Career Environmental Toxicologist


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Career Environmental Toxicologist

  1. 1. Environmental Toxicology Fall 2007
  2. 2. A Day in the Life... <ul><li> </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Toxicology? <ul><li>Study of poisons and their effects, particularly on living systems </li></ul><ul><li>A broad field, overlapping biochemistry, histology, pharmacology, pathology, and many other disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Toxicology can be divided into eight distinct job areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>industrial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pharmaceutical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>academic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>clinical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>forensic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regulatory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>occupational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eco-toxicology or environmental toxicology </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Environmental Toxicology/Ecotoxicology <ul><li>A new and rapidly developing field of study that is concerned with the harmful effects of chemical, physical and biological agents within ecosystems and on living organisms </li></ul><ul><li>Look at where these pollutants end up in the environment and what sorts of damage they cause to the ecological balance of an ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>In the ecological sciences, toxicologists play a part in the identification and elimination of environmental contaminants </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental toxicology has taken on great importance as toxic wastes from a variety of industrial processes pollute the air, water, and soil, creating many hitherto unknown, and often (to the average citizen) undetectable, hazards </li></ul><ul><li>Uses a variety of techniques to study the impact of toxic agents on living organisms and provides powerful tools for assessing the risks </li></ul><ul><li>associated with the presence of these agents </li></ul><ul><li>in the habitats of the organisms </li></ul>
  5. 5. Education <ul><li>Undergraduate Degrees Applicable to Environmental Toxicology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>chemical and physical sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>biochemical sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pharmacology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>medical and veterinary sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>applied life sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>food sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>crop and soil sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>biological sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>environmental science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students with a strong background in the biological sciences who are interested in laboratory research or environmental regulation and policy are encouraged to enter this field </li></ul><ul><li>Sound background in chemistry is essential with a good understanding of biological systems </li></ul>
  6. 6. Accreditation <ul><li>Certification may enhance professional growth and career progression </li></ul><ul><li>American Board of Toxicology, Inc. is a certifying organization: </li></ul><ul><li>American Board of Forensic Toxicology is also a certifying organization </li></ul><ul><li>If you work in environmental health, most states require health specialists to be registered </li></ul><ul><li>National Environmental Health Association </li></ul>
  7. 7. Environmental Toxicology Courses <ul><li>Learn about the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity, how toxicology is used to protect human health through laboratory research, and the development of sound environmental policy and regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum emphasizes the basic biological sciences, including physiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, toxicology and environmental health </li></ul>
  8. 8. University of Minnesota’s Environmental Toxicology Program <ul><li>Offers M.P.H. (Master of Public Health), M.S. (Master of Science), and Ph.D. degrees. </li></ul><ul><li>Students selecting the M.P.H. degree are admitted to the School of Public Health's environmental health major </li></ul><ul><li>Students who select the M.S. degree are admitted to the Graduate School's environmental health program </li></ul><ul><li>Students selecting the M.P.H. option often take additional course work in management and behavioral sciences, and students selecting the M.S. option emphasize laboratory research </li></ul>
  9. 9. Environmental Toxicology MS Program <ul><li>Fundamentals of Epidemiology </li></ul><ul><li>Biostatistics Methods I </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics in Public Health Research and Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to Environmental Hazards </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Health Effects: Introduction to Toxicology </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental and Occupational Health Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental and Occupational Health Masters Project </li></ul><ul><li>Biochemistry and Molecular Biology </li></ul><ul><li>Physiology </li></ul><ul><li>Cell Biology </li></ul><ul><li>Physiological Disposition of Xenobiotics </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory Toxicology </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Toxicology </li></ul><ul><li>Current Literature in Toxicology </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms of Hormone Action </li></ul><ul><li>Pharmacognomics </li></ul>
  10. 10. Other Schools with Environmental Toxicology Programs <ul><li>Clarkson University </li></ul><ul><li>University of California--Davis </li></ul><ul><li>University of California--Riverside </li></ul><ul><li>Cornell University </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Tech University </li></ul><ul><li>Clemson University </li></ul><ul><li>University of Idaho </li></ul>
  11. 11. Job Responsibilities <ul><li>Tasks may include: </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct research and experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Run toxicity tests </li></ul><ul><li>Data entry and interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Trouble-shooting </li></ul><ul><li>Lab maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting water samples and organisms </li></ul><ul><li>Creating field maps </li></ul><ul><li>Developing models to predict the long-term fate and effect of chemicals within an ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Writing reports and presenting findings </li></ul><ul><li>Working with marine biologists and environmental scientists to detect and eliminate contaminants in the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time both in the field and in the lab </li></ul>
  12. 12. Helpful Skills: <ul><li>Solid understanding of biology and chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to work alone and on a team </li></ul><ul><li>Strong verbal and written communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of marine environments and regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Computer skills </li></ul>
  13. 13. Job Demand <ul><li>With the increase in our health consciousness, as well as concern for our environment, a wide and growing variety of career opportunities exist in toxicology </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing specialization in the science of toxicology now provides the toxicologist with a competitive advantage over chemists, engineers, biologists or other scientists without specialized training in toxicology </li></ul><ul><li>Direct entry into the profession is common, particularly in contract research laboratories </li></ul><ul><li>Large firms may recruit prior to graduation, other laboratories advertise as vacancies arise </li></ul>
  14. 14. Where Do Toxicologists Work? <ul><li>The &quot;Job Market Survey&quot; estimates that 9,000 toxicologists are employed in North America </li></ul><ul><li>Of recent Ph.D.’s, 53% entered industry, 34% found positions in academia and 12% in government </li></ul>
  15. 15. Chemical, Consumer Products, Pharmaceutical and Other Industries <ul><li>Industries are the number one employer of toxicologists (47%) </li></ul><ul><li>Product development, product safety evaluation, and regulatory compliance generate a large job market for toxicologists </li></ul><ul><li>Many industries have their own research and product safety evaluation programs, while others may contract their work to specific research organizations that are managed independently from the industry </li></ul>
  16. 16. Academic Institutions <ul><ul><li>Academic institutions are the number two employer of toxicologists (21%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of these opportunities are in schools of medicine and/or public health in major universities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller colleges are beginning to employ toxicologists to teach toxicology in basic biology, chemistry and engineering programs </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Government <ul><ul><li>Government is the third largest employer of toxicologists (14%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most government jobs are with federal regulatory agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many states are now beginning to employ toxicologists with master’s or doctoral degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work for local and federal governments to develop and enforce laws to ensure that chemicals are produced, used and disposed of safely </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Consulting <ul><ul><li>An increasing number of toxicologists are employed in the professional services industry (12%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide professional guidance and advice to local public agencies, industries and attorneys (may act as expert witnesses) involved in problems with toxic chemicals </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Research Foundations <ul><ul><li>A small percent of toxicologists pursue research within nonprofit organizations (4%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public and private research foundations employ toxicologists to conduct research on specific problems of industrial or public concern </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Career Progression <ul><li>Likely to involve spending less time on practical and laboratory-based scientific work and taking on more administrative and supervisory work </li></ul><ul><li>Possible to progress into project management, with responsibility for directing others, and there may be opportunities to move into information work or consulting </li></ul><ul><li>Not as easy in the public sector </li></ul>
  21. 21. Salary for a Toxicologist <ul><li>Level of education and length of experience are key determinants of salary </li></ul><ul><li>Entry level with doctoral degrees are often in the range of $35,000 to $60,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-range professionals with a Ph.D. degree and 10 years of experience can expect to earn $70,000 to $100,000 annually </li></ul><ul><li>Most executive positions in toxicology exceed $100,000 per year, and some corporate executive toxicologists earn $200,000 or more </li></ul><ul><li>In general, positions in industry pay slightly better than government or academia </li></ul><ul><li>Salaries for those with master’s and/or bachelor’s degrees in toxicology will generally be less than those for individuals with doctoral degrees, but are still highly competitive with other science-based professions </li></ul>
  22. 22. Examples of Employers: <ul><li>The National Health Service (NHS) tends to be employ toxicologists as clinical biochemists and toxicology work makes up only part of their job </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc - a premier Contract Research Organization headquartered in Columbia, Missouri </li></ul><ul><li>EPA Environmental Toxicology Division – conducts research </li></ul><ul><li>GEI Consultants - provides a broad array of geotechnical, water resources, environmental and ecological science and engineering consulting services and engineering consulting services </li></ul>The Society of Toxicology (SOT)
  23. 23. Related Jobs <ul><li>Analytical chemist </li></ul><ul><li>Biomedical scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical biochemist </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical research associate </li></ul><ul><li>Food technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Forensic scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Microbiologist </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational hygienist </li></ul><ul><li>Quality assurance manager </li></ul><ul><li>Research scientist (life science) </li></ul>
  24. 24. In the News <ul><li>A University of Southern Maine research lab has found evidence that chromium, an industrial pollutant, is present in right whales and may help explain poor reproductive rates that have helped make them the world’s rarest large whale. USM’s Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health used cell lines developed from samples of right whales’ skin, lungs and testes to test the effects of the pollution. It is the first to look at chromium, a common sediment pollutant that is discharged from metal-finishing, leather tanning and textile-dyeing industries. It often is found in stainless steel, other alloys, and dyes or paints. The results are scheduled to be published in a scientific journal this fall, the school said. The North Atlantic right whale is the most severely endangered large whale, with only about 300 animals left in existence. Researchers at USM are trying to shed light on the role pollution is playing in the decline of right whales. Protection efforts now focus on the more obvious threats of entanglement in fishing lines and ship strikes. </li></ul>Study: Right Whales Face Pollution Threat By Portland Press Herald Staff Report November 02, 2007
  25. 25. References: <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>!eipaL?state=showocc&idno=321&pageno=1 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The Eco Guide to Careers that Make a Difference . Ed. Beth Ginsberg. Washington:      Island Press, 2004. </li></ul>