Ohio EPA, The Environmental Education Council of Ohio and The Ohio State University Partner to Launch Career Recruiting Network

Ohio high school students will have new opportunities to explore careers in environmental science and engineering, thanks to a three-way partnership between Ohio EPA, the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO) and The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The three partner organizations will recruit volunteer environmental career ambassadors who will mentor and present information to students or provide opportunities for them to shadow an environmental professional on the job.

Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally said, “The goal is to provide opportunities for students to experience what options are available for a rewarding technological career in Ohio. Connecting students with professionals in these fields is a necessary step to bring all the puzzle pieces together.”

According to Dr. Jeff Sharp, interim director of The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources, “The School is excited to be a partner in this important effort to connect environmental career ambassadors with students and believes this will impact our efforts to reach a much wider cadre of students interested in careers in natural resources and environment fields.”

The program can make students aware of environmental careers available in fields such as air quality, emergency response, energy, environmental design, forestry, geology, pollution prevention, recycling, soil and water conservation, waste minimization and wildlife management.

The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources is offering its new online Environmental Professionals Network as the no-cost platform for educators to locate and schedule ambassadors to speak with students. Professionals can register online and check career activities and volunteer opportunities. Options include making classroom presentations, participating in school career fairs, judging science fairs, hosting field trips, providing internships, mentoring students and young professionals, and recruiting professional peers to join.

The ambassadors and educators also will learn about career-oriented student competitions such as the Ohio Envirothon for high school teams and the National Engineers Week Future City Competition for middle school teams. They will be able to access toolkits and tabletop models that demonstrate real-world environmental processes such as drinking water treatment and cleanup of hazardous material spills.

The program has business community support from the Ohio Environmental Service Industries representing waste management firms and the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council representing chemical firms, as well as employers, federal, state and local agencies, universities, park districts and nonprofit organizations. The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Career-Technical Education is promoting the ambassador program to career counselors, teachers and students.

For more information on how to participate, contact EECO executive director Brenda Metcalf by email or call (740) 653-2649, visit epn.osu.edu to sign up as a volunteer, or at Ohio EPA contact Carolyn Watkins by email, or call (614) 644-2873.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.

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