From Green Degrees to Environmentally Conscious Careers
The careers that protect our planet and the degrees that will get you there
Cooper Breeden is the Conservation Coordinator at the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative based out of Austin Peay State University. Also serving as the coordinator for the Tennessee Plant Conservation Alliance, he works directly on rare plant conservation projects throughout Tennessee and its neighboring states in collaboration with state and federal agencies, university researchers, and various other organizations. Cooper began his career with a bachelor's in international business. After a few years in the international development field, he decided to play a part in conserving our rapidly deteriorating landscapes. These experiences led him to earn an M.S. in Biology from Austin Peay, specializing in plant ecology, and to his career trajectory.
As global temperatures continue to rise, people around the world are suffering from the effects of the environmental disasters brought on by climate change. Each year, an estimated 2.15 million people are displaced from their homes due to weather hazards, including floods, storms, wildfires, and extreme temperatures. To halt the damage of climate change and other environmental devastation, more and more Americans are entering careers in conservation, land restoration, water protection and purification, and wildlife support. It’s up to us to make a difference and turn back the clock on the environmental damage we’ve caused, and it’s not too late to help. Pursuing a green degree and an eco-friendly career is more important now than ever before. Whether you’re interested in a career in forestry, renewable energy, clean ocean efforts, or public policy, there has never been a better time to put your passion for our planet to use.
From information on starting an eco-friendly education to resources for breaking into the green job market, keep reading to learn how you can make a difference with a career in sustainability.
Why Should You Care?
We’ve all heard some climate change horror stories. From the rising sea levels that will eventually sink Los Angeles to tornadoes flattening entire towns across middle America. But there are other consequences of climate change that are flying under the radar, and while they may not be big enough to make the evening news, they’re concerning in their own right. Let’s take a look at few of the reasons we should all care about environmental change.
I Want to Help the Environment By…
By pursuing an environmentally focused degree, you can take the first step toward improving the health of our planet. There are many ways to get involved. How do you want to be part of the solution?
Working in Climate Change
From shrinking glaciers and warming oceans to heat waves and diminishing resources for plants and animals, climate change deeply affects the environment around us and across the globe. By pursuing one the careers listed below, you’ll be positioned to fight against climate change in a variety of ways, from studying weather patterns to researching sustainable farming methods.
Working in Renewable Energy
Renewable energy technology focuses on creating clean sources of energy that have the least impact on the environment. Additionally, the idea behind renewable energies is that they are more sustainable and ideally never run out or diminish. We need eco-focused professionals to design and develop these technologies as well as individuals to build and manage them. Renewable technology efforts often happen on a grand scale and demand the support of teams of like-minded individuals working toward a common goal. The careers and degrees listed in this section can help students develop the necessary skills to develop new, or contribute to existing, renewable technology efforts.