Atmospheric scientists study the layer of gases, called the atmosphere , that surrounds the earth, as well as conduct research on the weather and climate to determine how they affect humans, plants and animals, and the overall environment. Specialists include meteorologists, who study the lower parts of the atmosphere (primarily the troposphere) and its effects on our weather; climatologists, who study historical weather patterns to interpret long-term weather patterns or shifts in climate to better understand ongoing global climate change; and climate scientists, who work on the theoretical foundations and the modeling of climate change in order to help environmental policymakers base decisions about strategies to reduce negative climate change, design buildings that are more resilient to adverse weather events, better plan efficient land use and agricultural production, and meet other goals. Biologists study various aspects of animal and plant life, such as their origins, anatomy, relationships, development, and functions. They can specialize in a variety of fields. For example, wildlife biologists study specific ecosystems or animal populations, such as a particular at-risk species, or focus on the conser vation and management of wildlife populations. Microbiologists analyze tiny living things that can only be seen with a microscope, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and algae. Chemists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels to determine their makeup and to see how they interact with nonliving and living things. Environ mental chemists are specialized chemists who study the effects that various chemicals have on the air, soil, and water and their cumulative effects on plants, animals, and ecosystems, as well as humans. They specialize in areas such as waste management and the remediation of contaminated soils, air, and water. Biochemists study chemical processes and chemical transformations in living organisms and entire ecosystems.
Cool Careers in Science: Environmental Scientists
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