The Faculty of Environment is dedicated to positive change both locally and globally.
While Environment students have a range of passions, from protecting the Earth’s vulnerable ecosystems to starting eco-friendly businesses and building greener cities –they all have a desire to create positive change in the world.
There are many different ways to contribute to a sustainable future and reach your #earthgoals.
The Faculty of Environment’s eight interdisciplinary programs help students learn to create sustainable and smart solutions to address complex challenges facing our world. This article explores some programs you might consider based on your different #earthgoals and interests.
Green entrepreneurship includes both incorporating eco-friendly practices in an existing company and starting new companies with eco-friendly practices. It can relate to environmentally sustainable manufacturing, recycling, green products, etc.
Have an idea to change the world?
Interested in starting your own business? Environment and Business and International Development have courses in green entrepreneurship and social innovation.
There is also a business option and various minors that students in any of the programs can take to learn essential business skills. No matter what program you choose, you will have options and resources to be a successful green entrepreneur.
Recently, the Faculty of Environment and Velocity partnered up to launch Velocity Start @ Environment. Velocity is an entrepreneurship program at Waterloo that helps students through 1-on-1 coaching, workshops, mentors, funds etc.
This partnership brings this amazing resource close to Environment students and is available to help anyone looking for advice on their business ideas or even to just explore green entrepreneurship if you don’t know where to start.
Improving cities and your local communities
There are various ways (and programs) to improve cities and make them better for both people and the environment. The Planning program teaches everything from environmental to social challenges facing urban and rural areas. In this program, you have the opportunity to tackle these issues and build a safer and more sustainable area for everyone. If one particular aspect of the program tickles your fancy, you can do a specialization to focus on that and achieve your goals.
The Geomatics program enables you to address certain urban issues through the wide application of modern technology. Issues like sustainable transportation, proximity of commodities to reduce emissions, and monitoring crime and disease rates are just some of the many aspects that you’ll learn to tackle.
Geography is another aspect that is part of the equation when building better communities. Building on a floodplain, glacial geomorphology of an area, and the effects of climate change are some of the concepts you’ll learn in Geography and Environmental Management.
There are also a few other directions that you can take, such as Urban Studies minor. This minor gives you knowledge about how components in an urban environment interact and how to make them better.
Field work (protecting natural resources)
Hands-on experience is a significant component of education, and Environment, Resources and Sustainability (ERS) knows how to do it. In ERS, you will take many courses that have a field work component and you'll have a choice between 12 different field courses. You’ll learn about world’s biggest environmental issues and how to solve them.
Geography and Environmental Management also has a significant field work portion in which you will take courses that revolve around geomorphology and doing personalized research.
The Ecology Lab in the Faculty of Environment is dedicated to guiding, mentoring, and proving tools to students that will help in sampling, researching, and understanding various natural resources issues and how to solve them.
There are also diplomas that you can take, such as the Diploma in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation, which will give you experience in the field.
Working with technology
Are you interested in using cool gadgets, such as drones, to solve some of the complex issues of the world? In Geomatics, you will learn advanced mapping and analysis software, imagery processing, surveying and drones.
With the help of these technologies, you will be able to solve intricate problems including monitoring vegetation health, assisting law enforcement with crime analysis, helping governments generate accurate weather and crop data, and monitoring and predicting the outbreak of diseases around the globe.
Geography and Aviation as well as Geography and Environmental Management provide you with an opportunity to learn these tools. You can also take courses and even do a specialization. Other programs, such as Planning, also have courses and specializations to help you learn and gain experience in these tools.
It can be hard to decide which program you want to take, especially if you are interested in multiple things and have various goals. This is one of the many places where the Knowledge Integration program shines.
It provides you with an opportunity to deviate from a traditional university program style and allows you to build your own program, based on your goals. You can tap into various disciplines and choose your path to work toward your goals.
Environment, Resources and Sustainability also allows 30+ minors across various disciplines, providing a lot of flexibility to pursue your interests. Other programs have varied the number of available minors to add some more diversity.
International travel through programs is a great opportunity to gain experience, knowledge and skills that are not easy to gain otherwise. There is an international travel component available within all the programs, but some of them have it highly integrated in the schedules.
International Development has an 8-month international placement. You will have the opportunity to live in a foreign country for 8 months with locals and learn and experience a new culture, environment and skills.
There are also many international opportunities in Geography and Environmental Management. You can go to Nepal for one of the courses, where you learn at the base of Mount Everest. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience a new environment.
Knowledge Integration has a museum course where you get to travel to various museums in European countries and upon return, you get to put your experience and knowledge to the test by creating museum models.
No matter what program you choose, you will have the opportunity to travel abroad on an exchange or international co-op.
There are many different goals, but programs in the Faculty of Environment give you the knowledge and skills to reach all of them.