What they do
Environmental research scientists study and record environmental phenomena, as well as plan ways to reduce the damage that human activity has on the environment. They may study the sources and effects of pollution, or other forms of environmental decay and damage, and work out ways to remedy or prevent this. They identify and analyse the source of pollution, develop ways to combat it, and develop conservation and rehabilitation plans to combat the effects of work undertaken through mining, forestry, construction and agriculture. Environmental scientists may work for government departments or for private companies working in the mining, construction or land development industry.
Environmental scientists work in offices and laboratories, and undertake field work in a range of outdoor locations. They may need to travel throughout the State or across the country to conduct field research. Specific weather conditions are often required in order to undertake research. They usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work longer hours at times.
Tools and technologies
Environmental scientists use computers and specialty design and modelling software, as well as sampling and testing equipment, laboratory equipment, and surveying and measuring equipment. They refer to maps and other environmental diagrams. When conducting field research, they are often required to wear safety gear such as hard hats, work boots and high-visibility clothing.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become an environmental research scientist you usually have to study a degree in science, majoring in environmental science, environmental management or a related area.
Obtaining postgraduate qualifications in environmental science may further improve your employment prospects.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant degrees. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.