Environmental Science Outcomes and Alumni Stories

“The Environmental Science program at Canisius is more than just a curriculum. You are a part of a family, the professors and staff work with you to develop your knowledge and skills to be the best version of you. The program helps you develop an extensive knowledge of  biology, chemistry, ecology and conservation along with the well-rounded education you find at Canisius University. I started at Canisius looking to get a degree, but I left with so much more.”

Matthew Kongesor ‘20
County Program Technician, USDA Farm Service Agency

What can you do with a degree in environmental science?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 Environmental Scientists and Specialists earned a median pay of $73,230 a year. Today the entry-level job requirement is still a bachelor’s degree, and the job outlook is strong. In fact, environmental science jobs are expected to grow at a rate much faster than the average of all occupations.
Your degree will open the door to a variety of opportunities in the private and public sector. Your job may require you to work in the field outdoors, in the lab, or in a traditional office.

Here are just some of the many possibilities:

  • Aquatic/Wetlands Biologist
  • Conservation Ecologist
  • Conservation Planner
  • Director of Sustainability
  • Fishery Manager
  • Horticultural or Plant Biologist
  • Environmental Assessor
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Environmental Planner
  • Environmental Policy or Compliance Officer
  • Environmental Restoration Ecologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Technician
  • Fisheries Scientist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Land Use Planner
  • Research Scientist
  • Restoration Ecologist
  • Water Conservationist
  • Wildlife Educator
  • Wildlife or Forestry Officer

Hear from Our Students

Katherine Carbeck '17 

Majors/Minors at Canisius: Environmental Science
Current position: PhD Student in Forest and Conservation Science at University of British Columbia 
Current responsibilities and projects: My thesis focuses on a small, isolated population of a song sparrow subspecies on Mandarte Island, British Columbia. My work will contribute to a 47-year dataset to help answer questions about how climate change has affected the population dynamics of the residents on the island. It is my goal to create a climate niche model that can be used to predict future distributions and determine if the population can continue to persist.
Awards and positions held at Canisius: 
  • Canisius Earning Excellence Program (CEEP) Award Winner
  • Environmental Science Award for Academic Excellence
  • Environmental Science Award for Excellence in Research
  • BIO 111 & 112 Laboratory and Course Teaching Assistant
  • Research Assistant in Avian Biology Lab - Dr. Sara Morris
What did you value most from your Canisius experience?
The small class sizes, coupled with keen professors, made my experience at Canisius extremely rewarding. Having professors that are enthusiastic about course material and are invested in student learning undoubtedly had a positive influence on my education.
How did the Environmental Science program prepare you for your career?
Courses in the Environmental Science program provide students with a wide range of skills, from cell biology to ecosystem level courses like community ecology. Students who go through the program also have the opportunity to gain valuable field skills through intensive field labs. Field Ecology was easily my favorite course taken at Canisius, not only because the labs were extremely fun, but because I have found myself referring back to the content from this class numerous times since graduating. 

Stephanie Schelble '12 

Majors/Minors at Canisius: Environmental Science and Biology
Additional higher education degrees or certificates: Master of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi and Certified Peace Officer
Current position: Erie County Park Ranger
Current responsibilities and projects: I enforce the laws of all Erie County parks and act as an educator for the citizens of Erie County teaching programs about the natural world as well as field the public’s questions and concerns. I also assist with moving the county forward on conservation projects to make our parks a rich experience for our visitors and a suitable home for our wildlife.
Awards and positions held at Canisius : 
  • Research Assistant: Costanzo Lab
  • Research Assistant: MARS program
  • Teaching Assistant Vertebrate Zoology
  • Member of Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation
  • Excellence in Research Graduate Award
  • Environmental Science Excellence Graduate Award
What did you value most from your Canisius experience?
Hands down my most valuable experience from my time at Canisius was the wealth of information and friendships I made with my fellow students and my professors. Connecting with so many brilliant minds helped me form the rich knowledge base that I use in my job every day. From these relationships, I was able to foster my curiosity and gain many valuable experiences. 
How did the Environmental Science program prepare you for your career? 
Learning geology and taking chemistry courses focused on common ways environmental scientists assess the health of ecosystems helps me look at the parks and habitats I protect with a wide lens. I see the forest through the trees, I suppose! This generalists’ approach that my Environmental Science degree gave me helps me problem-solve and makes me an effective team member.