We've got a surprisingly broad swath of ecological regions to enjoy and experience here in Minnesota, ranging from Prairie Parkland to Eastern Broadleaf Forest, all sitting on top of a pretty fascinating geological history that keeps rockhounds fascinated… when they can tear their eyes off our gorgeous forests and lakes.
Those forests support the largest population of timber wolves outside of Alaska and similarly robust populations of deer and game birds. We've been lucky not only in location but also in terms of how our environment here has been managed and maintained… despite widespread logging, some old growth remains and rapid regrowth has kept trees healthy and thriving.
Environmental science has played a role in the health of not only our state but the nation as a whole. Itasca State Park was established way back in 1891 and still protects the vital headwaters of the mighty Mississippi today. We've had a history of taking care of our environment, a history that bolsters the credentials and reputation of our college environmental studies departments. You'll find plenty of solid options for joining that rich tradition of environmental studies at a wide variety of state universities.
What Can I Do with an Environmental Science Degree in Minnesota
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there's always going to be a demand for experts in water quality and hydrology. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, such folks make a solid $75,110 a year here plying their trade.
Soil and plant scientists and other environmental scientists have similar prospects, averaging around $74,000 annually, while wildlife biologists and foresters can expect a salary somewhere in the low to mid 60s.
Opportunities for employment exist with many environmental and engineering consulting firms and with the state itself, as well as other cities and municipalities.
Master's in Environmental Science in Minnesota
It's a little true that everywhere in Minnesota is lake country, but the shores of Lake Bemidji just feel a little bit more lake country-like than anywhere else. So if you're going to get a master's degree in environmental studies anywhere in the state, Bemidji State University and the Center for Sustainability studies is both a gorgeous and effective place to do it. A focus on both generic and regional problems takes you through pollution impacts and resource utilization and protection with cross-disciplinary studies.
For an experience at a slightly larger institution, you can always take advantage of the Minnesota State University at Mankato programs in biological and environmental sciences. With masters of science available in biology, biology education, and environmental science, you can take advantage of all the resources available at a school that prides itself on encouraging both big ideas, and real-world thinking.
Bachelor's in Environmental Science in Minnesota
The public university system here is also your friend at the undergraduate level. You won't go wrong with a bachelor's degree from the flagship University of Minnesota, which offers a major in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management that has specific tracks in conservation and resource management, environmental science, environmental education, and policy, planning, law, and society. It's a full-spectrum approach that lets you tailor your degree plan for exactly the kind of career you are planning on pursuing.
But public schools aren't your only resource for bachelor's programs, as the environmental studies major at Carleton College demonstrates. As one of the top-rated environmental schools in the nation, you will get the opportunity to study not only local environmental issues at places like the Carleton Arboretum, but also to venture further afield to take advantage of wilderness studies on site in the Grand Canyon.