Before you can begin making a difference, you must have a solid game plan in place. And the City of Birmingham has just that. Sustainability is the name of the game in Alabama’s largest city, with everything from air quality to soil contamination to energy and resource use to the most effective recycling efforts on the minds of citizens, policymakers, and community leaders.
Their Comprehensive Sustainability Plan outlines what it takes to become a truly sustainable city, the challenges of achieving a harmonious balance between the city’s economic, community, and environmental systems, and the value of initiating and enhancing partnerships to achieve sustainability goals.
With a master’s in sustainability under your belt, you can lend unique insights and expertise to these efforts and become a valuable part of Birmingham’s outstanding sustainability plans.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Alabama with the Right Degree
Whether your sustainability focus is on public policy, architecture, engineering, or business, there is a host of exciting job opportunities in Alabama.
One of the top players in sustainability here is the Green Resource Center for Alabama, an environmental nonprofit that spreads awareness for sustainability through a variety of projects and initiatives. For example, their EMERGE project, a sustainability leadership project, allows participants to engage in a variety of demonstrations, hands-on projects, and think tank sessions designed to help them become effective social entrepreneurs capable of addressing real-world sustainability issues.
The City of Huntsville’s Green Team is one of many sustainability organizations at the city level. This team is charged with overseeing the city’s litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, and youth education initiatives, along with its signature programs that include the Sparkle Team, Neighborhood Pride, the Tree Program, and the Plastic Cap Recycling Contest for Schools. One of the team’s largest programs is its Valley Sustainable Communities Program, which offers communities assistance in developing and implementing sustainability initiatives.
There are a multitude of professions within the field of sustainability, and in Alabama, these jobs tend to come with attractive salaries. For example, according to 2018 BLS statistics, conservation scientists in Alabama earn an average salary of $59,310, while environmental scientists earn $67,360, urban and regional planners earn $59,630, and environmental engineers earn $82,020.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Alabama
Because the concept of sustainability is rather broad, master’s programs in this discipline are often focused, allowing you to achieve advanced study in sustainability as it relates to business, agriculture, public policy, and more.
Auburn University offers a Master of Agriculture and an MS in Agricultural Economics, both of which feature study in production economics, markets and prices, environmental economics, and more. These top programs are part of the college’s College of Agriculture, which has been advancing Alabama’s agriculture economy while improving the lives and health of its citizens since 1872.
Architecture and Sustainable Development
A unique collaboration between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Staffordshire University (UK), the Sustainable Smart Cities Master’s program is a robust course of study that covers topics like renewable energy systems, green infrastructure, natural resource management, and sustainable urban development.
Samford University’s MS in Environmental Management, is designed around the theme of ‘Food, Water, and Energy’ and includes a varied curriculum that covers environmental law, policy, and regulations, environmental justice, water management, sustainability, and more.
Troy University’s Master’s in Environmental and Biological Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Policy is an advanced course of study into issues related to environmental and biological ethics and public health. Through your choice of electives, you can dive deep into areas like global pollution, environmental management, and environmental policy.
The University of South Alabama’s MS in Environmental Toxicology is focused on an advanced examination of the biochemical and physiological processes that result from interactions between toxins and the environment. You’ll enjoy a focused curriculum thanks to your choice of concentrations in biology, basic medical sciences, chemistry, environmental engineering, or exposure route/chemical transport.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Alabama
Your introduction to a career in sustainability is achieved through a bachelor’s degree in sustainability or a related area of study. Fortunately, Alabama is home to a variety of undergraduate programs that will get your career off the ground.
Troy University’s BS in Environmental Science offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to address key issues related to global warming and biodiversity, while Alabama A&M University’s BS in Environmental Science provides a broad examination of the environmental and related sciences while offering students the option to specialize in environmental health science, soil science, or remote sensing and geographic information systems.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Alabama
Many of Alabama’s top programs in sustainability are offered at a distance, allowing aspiring and practicing sustainability professionals like you to advance their education through a course of study that’s delivered either partially or fully online.
Samford University’s MS in Environmental Management, Troy University’s Master’s in Environmental and Biological Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Policy, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Sustainable Smart Cities Master’s program are all offered as fully online programs that allow you to earn your degree while still tending to your personal and professional responsibilities.