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Green Science and Technology

The green science and technology involves new, environmental friendly methods and practices, from techniques for generating energy to developing non-toxic cleaning products.

Scientists, engineers, and IT professionals in green technology (also known as clean technology) research and execute methods of scientific development which will not only lessen the harm to the environment, but in some ways improve it.

The fields of green science and technology that are in the forefront of the movement are green chemistry and green IT, also called green computing.

Green Chemistry

In 1990 the Pollution Prevention Act was passed in the United States. This act introduced a new way of dealing with pollution in an original and innovative way. Green chemistry is a highly effective approach to pollution prevention because it applies innovative scientific solutions to real-world environmental situations. The principle of green chemistry is to attack the problem of pollution at its base.

Green chemistry focuses on reducing, recycling, or eliminating the use of toxic chemicals in chemistry by finding creative ways to minimize the human and environmental impact without stifling scientific progress (University of Oregon).

Green Chemistry Education

The field of green chemistry has been very slow to catch on in university degree programs. However, there are some schools that have taken the initiative and provided the collegiate world with a blueprint for green chemistry programs. As the practice of green chemistry becomes more and more important in the field of science, students will begin to have the opportunities to obtain bachelor and master's degrees in the new field.

To become a chemist, a person needs to have a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related subject. For higher-level research jobs, an advanced degree, usually a PhD, is required.

Universities with Green Chemistry Programs

  • University of Oregon, Green Chemistry Program

  • Yale University Chemistry
    Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering

  • University of Scranton, Green Chemistry Program

  • University of Massachusetts - Lowell
    Center for Green Chemistry

  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Institute for Green Science

Green Chemistry Careers

According to Paul Anastas, director of the Green Chemistry Institute in Washington DC, "The biggest challenge is that there are more jobs out there for green chemists than there are trained chemists for the jobs." With the focused attention on greening the field of chemistry, companies in a wide range of fields are looking to chemists to create new products, act as compliance officers, and develop new ways to do laboratory research.

Green chemists are finding jobs in many areas of science, such as pharmaceutical companies, environmental groups, waste management firms, and the biofuel industry.

Green IT

Green computing it describes the study and the using of computer resources in an efficient way.

Green IT starts with manufacturers producing environmentally friendly products and encouraging IT departments to consider more friendly options like virtualization, power management and proper recycling habits.

Green IT Careers

The government has recently proposed new compliance regulations for the IT sector of business. Some criteria include using low-emission building materials, recycling, using alternative energy technologies, and other green technologies (www.green-technology.org). With these changes in place, companies will begin to hire more green IT professionals to ensure compliance with government regulations. Green IT professionals will also be needed in areas of installation (environment-friendly mesh networking technology), troubleshooting, and green software development.

Green Science & Technology Resources

  • Green Technology
  • GreenTechnoLog
  • American Chemical Society
  • The Green Lounge, Green Computing
  • Green IT