Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Health Sciences Concentration

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Why Choose the Environmental Health Sciences Program?

Do you want interdisciplinary environmental training in biology, chemistry and earth sciences? Consider Wright State’s undergraduate environmental health sciences program. Your faculty member will demonstrate a wide range of expertise. They direct active research programs that provide you practical training in current techniques addressing applied environmental problems. Follow in the steps of other program graduates already employed in public health, industrial hygiene/hazardous materials management, water/air quality protection, and other areas.

Become broadly educated for work in public health, industrial hygiene or environmental protection. A field internship program, operated in cooperation with participating environmental health agencies or industries, gives you an opportunity to gain practical work experience.

Careers

Students graduating from our program get jobs in four primary areas: public health, industrial hygiene, environmental protection, and natural resource management. Each of these fields is briefly described below.

Public Health

The duties of public health officials include community health and epidemiology, restaurant and swimming pool inspections, hazard protection (e.g. asbestos), vector control, proper operation and maintenance of public and private drinking water supplies, and sewage treatment plants. These positions are usually employed by a state, county, or local health department.

Industrial Hygiene

Industrial hygiene scientists help ensure a healthful environment for employees. Specifically, the duties include measuring employee exposure to hazards, evaluating those exposures, and where appropriate, recommending procedures to reduce risks resulting from exposures. Reducing risk may involve communicating information about risks to employees. Employment opportunities may be in the environmental consulting firms, industry, or government.

Environmental Protection

Environmental protection covers those responsibilities of scientists who help ensure a healthful environmental for the general public under the environmental statutes. Duties of environmental protection officials include monitoring air, soil, and water, plants and animals, assessing impacts that chemicals have on individuals, populations, or ecosystems, and investigating the sources of those chemicals. These individuals are employed by consulting firms, large industries, and government.

View the Earth and Environmental Sciences program profile for sample occupations, average salary, and employment projections. 

Real-World Experience

Internship Program Overview

Excellence in the environmental health sciences program has been a hallmark of undergraduate education at Wright State for more than three decades. This reputation developed in large part through a group of environmental specialists from a wide range of government agencies and industries working together with Wright State scientists, first to create the program and then to keep it current. The program is more exciting and relevant now than ever before.

The internship is an essential part of the EHS program It provides you with exposure to real world environmental problems and their solutions, and you are the one who decides where you gain this experience.

Goal and Objectives

The goal of the internship program is to provide a practical work experience for students like you who are enrolled in the EHS baccalaureate program. This brief but important exposure to field work will:

  • Sharpen your skills by giving you the opportunity to apply already developed knowledge of principles, methods and practices within the environmental health sciences
  • Prepare you for continuing study by providing a better understanding of the relevance that the course work has to real-world situations
  • Afford your sponsoring institution an opportunity to train you and other students, gain use of your skills on a short-term basis, and evaluate your future potential for long-term employment after graduation
  • Promote a close working partnership between the university's environmental health sciences program and environmental practitioners in business, industry, and government

Types of Intern Programs

The intern experience is relatively flexible. The specifics of your internship will depend on your specific interests, matching those interests with an employer, and satisfying the program criteria. You may spend your entire internship with one institution in a single or multi-faceted approach (e.g., work with issues related to food, water, solid or hazardous materials, environmental toxicology, employee work safety, or public health), or you may work with various institutions in a multi-program approach.

Requirements

University Criteria

  • Internship consists of a minimum of 400 hours of work. The number of hours worked per week, and the salary earned, are negotiated by agreement between you and the employer. Typically, employers understand that students have multiple responsibilities, and are flexible about when students put in their time.
  • Intern program will be overseen by a Wright State faculty member.
  • You must have 2.5 overall grade point average and must not be on academic probation.
  • You must have already completed three core environmental health sciences courses.

Employer Criteria

  • Local Health Agency:
    • Must be a health agency recognized by the state health department.
    • Must have a registered sanitarian on the environmental staff.
  • State, Regional or Local Planning or Environmental Agency, Industry, or Institution:
    • Must have an environmental specialist qualified either by experience or education.

Operation

The program requires coordination between you, the Environmental Health Sciences intern director, Wright State Office of Career Services, and the potential employer. You are invited to speak to Dr. David Schmidt in the EES department, or staff at Career Services, to get a better understanding of how the program operates.

Summer is often the term chosen for an internship. However, you will increasingly have the option to select a non-summer internship. Regardless of the term that you will work on your internship, you should begin the process 6 months in advance.

If you have completed at least two years of college coursework and have taken three of the core environmental courses, you are encouraged to seek an internship. It is best not to wait until you are almost ready to graduate—it may be too late to get any internship, much less the one you would prefer.

You can search for internship openings by logging in to Handshake at http://www.wright.edu/student-success/career-services/handshake-login-guide and uploading your resume to a specific job opening listed there. Call Career Services at 937-775-2556 for more information. The Career Services staff will be happy to help with resume writing and interviewing skills.

The internship site needs to ensure you a suitable experience in the environmental health sciences. To ensure this, your internship organization must designate a field counselor from its staff to act as your mentor, instructing and advising you during your entire period with them.

On your part, you should acquaint your field counselor with the relevant courses you have completed and your particular interests. In turn, the field counselor should familiarize you with personnel, organization, resources, and office procedures. A carefully planned orientation period at the outset can provide an easy adjustment and smooth working relationship between all parties, and greatly aid you in identifying the general roles and responsibilities for work at the site.

In varying degrees work assignments will attempt to accommodate your interests, but you must recognize that the field institution must carry on with its normal work routine. We hope that Wright State University's objectives for field training can be met with no disruption to regular program undertakings and that your participation will further help the institution accomplish its goals.

A department faculty member is available to visit the institution for the purpose of helping the counselors and students plan activities and assess the progress of the experience.

After the internship is over, you will have the opportunity to share your experience with other students as part of EES 4700. Provided you took your internship before your senior year. You'll need to take EES 4700 your senior year whether or not you have completed your internship. EES 4700 is typically offered during the Fall Semester.

Reports

You are required to submit (mail or fax) activity reports during each week of the internship to Dr. David Schmidt. These reports summarize your daily activities and must be signed by your field counselor. In addition, you must prepare a complete written report of your entire field experience, including a personal assessment of its value toward career development. The final field report should generally adhere to the report outline given below. In addition, you must present a verbal report of all or portions of your field experience as part of your work in EES 4700. Your final grade will require:

  • Documentation that you worked 400 hours
  • Positive evaluation from your field counselor
  • Satisfactory completion of your project report

Evaluation

The field counselor, acting as your mentor, has the primary responsibility for evaluating your performance during the entire period of field placement. A department evaluation form is provided for this purpose, but we invite additional information on the student or the program generally.

Environmental Health Sciences Intern Project Report

The project is to be a worthwhile effort to effectively study a "real world" problem that needs solution by the institution or which provides it with further beneficial information. The report will further develop the student's ability to handle a special problem and how to prepare a well written and documented report.

The title of the project and the assignment is to be determined between the student, the field counselor, and the environmental health sciences intern director.

You are expected to develop a comprehensive outline of the project and present it to your field counselor for review. The project may focus on one focused study or a combination of several environmental activities. The corrected outline is then submitted to the environmental health sciences intern director for evaluation and review. We strongly encourage you begin this process no later than after 80 hours of the intern period.

The special project report should have the following format:

  1. Title page: Name of project, name of institution, name of Environmental Health Science Intern Director, name of student, and date.
  2. Table of contents with page numbers.
  3. One half to one page abstract. Briefly summarize why you did your project, how you did your project, what you found out, and your conclusions.
  4. Background information on why the institution=s activity in this subject area is required; e.g., regulatory history.
  5. Project description, including objectives and methods.
  6. Presentation of results, including data tabulation and analysis, followed by a discussion of what the data shows.
  7. Summary.
  8. Recommendations.
  9. Bibliography. This should include citations to relevant literature and regulations.
  10. Appendix, which includes charts, maps, forms, or letters used.

In addition to these formatting requirements, a Writing Intensive Course for majors has certain additional requirements that must be met:

  • A draft of the report must be submitted for instructor comment two weeks before the end of the semester.
  • The draft must be at least 2,250 words, not counting: title page, table of contents, bibliography, figures, tables, or appendix. Said another way, the 2,250-word minimum encompasses only the abstract and the main body of the report.
  • You must be prepared to respond to comments and submit a revised final report

Academics and Curriculum

The EES-BS-Environmental Health Sciences Concentration is designed to provide you the skills and training required to understand and solve environmental problems that can affect both human and ecosystem health. A primary focus of your coursework will be the transport, fate, and effects of contaminants and other stressors in the home, workplace, and natural environment. You can “try on for size” an area of work that may interest you during an internship program.

View Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Health Sciences Concentration program information, degree requirements, and graduation planning strategy in the Academic Catalog.

Admission

Apply for admission to Wright State University.