Environmental economists conduct economic analyses related to environmental protection and use of the natural environment, such as water, air, land, and renewable energy resources. They evaluate and quantify the benefits, costs, incentives, and impacts of alternative options using economic principles and statistical techniques.
Economists conduct research on economic and environmental topics, such as alternative fuel use, public and private land use, soil conservation, air and water pollution control, and endangered species protection. They write academic articles to communicate study results or economic forecasts, analyze data to compare the environmental implications of economic policy, assess the costs and benefits of policies or regulations that affect the environment, and deliver presentations to communicate economic and environmental study results.
Environmental economists perform complex, dynamic, and integrated mathematical modelling of ecological, environmental, or economic systems, develop programs or policy recommendations to promote sustainable development, promote the economic benefits of sound environmental regulations, and teach courses in environmental economics.
Economists’ education varies from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree to a doctoral Ph.D. degree in environmental economics. They require extensive skills, knowledge and work-related experience.
The required skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, judgement and decision making, learning strategies, management of financial resources, social perceptiveness and time management. Environmental economists need knowledge of mathematics, economics and accounting, computers and electronics, education and training, and law and government.
Economists’ jobs are found in non-government organizations, research laboratories and universities. An Environmental economist's salary is commensurate with the nature of the job.
Successful environmental economists are innovative, persistent, adaptable, think critically and pay attention to detail.
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