Meaning of environmental health becomes more than just clean air

Mike Fletcher - Director of Environmental Health Programs

Mike Fletcher – Director of Environmental Health Programs

Environmental Health is “the science of protecting the human environment.” The human environment consists of wherever you “work, live or play.” An Environmental Health practitioner helps keep human environments healthy and safe from chemical, biological or physical hazards, such as lead, pesticides, bacteria and radiation.

The primary focus of an environmental health practitioner is to prevent hazards by educating the public or worker. Many EH practitioners are working as inspectors or managers of our environment. Environmental health includes 3 occupational categories: public health, environmental protection and workplace safety. There are many varied EH jobs with government, industry and consulting firms. The variety of job possibilities and not being tied down to an office are two of the characteristics of the environmental field that attract many EH students.

Our Environmental Health Program is nationally accredited. Some agencies, like the U.S. Public Health Service, hire only graduates of accredited schools for positions in environmental health The Environmental Health Officer position with the USPHS is a high paying, challenging career with many travel opportunities.

Our EH Program coursework provides marketable skills and knowledge. Specialized courses, such as environmental protection, epidemiology, food sanitation, soil morphology, toxicology and occupational health provide specific training for a career as an environmental health practitioner.

EH students develop an understanding of the effect of hazards on the human body, the effect of pollutants on ecosystems and the role of humans as an integral part of the biosphere.

EH students are required to have an internship. Internships give the student first-hand practical experience in the environmental health field. Students may intern with companies or agencies across the area, state or nation. Students may earn up to 8 credit hours for an internship and may get paid at the same time. Not a bad deal.

International opportunities are available. This spring, we are teaching International Environmental Health (EH352) and concluding it with an exciting trip to study various aspects of environmental health in Costa Rica. Students may take courses for credit in other countries. We have had EH students to take coursework at the ITCR College in Costa Rica.

Our active Environmental Health Club promotes EH in the community and helps the student to develop into an EH professional.

Environmental Health graduates find work. 100 percent of our graduates have found jobs, if they have applied themselves to the job search and are willing to move. If you are considering majoring in EH ask yourself three questions:

1) Do I desire to protect the human environment?

2) Do I have the ability to do well in science coursework?

3) Do I like meeting and working with people?

If you answered yes, you have the potential to be an environmental health practitioner. I believe we can find a good fit for you in environmental health. I would be glad to visit with you.

More information on EH careers can be found online at and