I knew in 5th grade I wanted to help the environment and ended up with a college degree in civil engineering. That degree was the closest thing to environmental engineering at the time. In fact, environmental engineering was simply 'Drinking Water Treatment' or 'Wastewater Treatment' back then.
Some years later I did graduate work in Hazardous Materials. It was round about the time of Superfund and the course work was more a study of the rule and what technologies were being used to clean up waste and prevent spills, etc. Not exactly theoretically based science.
In the short 20 years since there has been a proliferation of environmental college majors! In fact, there are MANY specialized subjects and I wouldn't know where to start if I was a freshman.
Just a couple weeks ago I got an email from the state air resources agency on a seminar called 'We Are What We Eat and Breathe, and Build — Preventing chronic diseases and protecting the environment by building healthy communities'. OK, somewhat beauracratic in title, but I saved it to view later.
HOO BOY, I watched it today and is it smart. The presenter is highly qualified of course, a doctor turned professor who is superb at seeing the big picture between health and suburban environment.
"When a large part of the population contract the same diseases (eg diabetes, overweight) it is not the result of personal lifestyle choices, it is the result of the environment they live in."
What impresses is the scientific data to back up "Driving makes you sick" and many many other example issues.
Do you think this is all common sense? But how can change be brought about in the everyday decisions about road building, bike riding, and even soda drinking?!
Here is the video, it's long but even the first 10 minutes are worthy!!
If anyone watches, post some of your quotes below. I wish I would've been an Environmental Health major!!!!