During our brief existence on Earth, we humans haven't exactly been the best house guests. Forget leaving a wet towel on the floor or eating the last of the leftovers -- our thirst for industry played a lead role in the deaths of 4,000 Londoners during "The Great Smog" nearly 61 years ago and has turned Beijing into "Greyjing." Meanwhile, our collective agricultural genius has created a summertime dead zone the size of Connecticut along the Gulf of Mexico, practically turned Kazakhstan's Aral Sea into a kiddie pool, and was responsible for a little event called "The Dust Bowl." And that's without touching catastrophes like the Exxon Valdez and BP oil spills.
Yet not all of our handiwork causes the planet harm. There are those who dedicate their professional lives to protecting it, and among them, environmental engineers may be some of the most fascinating. They devise manmade solutions that actually benefit the environment, whether they help contain major oil spills, design more efficient recycling methods, manufacture the next best electric car, or even create bridges that help animals safely cross highways.
If you've got a mind for logic and a soft spot for Mother Nature, earning a degree in environmental engineering could be your calling. Offered from the associate to doctoral level, there's a range of choices based on your professional interests. Learn more about environmental engineering degrees, schools and the careers they could lead to in our infographic below.
Please consult the visual for a full list of sources.