While our team of scientists and students are researching the impacts of climate change and pollution on the Indian River Lagoon and around the world, the planet needs more dedicated and passionate people who want to make a positive impact on the environment.
Right in Florida Tech’s backyard is one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in North America, the Indian River Lagoon. The lagoon is home to over 3,500 species and provides a hands-on lab for students. You’ll often find our student’s and faculty hard at work helping restore the lagoon which has been plagued by pollution and massive loss of life.
If you are interested in conservation and finding solutions to the complex issues facing not only the Indian River Lagoon but our planet, here are some majors that can help make a difference.
This one is obvious, but it is more multifaceted than you might think. Renewable energy, sustainability economics, green building and environmental governance are just a few of the facets sustainability students can learn about. Sustainability majors work with research professors and other departments to develop sustainable solutions to the impacts of climate change as well as campus projects, like LEED certified buildings, community gardens and single-stream recycling.
Oceanography majors can explore many niches, including biological, chemical, coastal zone management, geological and physical. This multidisciplinary approach informs scientists on the dynamics of the world’s ecosystems, sea floor geology and fluid dynamics. Using this knowledge, oceanographers are able to develop new ways of restoring wetlands and shorelines, manage wildlife sanctuaries and even understand how red tides spread and solutions to mitigate their impact. Our oceanography students spend a lot of time in the field, getting their feet wet in a tributary or toes sandy on the beach.
Preventing coastal erosion, designing artificial reefs or autonomous underwater vehicles are just a few of the ways ocean engineering majors are helping mitigate the impacts of climate change and making a positive impact on the environment. Students studying ocean engineering spend a lot of time on the water, either on a research vessel or even surfing – yeah, that counts as research. A unique thing about ocean engineering is that it combines so many different disciplines, including civil, mechanical and electrical engineering as well as oceanography.
Civil engineering majors do a whole lot more than design and build vital infrastructure like roads and bridges. Civil engineers are a crucial part of helping build canals, wastewater treatment plants and coming up with sustainable land-development strategies. All of these elements play heavily in mitigating the pressures imposed on ecosystems like the Indian River Lagoon by mankind. Civil engineering students can pursue specializations, including environmental, geotechnical, structural, water resource and construction management.
Inspiring the next generation is incredibly important to continue to build the momentum for addressing global issues like pollution and the impacts of climate change. STEM education majors inspire our youth to think differently about the role science, technology, engineering and math plays in the world. There is currently a shortage of STEM education teachers to provide this greatly needed inspiration. Students pursuing STEM education are advocates for building innovative and creative-thinking skills young people will build on when approaching the many different facets of conservation.
Meteorologists are on the front line of fighting climate change. Thanks to their valuable research on changing ocean temperatures, atmospheric chemistry, oceanography, geology and environmental science, the world is gaining a deeper understanding of the scale of climate change. Meteorology majors are helping provide modeling simulations on the impacts climate change has on rising sea levels, droughts and severe weather patterns which illustrates the urgency to address how humans are negatively impacting natural eco-systems.
Biologists provide the scientific basis for understanding our natural world. From the micro to the macro, they are able to illustrate all the ways humans impact wildlife and their eco-systems. Biological science majors have a wealth of research options to explore, including aquaculture, marine, molecular, biotechnology, conservation and ecology. One of the main research labs that Florida Tech biological sciences students take advantage of is the Indian River Lagoon, where they can see first-hand how human activity can effect a delicate habitat.
Want to learn more about all the ways Florida Tech students and faculty are helping making make a positive impact on the Indian River Lagoon?
If you haven’t already, dive into our Indian River Lagoon Research website.