisciplinary curriculum which prepares them with the following skills:

  • Thinking critically and analytically
  • Employing systems thinking and simulation modeling
  • Solving problems and making detailed observations
  • Conducting research and presenting findings
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Technical writing and communication
  • Public speaking and presentations
  • Understanding of demography and statistics

Career Paths: The major in Ecosystems and Human Impact provides students with an optimal platform for entering a wide variety of fields. Here are some careers students may choose to pursue:

  • Environmental advocacy/lobbying
  • Research of biodiversity and species conservation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental consulting
  • Environmental engineering
  • Ecosystem-based management
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Nonprofit and government work
  • Law and environmental education
  • Resource management and eco-tourism

Resources & Professional Associations: There are many excellent professional organizations and other resources from which a student of Ecosystems and Human Impact will benefit. Below are some websites to help you start your research:

Consider joining on-campus clubs related to environmental conservation and advocacy. On-campus student organizations are a great way to meet people with similar interests who may be able to connect you with professionals in your intended field. Visit the Stony Brook University Student Activities site for more information.

Sample Job Titles: The following lists some of the jobs that graduates of the Ecosystems and Human Impact program at Stony Brook could expect to secure.

  • Project environmental scientist
  • Researcher for major university or company
  • Eco-tourism professional
  • Public health and policy administrators
  • Nonprofit and government advocate
  • Environmental consultant
  • Recycling and waste manager

Note: some of these jobs may require an advanced degree.

Additional Information: For more information on Stony Brook’s Sustainability Studies Program with five majors, and six minors, please visit their website at: