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UNSW : UNSW Atmosphere Study Guide
Atmosphere Study Guide 5 HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED? WHERE WILL I WORK? The atmosphere blankets the entire planet and is crucial to the survival of life on Earth. Because of this, working to understand the atmosphere is very much a global pursuit, and a career in the field could take you all around the world. If you choose to work in a research capacity, there are many research groups across the planet that are working in different capacities to unravel the complex interactions that result in our atmosphere and control our climate. Many of these roles will require to you to travel out into the field to collect data, which can often involve going to some interesting and isolated places. There are also many research positions available in Australia. As our country already has such extreme weather patterns, it is particularly important for us to understand how things are going to change in the future and how we can reduce our negative impact on the atmosphere. As well as groups in institutions such as universities, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, there are many research positions available with industries around the country. These include mining, construction and energy companies, that are looking to reduce their impact on the environment. There are also jobs with local and federal government, which can involve research and policy advising. For those who are passionate about helping the environment in a more direct way, there are opportunities within not- for-profit organisations where you will be working solely to protect the environment. There are numerous ways that you can work with the Earth’s atmosphere – from researching changing weather patterns and humanity’s impact on the atmosphere, to coming up with policies to slow climate change or ways to soak up carbon. If you have an interest in science and the processes that influence our everyday lives, this could be the perfect field for you. Choose your nine to five If you choose to work in atmospheric science you might end up researching in diverse parts of the world, such as Antarctica or Hawaii, or studying local weather patterns closer to home. There are also many laboratory jobs, for example, you could study a chemical to predict how it will interact with the atmosphere. For those who are more interested in information technology, you could also work from your desk looking at computer models that predict how the climate will change and sorting the data coming in from the field. Working as a researcher provides great freedom in your day to day activities - you and your fellow scientists are responsible for choosing what you do each day what you want to research next. This is often what scientists love most about their jobs. Beyond research If you picture yourself working in an office environment, there are many ways you can contribute to the protection and understanding of the atmosphere. Government and industry need people with a strong understanding of atmospheric science to develop policies for the future. There is also a need for communicators who can translate the science, as the general public also needs to understand climate change. A career in the field could take you all around the world. Want to be a weathermaker? Imagine a job where your research can directly impact the weather and the future of our planet. This is what atmospheric scientists do everyday, and their work will become increasingly important as our climate continues to change. Careers, industry and courses iSTOCKPHOTO Atmospheric science combines chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology and these will all make up part of your preparation for a career. For this reason, it is important that you keep these subjects up at high school in order to ensure the easiest path into a relevant university degree. At the University of New South Wales, there are many pathways that can lead you to a career in atmospheric science. The most straight forward and specific is the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Science) with a major in climate science. This four-year course will give you all of the tools that you need to become an atmospheric scientist, with a particular focus on climate science - an area with a growing number of jobs available as climate change has a bigger impact on society. There is also the three-year general Bachelor of Science that will give you broad skills across a range of disciplines related to atmospheric science. You can major in marine science (physical oceanography) or mathematics and statistics, all of which can tie in with atmospheric science in the future. The atmosphere is closely linked to the ocean, and mathematics and statistics are crucial to interpreting data, so these majors would set you on your way to a career in atmospheric science. Finally, there is the Bachelor of Environmental Science, a four- year degree that teaches you about the environment and the interactions that keep it balanced. The degree offers majors in Earth science and oceanography that can set you up for a career researching how the Earth and ocean affect the atmosphere. For more information please see: www.unsw.edu.au STUDY AT UNSW