Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Explore Environmental Careers

After graduating with your interdisciplinary PitE degree, you aren’t limited in your career options. You can choose to pursue a job in any field and you can incorporate environmental advocacy into any position.

For students interested in working specifically within the environmental field, below is a list of 11 areas of environmental work, which often intersect in various ways throughout the career journeys of PitE alumni.

Review the description, job titles, and tasks & projects for each environmental career area to reflect on which fields might align with your interests. To set up a career exploration appointment with Ari Renda, follow the instructions in the Career Support tab. 

Conservation Science & Management

  • Description: Scientific data collection and analysis are required in order to make informed policy and land development decisions. A career in Conservation Science & Management allows you to work directly within ecosystems to observe changes to an environment over time and help inform environmental interventions at various levels. See also Environmental Consulting for a career focused on conservation ecology.  
  • Job Titles: 
    • Land Stewardship Manager
    • Conservation and Reintroduction Research Officer 
    • Stream Restoration Specialist
    • Botanist at US Forest Service
    • Conservation Field Crew Leader
  • Tasks & Projects: 
    • Develop land management plans and ecological restoration plans 
    • Oversee and maintain conservation operations including maintenance of roads and trails, vehicles and equipment, property boundaries and public use, and digital map database
    • Undertake ecological research (including desk, lab and fieldwork) and analysis of data, including trail condition assessments and other mapping software
    • Survey plant and animal species, deliver species reintroductions projects, plant native species, and collect seeds
  • Note on Technical Science Careers: PitE students can also pursue careers in more technical environmental sciences such as geology, climatology, hydrology, or environmental engineering. It is important to research the specific skill set required for these careers to determine if you need to pursue a joint bachelors degree with another department like Earth and Environmental Science or a graduate degree. 

Environmental Communications & Fundraising

  • Description: People working in Environmental Communications and Fundraising tell compelling stories about plants, animals, the climate, and human-nature interactions in order to spread awareness and raise funds that will generate environmental interventions to save the planet. 
  • Job Titles: 
    • Communications & Outreach Specialist
    • Social Media & Communications Specialist
    • Biodiversity Content Officer
    • Business Development Manager
    • Fundraising Officer
  • Tasks & Projects: 
    • Prepare original writing for communications materials that will recruit and retain young people and adults to learn about the environment and take practical actions to help in nature recovery
    • Research, design, update, and distribute communications/outreach materials such as newsletter, brochures, fact sheets, pamphlets, and displays in order to share engaging environmental stories that will inspire our constituents
    • Develop and test financial approaches to sustainable nature and wellbeing delivery and create a long-term business plan for the organization 
    • Create and deliver a strong fundraising message that appeals to supporting members and donors and develop a multi-step strategy to secure monetary gifts
    • Write grant applications and organize fundraising campaigns, including online platforms, social media, and events (such as hikes, galas, outdoor cocktail parties, and dinners)

Environmental Consulting

  • Description: When a manufacturing, utility, or housing company develops buildings and operations, they have to adhere to legislation requiring a minimal environmental impact. Environmental consultants conduct research and surveys to analyze the effects of developments on wildlife species and habitats. Using this research and legal knowledge, they advise clients on how to conduct their development plans in order to avoid or mitigate environmental harm. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Sustainability Consultant
    • Associate Ecological Consultant
    • Due Diligence Environmental Consultant
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Undertake Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs) and Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) 
    • Collect and analyze data to estimate how wildlife will be affected by proposed developments
    • Advise clients and statutory bodies about how to mitigate environmental harm within the framework of the latest planning advice and laws
    • Prepare and review technical documents, including reports on habitat assessments, jurisdictional determination, delineation, permitting, mitigation planning and design, and monitoring

Environmental Education

  • Description: Environmental Education isn’t limited to teaching geology in the classroom. A career in environmental education could look like creating and presenting workshops on local wildlife to campers at National Parks, designing brochures to educate the local community about the effects of climate change, or developing curriculum to teach school-age children about animals at a farm or a zoo. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Environmental Education Coordinator
    • Interpretive Park Ranger
    • Enviro-Science Educator
    • Conservation Education Specialist
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Develop and present a variety of programs including guided walks, illustrated talks (PowerPoint amphitheater and campfire programs) and demonstrations to national parks guests and visitors
    • Lead a variety of multi day, hands-on, experiential learning in outdoor settings for school groups and families
    • Work with staff and local teachers to develop natural resource educational programming focused on forest and watershed health, and linked to community well-being

Environmental Justice, Public Health, & Community Engagement

  • Description: The Environmental Justice movement recognizes how environmental benefits (access to clean water, housing, food, and a healthy living space) and environmental inequities (air pollution, water contamination, inaccessibility to nature) have been distributed along racial and class divisions. People with positions in Environmental Justice, Public Health, and Community Engagement advocate for equity in how people experience access to life-giving resources.  
  • Job Titles:
    • Environmental and Climate Justice Research and Policy Analyst
    • Community Organizer
    • Clean Air and Water Campaign Associate
    • Public Health Toxicologist 
    • Community Engagement Officer
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Develop a broad vision of state, federal and agency policies needed to end and reverse environmental racism and classism
    • Evaluate environmental impacts of federal activities, especially those related to environmental justice, and support engagement opportunities for diverse stakeholder communities around climate- and energy-related projects
    • Assist community leaders with community organizing and capacity building, primarily through the telephone calls and travel to communities
    • Develop and deliver a program of successful community engagement and facilitated nature-led activities focussing on our marine and coastal environments
    • Evaluate toxicological information related to environmental chemical exposures to ensure accurate and timely dissemination of information to the public to prevent/ minimize adverse health effects

Environmental Mapping & Technology

  • Description: Across all employment sectors (government, non-profit, private), more and more positions are opening up for individuals who are skilled at using Geographic Information Systems (a software for mapping species, sites, and habitats) so that conservation and sustainability interventions can be data-driven. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Environment and Health - GIS Analyst
    • Flood Mapping GIS Specialist
    • GIS Specialist - Environmental Services
    • Geospatial Mapping Technician
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Develop tools for analyzing ecological processes and spatial information systems that align with quality assurance and licensing requirements
    • Model flood risks and river restoration projects to generate story maps to engage audiences
    • Create cultural resource spatial data related to the National Park Service (NPS) cultural resource inventory
    • Coordinate with federal, state, and local entities to collect engineering and other data in support of mapping needs

Environmental Policy, Advocacy & Law

  • Description: Working in Environmental Policy & Law offers the opportunity to develop, support, and defend policies to protect the earth and people from pollution and other dangers. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Science and Policy Advisor
    • Environmental Law Attorney
    • Food and Farming Policy Officer
    • Campaigns and Policy Assistant
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Identify and engage in opportunities to protect terrestrial wildlife through federal and state regulatory mechanisms, legislation, and litigation
    • Educate decision-makers and policymakers about the environment, public health, and environmental justice
    • Research and draft policy-related documents, including federal and state listing petitions, reports and other informational materials, public records requests, environmental and other technical analyses, and coalition letters
    • Provide legal counsel and representation to families affected by home-based environmental health hazards including lead paint and lack of access to clean drinking water

Environmental & Urban Planning & Landscape Architecture

  • Description: Environmental and Urban Planners and Landscape Architects have the opportunity to develop building, landscape, and infrastructure plans in a way that allows nature to flourish and people to live sustainably. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Landscape Architect 
    • Urban Planner
    • Environmental Planner
    • Land Use Planner
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Coordinate the development of community-driven master plans for park revitalization, natural and cultural resource protection plans, and goals for park expansion
    • Develop environmental compliance and planning documents for municipal and private development clients
    • Evaluate, select and apply standard engineering and planning techniques, procedures, and criteria to complex environmental projects and programs
    • Guide multidisciplinary project teams through the zoning and entitlement process and coordinate efforts between attorneys, clients, co-consultants, jurisdictional staff, and appointed or elected officials
    • Prepare applications and supporting documentation for matters related to land use including zoning relief, zoning changes, zoning approvals, and local ordinances

Food Systems & Sustainable Agriculture

  • Description: Altering our food system to be more sustainable and localized requires jobs on multiple levels of the food production process. These can range from growing food in farms or urban gardens, managing food production, researching best farming and production practices, to developing food training and education. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator
    • Sustainable Food Value Chain Specialist
    • Organic Agriculture Specialist
    • Agriculture Sustainability Best Practices Manager
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Develop and facilitate public programs and community workshops about food, community gardens, and healthy living
    • Manage community gardens, mobile markets, and volunteer training and schedule
    • Coordinate strategic planning efforts surrounding certified or non-certified organic agriculture extension programs
    • Collaborate with new organic farmers to provide training and current organic farmers to gather on-farm research data
    • Lead the value chain analysis for farm production to evaluate farm processes and how to create the most value for Community Support Agriculture members

Sustainable Energy

  • Description: People working in Sustainable Energy play an essential role in reconfiguring our energy infrastructure so that we build toward carbon neutrality.
  • Job Titles:
    • Renewable Industry Specialist
    • Associate Solar Technician
    • Energy Management Associate
    • EV-Grid Integration and Energy Services
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Analyze utility data to discover conservation opportunities and to track the performance of existing conservation projects 
    • Use consumption data, financial projections, and cost analysis to justify energy conservation proposals
    • Support studies to better understand and quantify the value that electric vehicles and charging create for the grid, and how to best access that value
    • Review projections and future state scenarios to determine where to install electric vehicle charging stations to ensure equity and productivity
    • Prepare regular reports on energy and water consumption, rate changes, and comparisons to utility budgets

Sustainability in Business

  • Description: When businesses decide to enact more sustainable practices, they often need to hire knowledgeable staff to develop sustainability initiatives and facilitate progress toward sustainability goals. 
  • Job Titles:
    • Business Analyst, Sustainable Waste Solutions
    • Sustainability Manager
    • Sustainability Lead, Global Infrastructure
  • Tasks & Projects:
    • Drive the execution and progress of the sustainability initiatives that help achieve 5-year goals, objectives, and commitments within sustainability
    • Create models that calculate current environmental impact, provides context for operational changes, and predicts reduction impacts from various actions
    • Develop measurement systems and maintain tools to benchmark and track progress against key sustainability goals, ratings, and frameworks
    • Develop sustainability strategy in conjunction with cross-functional teams including datadesign, construction, and operations