Before we get more into the details of an environmentalist, one thing should be clear that becoming an environmentalist is neither an easy task nor is sustaining as one. To become an environmentalist you have to be completely inclined towards helping the environment and not worry about your personal needs. You should become an environmentalist only if you are completely dedicated to protecting and improving the environment. Career opportunities for an environmentalist have exploded in recent times. This has been due to the extremely harmful effects on the environment caused by excessive pollution and creation of biological and industrial wastes. Every natural habitat seems to be under threat whether its land, water, animals, forests etc. The condition of the earth has become so bad that it seems to have seeped down to the core of the earth. This has also opened gates for different types of people with different specialties such as designing, mining, constructing, etc who can work as environmentalists.
Natural resources are the backbone of an economy. The primary concern of an environmentalist is environment protection.
Good in science, inclination for research, habit of questioning and analysing everything endlessly
Great communication skills. You might be required to deal with people at the grassroot level to learn from or teach them effective farming/ agriculture technology. You might also have to interact with prominent national or global personalities if you are advocating policy changes, etc.
Good analytically skills.
Ability to handle adversities and move on. Land, water, forests and agriculture are crucial for the environment. Big industries have huge stakes in these segments. Taking them on, advocating policy changes, fighting endless court battles and taking out rallies requires patience and perseverance and large dollops of courage.
Getting there :
You can study any discipline to become an environmentalist. Taking subjects like biology, physics, chemistry and maths at Class 12 is not necessary. A degree in environmental studies can help. Many NGOs offer training capsules.
Salaries depend on the organisations you work for and the country. Starting salaries at NGOs could be about Rs. 20,000 per month. Salaries for middle and senior level people or researchers could start from Rs.50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per annum. An eco - entrepreneur or consultant could earn good money, provided their ventures are successful.
Institutes and URLs
Department of environmental studies, University of Delhi, www.du.ac.in/index.php?id=416&L=0-
School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (MSc in environmental science) www.jnu.ac.in/SES
School of Development Studies, Ambedkar University, New Delhi www.aud.ac.in/academic/schools/sds-
Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University, Mumbai sndt.digitaluniversity.ac-
Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment, New Delhi www.ecology.edu/iiee/courses.htm-
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi.
Conserve and Improve
From the time the world was getting suffocated with the amounts of smoke exhaled from cars and factories to now when the ozone layer is depleting leading to global warming and other environment related issues, environmentalists have been fighting not for their own rights but genuinely for the environment for decades.
People should understand that the environment is directly linked to the life and livelihood of every human being. Also, it plays a crucial role in every sector of the economy.