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. Ecosystems and Human Impact majors are in a unique position to take advantage of the many new “green” job opportunities every year in an area which, according to the Federal Government, is expected to grow 52% between 2000 and 2016.

Transferable Skills: Students of Ecosystem and Human Impact complete their education with a unique blend of scientific skills and an understanding of the way humans impact the globe by using natural resources. Ecosystem and Human Impact majors 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
  • Operating scientific equipment
  • Detailed knowledge of lab techniques
  • Organizing and maintaining accurate records
  • Technical writing
  • Public speaking
  • Understanding of demography and statistics

Career Paths: The major in Ecosystem 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
  • Not-for-Profit 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 Ecosystem 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
  • Governmental administrators and planners at the federal, state or local level
  • Environmental consultant
  • Geographical Information Systems specialist

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 three minors, please visit their website at: