Careers in Environmental Chemistry

Environmental chemistEnvironmental chemists monitor what is in the air, water, and soil to study how chemicals enter the environment, what affects they have; as well as, how human activity affects the environment, advising on the movement and outcome of contaminants in soil and groundwater. Chemists in this field assess long-term risks to ecological and human health.

These professionals have more interaction with others and greater variety of work, less likely to be isolated in laboratories. Environmental chemists may also work for state and federal government land management and regulatory agencies. They may also teach and conduct research as faculty members in academia. Typically performing analytical testing or new product development in the lab, or work with users of chemicals in the field, and safety and regulatory issues in an office.

For more information about Environmental Chemistry.

Employment Routes:

  • Water Treatment Specialist in Water Treatment and Waste Disposal.
  • Environmental Assessment Analyst.
  • Environmental Auditor.
  • Development Scientist for the Federal Government.
  • Research Associate in Universities.
  • Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator in Chemical Product Distributors.
  • Quality Assurance in Manufacturing (Food, Paper, Chemical, Plastics).
  • Analytical Specialist in Engineering Consulting.

More Information on Careers in Environmental Chemistry: ACS.

Responsibilities of Environmental Chemist

While responsibilities do vary significantly from company to company, the basic scope of an environmental chemist is responsible for can be found below:

  • Develop data collection methods and systems according to the elements that are under study.
  • Design and application of experiments. As well as, analysis of contaminants and pollutants. Investigate aspects of chemicals and processes as they occur in the environment.
  • Collect information from observations, samples, and specimens. Record and manage records of observations, samples and specimens in the lab and via fieldwork.
  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches for environmental impact assessments & audits. Application of modern analytical instrumentation including spectroscopy, (NMR, Mass, Light), Microscopy.

CSUCI Courses Offered

CSUCIEnvironmental Chemistry Atmosphere and Climate 
Chem 301: Units 3
Pre-requisite: General Chemistry II
Description: The focus is the fundamental natural chemical processes of the atmosphere, as well as the anthropogenic effects on this system. These include climate change and other current topics of environmental interest and the science behind these processes.
Environmental Chemistry Soil and H2O:
Chem 302: Units 4
Pre-requisite: CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II
Description: Natural and anthropogenic effects on the environment in these systems, including effects on living organisms, hazardous waste and its disposal, and measures to alleviate and prevent environmental problems will be discussed. Includes a laboratory for experiments analyzing water, soil, and tissue samples for pollutants.
Energy and Society:
Chem 344: Units 3
Description: Survey of the physical, chemical, and engineering principles involved in the production of energy from current and potential sources and the economic, environmental, and political issues surrounding energy production.
More Information on Chemistry Degree at CSUCI.

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