Sustainability: the art and science of managing our natural resources through responsible business practices. In Alaska, sustainability efforts are widespread and far-reaching, extending to nearly all fields and sectors. One of the biggest names in conservation in Alaska, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, is an excellent example of Alaska’s organizations practicing what they preach.
The Alaska Conservation Foundation is the only public foundation solely focused on managing Alaska’s natural resources and improving environmental quality. This environmentally focused goliath reinforces its commitment to the environment through its sustainable business practices, which include maintaining an extensive recycling program that includes both e-waste and toxics recycling, promoting sustainable modes of commuting, and organizing employee programs that are focused on the environment.
Chances are you’ll find a wealth of opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in Alaska and in a variety of fields. Earn a degree in sustainability or a similar field and you’ll be prepared to lend your efforts to Alaska’s groundbreaking sustainability efforts.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Alaska with the Right Degree
Balancing people and profit while ensuring that the state’s natural resources are protected for future generations takes a lot of work; luckily, there’s many organizations in Alaska ready to take on this challenge.
The Alaska Food Policy Council is one such organization whose goal is to improve the state’s food system. This important agency works with everyone from governmental agencies to tribal entities to schools, fisheries, and private businesses to strengthen Alaska’s food system, develop recommendations that are then passed onto policymakers at all levels of government, and share resources and information that are aimed at ensuring the sustainability of Alaska’s food supply.
The Northern Alaska Environmental Center is a prominent conservation organization here that oversees the protection of the state’s land, waters, and wildlife. Work here is focused on balancing natural resources, conserving the environment, and promoting local sustainability activities.
Alaska’s Sustainable Southeast Partnership is another big name in sustainability, as it brings together a huge network of organizations and individuals working toward the same goal of ensuring prosperity for the region and the communities within it. Just some of the issues addressed by the partnership include food security, energy independence, and the management of the state’s lands and waters.
If you have your sights set on a career in sustainability, you’ll be pleased to know that careers in this field come with impressive salaries. According to 2018 BLS statistics, the average salary for environmental scientists and specialists here is $80,220, while urban and regional planners earn $83,630, environmental engineers earn $116,680, and civil engineers earn $125,470.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Alaska
Advanced study in sustainability is often a focused endeavor, with master’s degrees in this field often aimed at specific areas of study within this field, such as business, policy, and technology.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks knows a thing or two about the business of sustainability. Both the MS in Natural Resource Management and the Master’s in Natural Resource Management are located in the university’s School of Natural Resources and Extension, which offers the highest caliber hands-on training for real world exposure to how environmental problems get remediated and solved.
Alaska Pacific University’s MS in Environmental Science is a comprehensive course of graduate education in environmental science and the policies that affect the state’s northern regions. Your choice of electives in areas such as environmental ethics, water resources management, environmental law, and fisheries ecology round out this advanced course of study.
The MS in Civil Engineering through the University of Alaska Anchorage is a consolidation of the university’s previous civil engineering programs. This well-rounded degree can be completed as a general degree or specialized in an area like water resources, arctic, transportation, structural, geotechnical, or environmental engineering.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Alaska
Alaska is home to a host of bachelor’s programs that provide a solid introduction to sustainability. Alaska Pacific University offers a variety of undergraduate programs in this field, including a BA in Sustainability Studies, BS in Environmental Public Health, and a BS in Marine & Environmental Sciences.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a BS in Natural Resources and Environment, as well as minors in Natural Resources Management, Forest Management, and Sustainable Architecture.