Environmental Education is a rewarding career path for people who enjoy working with others, continuing to learn about the natural world, and using their creative energy to build connections between people and the environment. As a general rule, the American public does not understand the complex workings of natural systems and their interaction with human systems. Environmental educators work to break down this barrier to better protection of the environment by sorting through scientific complexity to provide the public with information it can understand and use as well as creating emotional connections between people and the natural world.
Environmental Education includes classroom teaching, but it also includes a number of positions that use the great outdoors as their classroom. Positions can include naturalists, recreation program leaders, resource interpreters, and classroom teachers. Potential employers include nature centers, museums, state and national parks, camps, advocacy groups, and schools.
While there is no explicit Environmental Education concentration offered at Luther, it is possible to develop a course of study preparing for a career in this field. Students interested in this career path should consult faculty about courses to take and to consider developing an individualized concentration.
Graduates who have pursued careers in Environmental Education
Andrew White (’11) graduated from Luther with a degree in Environmental Studies (Policy concentration) and Spanish. He is currently a Seasonal Park Ranger-Interpreter at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In this capacity he connects people to the park by presenting a variety of interpretive programs such as guided hikes, slideshow presentations, and wildlife watches. He also ensures that visitors to the park have meaningful, satisfying, and safe park experiences by helping them decide how to spend their time in the park and informing them about the park’s natural, cultural, and historic resources.