Science policy is concerned with the relationship between scientific advances and society. One aspect of science policy that is particularly relevant to geoscientists is environmental policy, which addresses challenges like natural resource protection and pollution prevention. Geoscientists working in policy may conduct research, work in advocacy and education, draft legislation, or enforce regulations. While policy roles can be found throughout the government, industry, and non-profit sectors, policy has been defined here in a separate sector because these jobs often require additional education and specialized skill sets. 

While some geoscientists find legislative positions in Congress, policy jobs for scientists are not limited to Capitol Hill. Private companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies also employ geoscientists to help develop policy and business strategies aligned with environmental issues.

Ready to learn more? Follow the steps below to get started:


Read up on science policy careers

The useful articles linked below provide an overview of science policy, the different roles in the sector, and the skills and education needed to secure a policy job. 

Careers in Public Policy by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
Paths to Science Policy by James Austin, ScienceMag

Career Guides published by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Ohio State University:
     Career Opportunities in Environmental Policy 
     Career Opportunities in Science, Technology, and Public Policy
     Career Opportunities on Capitol Hill


Gain insight from geoscientists in policy

Visit the Ask an Expert page to read Q&A format advice from geoscientists working in policy positions. Contact these experts to learn more about their jobs and expand your network.

Explore employers

Explore example employers to learn where to find policy jobs and what the differences are between roles in Congress,  private companies, or non-profit groups. 

Prepare to apply

Visit the Career Preparation page to learn how to apply for policy jobs, including resources for policy-specific internships and fellowships that can help you get started in this sector.

Search for jobs

View a list of job boards where geoscience jobs are commonly posted, plus advice for successful job searching with keywords. 
  • GROW is a collection of career resources for undergraduate and graduate students in the geosciences, intended to help students identify and pursue career paths beyond academia.
  • This project was supported by the National Science Foundation (Award #1911527) and our many contributors who generously volunteered their time and knowledge to assist our team.

  • Any opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation nor of contributor employers.
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