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Question from Ariana on engineergirl.org:

I’m 13 years old, in 8th grade and I want to be able to be an environmental engineer, but the problem is I don’t know where to start practicing. Any advice??

Hi Ariana! Thanks for the question! I guess my first suggestion is…figure out why exactly you want to be an environmental engineer! There’s many different paths (air, water, soil, federal work, consulting, sampling, treatment design) so that it might help to do a bit of research on it first!

My next suggestion is this: A lot of environmental engineering is knowing the laws and how entities are in compliance with the laws. If you have a class or opportunity to do a paper on a topic of your choice, pick environmental regulation! There’s so much to dig through but it’ll really give you a leg up if you can begin to understand the history of the laws in the US and the jargon.

My final suggestion is this: Get out and about! One of the abilities of mine that I’ve leveraged in the past is being able to travel and navigate well. I can easily call up a lab to set up sample bottles, or make lodging arrangements for field work on short notice! It’s nice to know that you can jump on a plane by yourself and end up in a different city ready to work!

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