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environmental/science employment

Posts: 1
New Member
Topic starter

Hi Everyone,
I am a recent graduate with a BS in Environmental and Resource Economics, and a minor in political science. One of the classes that I took spent 3 weeks on St. John at the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS). In my time there we were briefly on St. Thomas, and were all around St. John. I completely fell in love with the islands down there and have dreams of someday working on the islands.
What I wanted to ask, is if anyone knows about the environmental policy down there and who regulates it. I know that much of St. John is protected, and thus much more rural than St. Thomas, however I am curious as to policies such as septic vs. wastewater treatment plants, emissions policies etc- are they similar to those in the States? At VIERS the work that we did was geared more in a biological manner, and so my questions went unanswered.
Also, does anyone happen to know if routine environmental quality monitoring is done down there, such as water quality, air quality etc?
I would love to move down there this year, but it seems as though the job market for environmentalists is not so good down there, making my dream (for now) unrealistic.
I guess after a long tangent, what I'm trying to ask is, does anyone know if there are interest groups, or government agencies down there with environmental conservation/preservation as a goal? I have done some research and have uncovered very little- if anyone has any sort of ideas, or thoughts, or information related to anything I've talked about it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Posted : June 20, 2006 11:49 pm
Posts: 249
Estimable Member

Okay I have been concentrating on St Croix myself, but I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) St John has about 2/3 of the land that has been designated as a National Park of the Good ole US. The Island was bought by the ?Rockefeller clan and designated this way? and therefore controlled by the dept of interior with the US govt... (Anyone correct what is wrong). If so far I am correct, this is where you would start. I suppose there would be grants and such for studies. It just may be some smart person like you has to come along and proposition the government. Yipes! Did I say that? There is also an eco camp on the island that may be looking for employment with your expertise.
Good Luck

Posted : June 21, 2006 3:16 am
Posts: 114
Estimable Member

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources has a Division of Environmental Protection...don't know much about them, but I do know they do weekly water quality tests at several beaches on all three islands. Check out http://www.dpnr.gov.vi/depro.htm. There isn't much info on the site, but it may be a start.

Posted : June 21, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 532
Honorable Member

you might like to contact the St Croix Environmental assoc. (SEA) - I believe they have a website.

Posted : June 21, 2006 2:41 pm
Posts: 1428
Noble Member

CZM, or Coastal Zone Management, is the DPNR branch that deals with protecting waterfront land (and a distance inland) around the perimeters of the islands. It is a government organization and doesn't have all that many employees. They do have scientists who do studies on what's going on with the fish and reefs and erosion issues, etc. It would be very rare for them to hire an outsider.

The oil refinery on STX (Hovensa) does a lot of their own monitoring, also. They frequently hire outsiders...

Posted : June 21, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 3030

Hello Eve,

*-) I am sure you meant they bought land on the island... rather than the whole island. 😉 Anyhoo here is some more info.

"In 1956 Lawrence Rockefeller, through the non-profit organization Jackson Hole Inc., donated 5000 acres of land on St. John to the National Park Service. On August 2nd of the same year United States Congress passed legislation to establish the Virgin Islands National Park. The legislation stipulated that the Park’s holdings on St. John could not exceed 9,485 acres. St. John contains a total of 12,500 acres."

I was going to stop there but here is some more...

"In 1962 the boundaries of the Virgin Islands National Park were expanded to include 5,650 acres of submerged lands and waters that contain a significant amount of coral reefs, shorelines and marine life. In 1978 the Park again expanded to include Hassel Island, a small island located in St. Thomas' Charlotte Amalie Harbor that is home to several buildings of historical interests and importance such as the remains of a British military garrison built during a brief British occupation of the former Danish West Indies in the 1800s and Creque Marine Railway which dates back to the mid-1800s and is one of the oldest surviving examples of such a railway."


Posted : June 21, 2006 11:19 pm
Posts: 3030

Hello Steph,

Congrats on your recent graduation! (tu)

Here are some websites for the suggestions already given:

VI National Park http://www.nps.gov/viis/index.htm (there is an employment link there that leads to the site for federal gov jobs.)

SEA's website is http://www.stxenvironmental.org/.

CZM: http://www.viczmp.com/

On DPNR's website there is a section with information on air pollution control, solid waste, wetlands program etc. and also a link to their Environmental Specialist Job descriptions. http://www.dpnr.gov.vi/dep/home.htm

The monitoring of the popular beaches water quality was mentioned above... DPNR also monitors drinking water with regular testing at schools, public buildings, etc.

I have a friend that worked at DPNR as an Environmental Specialist a few years ago, if you have any particular questions about the job and working there I could send them along and see if I get any feedback for you.

You might research EPA's website to see how involved they are here in the VI.

A couple other interest groups: The Nature Conservancy has a presence here.

Also US Fish & Wildlife - they look after Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge on St. Croix; Green Cay off St. Croix and Buck Island off St. Thomas. They may work in collaboration with the VI Fish & Wildlife, but I am not sure. The VI Fish & Wildlife site is http://www.vifishandwildlife.com. The federal site is http://www.fws.gov/.

All the best with your plans and job search!


Posted : June 22, 2006 12:39 am
Posts: 249
Estimable Member

Thank you! When I catch up with the present, one of the most enjoyable things will be to dive in to the past of the Virgin Islands. My major was history in school so I look forward to it.

Posted : June 24, 2006 12:33 pm
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