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How to study better as a postgraduate environment student

James Davis

Careers Commentator
Degrees in environment are quite broad, calling for a wide variety of study techniques to succeed. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Programs like the Master of Environment from Griffith University provide students with a platter of different subjects relevant to environmental sustainability, such as economics, the development of indigenous people, environmental management, pollution and more. As such, students require a number of study techniques and features to keep in mind throughout their degree to ensure greatest success. So, without further adieu, here are some pieces of advice we’d give to environment students.

Solve extra problems in your quantitative subjects

With many of these programs, you’ll have to undergo subjects like environmental economics in the case of Griffith’s course, or perhaps statistical methods in the case of Macquarie’s Graduate Diploma of Environment. These aren’t things most people can learn effectively simply by watching lectures. Taking part in as many problems concerning each topic as you can afford will drastically improve your ability to succeed. Granted, you’ll be given problems to solve week-by-week, but as a postgrad it’ll be up to you to go the extra mile in doing additional problems until you’re certain of your proficiency in the topic. You can source questions relevant to your current topic online. If you ask your professors, they should also be happy to accomodate you.

Do extra-curricular reading from reputable sources

Specifically, news and articles from outfits like The Economist or Al Jazeera and recent scientific findings. “Environment” is an enormously broad topic; you’ll need as much information as you can consume to gain even a rudimentary understanding of the available material. Do this with a goal in mind, however. If you’re someone who wishes to lobby governments to act against climate change, read about how you can go about doing this, what initiatives have succeeded in the past and why, as well as the converse. General knowledge is important to an extent; specificity should take you the rest of the way. Following this advice requires a career direction or ambition, however. If you currently don’t have one, general research and wide reading will go a long way to developing one.

Engage with discourse on potential solutions to environmental problems

This is tied closely to the second piece of advice. Resources are scarce, but the meaning of that sentiment is nebulous until learning the exact extent. What sort of carbon footprint is this nation responsible for and why? How can we implement this new discovery? How do we convince this nation to adopt policies conducive of reducing warming by 1.5% rather than 3% at the state level? National level? What community efforts can be made to be of marginal help, at the very least? All this study is for nothing without trying to be of practical assistance, even in a simple or small way. By thinking about these problems and seriously considering how they might be solved even before graduation and trying them, you’ll be a stronger student.

These suggestions will require you to put in more time than the courses and research components of your degree. With that said, these are all things you’ll need to do anyway after graduation if you intend to enter the world of environmental sustainability, be it in small communities or global scale. Whether you intend to pivot into a scientific or managerial capacity, the suggested activities will assist you in refining your passion and becoming better equipped to discuss and deal with surrounding complications. Knowledge is power in all cases; through undergoing this line of study, you gain the power to help preserve our world. Good luck and more power to you!