ENV

For Students

Career Guide

The UNCG Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program offers a variety of liberal arts degrees that are flexible and allow students to pursue their own interests. Therefore, we do not train students for specific jobs. Rather, we allow students to explore and craft their own paths for potential careers and fulfilling lives. The following concise (representative and not comprehensive) Career Guide, a related list of useful websites, experiences throughout the curriculum, and careful advising all contribute to helping students discover their passions and design their own paths for the future.

Environmental Scholar

scholarCommon Activities: Do you want to teach or conduct research about the environment and environmental issues at the highest level?

Potential Careers: Professor, Research Scientist

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + minor or double major + M.A., M.S., Ph.D. in field of specialization

International Opportunities: Opportunities to teach or conduct research abroad such as Fulbright Fellowships; fluency in foreign language desirable

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Optional; an undergraduate research assistant position or senior honors thesis are desirable

Environmental Educator

educatorCommon Activities: Do you want to educate the general public (including children) about the environment and environmental problems?

Potential Careers: Museum Curator, Nature Guide, Staff Member at Zoo, Aquarium, or Nature Education Center, Park Ranger

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + voluntary certification as environmental educator

International Opportunities: Limited

Other Qualifications: State env. education certification; National Recreation and Park Association – Certified Park and Recreation Professional

Relevant Internships: Piedmont Environmental Center; Greensboro Natural Science Center; Greensboro Library; NCDENR (state parks); Guilford County National Park

Nature Protection Specialist

natureCommon Activities: Do you want to help protect animals, wildlife, or ecosystems and preserve our biodiversity?

Potential Careers: Staff Member for Nature Protection Organization such as Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund or International Union for the Conservation of Nature; Park Ranger

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + minor or second major in Biology or Geography

International Opportunities: Opportunities to work for international organizations such as United Nations, WWF, IUCN, Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth; Spanish or French fluency highly desirable

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Sierra Club; some internships with NCDENR (state parks); Guilford County National Park

Land Protection Specialist

landCommon Activities: Do you want to preserve pristine lands and ecologically sensitive ecosystems?

Potential Careers: Nature or Land Conservancy Staff Member or Staff Member for State or Local Land Acquisition Program

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + minor or second major in Biology or Geography

International Opportunities: Opportunities to work for international organizations such as Operation Wallacea, Ocean Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Guilford County Open Space Program; Piedmont Land Conservancy

Research Technician

researchCommon Activities: Do you want to assist with research about the environment and environmental problems in the field or laboratory?

Potential Careers: Technician or Research Assistant in Environmental Research (biology, water quality, air quality, etc.)

Recommended Educations: Major in ENV + minor or second major in Chemistry, Biology, or Geography; MS in one of these fields helpful for advancement

International Opportunities: Opportunities to work for international organizations such as UN, WWF, IUCN, Greenpeace; Spanish or French fluency highly desirable

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Piedmont Land Conservancy; Guilford County Environmental Health; internships through Biology, Chemistry, or Geography Departments

Environmental Advocacy

advocacyCommon Activities: Do you want to convince others to be environmentally conscious, lobby government officials, or coordinate petition drives or protests?

Potential Careers: Fundraiser, Lobbyist, Community Organizer, Manager for Environmental Organization

Recommended Educations: ENV major + minor or double major in PSC, SOC, ENG. or Communications

International Opportunities: Opportunities to work for international organizations such as Friends of the Earth, WWF, and Greenpeace; Spanish or French fluency highly desirable

Other Qualifications: Masters in Nonprofit Management or Certificate in Fundraising

Relevant Internships: Sierra Club

Local Activist

localCommon Activities: Do you want to promote healthy living with the environment in your community?

Potential Careers: N/A; work as local environmental activist as a major life interest while holding a “day job”

Recommended Educations: ENV major + major or minor in field suitable for your “day job”

International Opportunities: N/A

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Sierra Club

Environmental Law

lawCommon Activities: Do you want to interpret or change the laws that mandate how we treat our environment?

Potential Careers: Attorney, Mediator, Paralegal

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV with PSC minor + J.D. at Law School or paralegal training at community college

International Opportunities: Opportunities to work for UN; Center for International Environmental Law; Commission for Environmental Cooperation; National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade; foreign language fluency desirable

Other Qualifications: Law schools offering environmental law specializations

Relevant Internships: Possible internship with environmental law firm

Environmental Design & Construction

constructionCommon Activities: Do you want to create spaces for people that work with the environment instead of against it?

Potential Careers: Architect, Landscape Architect, Developer or Builder

Recommended Educations: ENV Major + minor in Interior Architecture, possible M.A. in Architecture

International Opportunities: Limited

Other Qualifications: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Accredited Professional in Interior Design + Construction

Relevant Internships: Commissioning WorCx

Regulation Enforcement

regulationCommon Activities: Do you want to make sure people are following the rules designed to keep us and the physical world safe?

Potential Careers: Inspector or Permitting Official for County Health Department, State Environmental Agency or EPA

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + minor in Biology, Chemistry, or Geography. Possibly M.A., M.S.

International Opportunities: Limited

Other Qualifications: Board of Certified Safety Professionals – www.bcsp.org/CSP

Relevant Internships: Guilford County Environmental Health

Sustainability Expert

sustainabilityCommon Activities: Do you want to show businesses, schools and other organizations how to both save the earth and improve their bottom line?

Potential Careers: Sustainability Coordinator for Business, University, Hospital, etc.

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + minor or double major in Business or Political Science (public administration); MBA or MPA for advancement

International Opportunities: Limited

Other Qualifications: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Accredited Professional in Operations + Management

Relevant Internships: UNCG Office of Sustainability; Commissioning WorCx

Organic Farmer

farmerCommon Activities: Do you want to help to protect the environment by producing environmentally sound foodstuffs?

Potential Careers: Organic Farmer or Farm Manager

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV, possibly M.S. in Agriculture

International Opportunities: Limited

Other Qualifications: USDA National Organic Program – certifies farms/ranches instead of people

Relevant Internships: Internship on organic farm

Green Business Owner or Manager

businessCommon Activities: Do you want to help protect the environment by producing environmentally sound products or services or consulting with others?

Potential Careers: Business Owner, Manager, Staff Member

Recommended Educations: ENV major with double major in business

International Opportunities: Work in fields such as shipping or multinational businesses (local examples include Columbia Forest Products, Mack, Wrangler)

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Carolina Fibre Corporation

Sustainable Tourism

tourismCommon Activities: Do you want to provide vacation opportunities in an environmentally sustainable way?

Potential Careers: EcoTour Organizer, “Green” Restaurant or Hotel Manager, Ecotour Guide

Recommended Educations: B.A. in ENV + minor or second major in sustainable tourism or business

International Opportunities: Opportunities to work for international organizations such as United Nations World Tourism Organization; Sustainable Travel International; foreign language proficiency very desirable

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Internship through Sustainable Tourism Program

Outdoor Recreation

recreationCommon Activities: Do you want to help people get physically active and be entertained in nature?

Potential Careers: Hiking Guide, Canoeing or Rafting Trip Leader; Outdoor Experience Camp Staff Member

Recommended Educations: ENV major + minor or second major in Sustainable Tourism, Biology, or Geology

International Opportunities: Abundant; foreign language proficiency highly desirable

Other Qualifications: National Recreation and Park Association – Certified Park and Recreation Professional

Relevant Internships: Internship through Sustainable Tourism Program

Environmental Writer or Journalist

journalistCommon Activities: Do you want to interview people, dig for hidden stories and spread the word on the environment?

Potential Careers: Environmental Reporter, Environmental Writer. Writer for Environmental Organization

Recommended Educations: ENV major + English minor or major with emphasis in professional writing and journalism

International Opportunities: Foreign correspondent for news agency; writer for UN or International Environmental Organization Publications; foreign language fluency desirable

Other Qualifications: N/A

Relevant Internships: Internship as environmental writer