Progressive and broad-minded, Miami is where you’ll find some of the most aggressive sustainability initiatives and policies in Florida and where everyone from business owners to community activists to policymakers are working to make a positive impact on the environment.
Just a few of the biggest green initiatives in this major Florida city include a massive $515 million renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center to meet LEED certification standards…the reduction of vehicle emissions through the addition of bike-friendly lanes and bike trails like the Snake Trail in North Miami and the Old Cutler Trail in Coral Gables… the protection of the region’s natural environment through the creation of centers like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center and the Fairchild Botanical Gardens…and the City of Miami Beach’s impressive plan to combat rising sea levels through infrastructure improvements, sea wall repairs, and beach renourishment projects.
Miami’s sustainability goals are lofty, and their efforts impressive. Whether your skills and talents lie in engineering, public policy, business, or agriculture, you, too, can become part of this exciting movement in Miami and throughout Florida.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Florida with the Right Degree
A career in sustainability is well within reach in Florida, thanks to this state’s exceptional number of organizations and agencies focused on natural resources and green living.
For example, Sustainable Florida has been a leader in sustainability in Florida for more than 25 years, working to advanced sustainability by creating and implementing business practices that protect the natural environment. Just some of the issues being addressed include climate change, water management, land conservation, and natural resource preservation. Many cities throughout Florida have adopted their own local chapters for this state organization, including Tallahassee where the Sustainable Tallahassee organization works locally to promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
The Miami-based Citizens for a Better South Florida is another big name in sustainability in Florida that educates citizens about the importance of the environment to produce a community of stewardship. Programs within this organization are aimed at urban greening and community forestry, habitat restoration and ecosystem stewardship, and native landscapes.
The Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition brings together groups of organizations that are committed to conserving, protecting, and restoring the state’s marine and coastal environments. Their work often makes a call to action for state and federal legislation that reduces coastal development, enforces pollution laws, and protects coastal and marine habitats. Partners include the Sea Turtle Conservancy, the Surfrider Foundation, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and Oceana.
The earning potential for sustainability professionals in Florida, according to 2018 BLS statistics, is strong. For example, environmental engineers earn an average salary of $80,540 and civil engineers earn $89,480 on average. Salaries for scientists in this field tend to be lower, with environmental scientists earning an average salary of $58,790 and biological scientists earning $71,200 on average.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Florida
Florida is home to a fantastic selection of master’s degrees in sustainability. While many undergraduate programs in this field are fairly broad in nature, you’ll find that master’s degrees tend to be highly focused on specific areas or specializations, such as engineering, public policy, agriculture, development, and more.
Florida International University’s Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental and Urban Design offers an MA in Urban Design and a Master of Landscape Architecture, both of which offer in-depth study into the use of landscape planning and design to preserve natural resources and land. Topics within these programs are aimed at planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation.
The University of Florida’s Master of Sustainable Development Practice is an intensive, hands-on course of graduate study focused on achieving sustainable development in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical countries that often face serious development challenges such as poverty and disease.
The University of South Florida offers a Master of Arts in Sustainable Business that focuses on developing sustainable business practices aimed at social and environmental responsibility. The University of Miami’s Business School offers an MS in Sustainable Business, an advanced course of study for students with undergraduate degrees in business, science or engineering who want to receive in-depth study in sustainable business practices.
Florida International University’s Department of Earth and Environment offers a Professional Science Master’s in Environmental Policy and Management, which features an interdisciplinary course of study that emphasizes communication, policy analysis, journalism, and environmental management.
Florida Institute of Technology’s Master’s in Environmental Resource Management features hands-on learning, small class sizes, and superb research opportunities in areas like natural habitat restoration, renewable energy, global climate monitoring, remote sensing, and environmental protection.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Florida
A bachelor’s degree in sustainability is your opportunity for a well-rounded introduction and smooth transition into a life dedicated to sustainability work. Graduates of these degree programs are prepared to enter the field or continue on to graduate school.
You’ll find a nice selection of sustainability bachelor’s programs in Florida. Florida Tech offers a BS in Sustainability Studies, Florida International University offers a BS in Environmental Engineering, and Florida Southern University offers a BS in Environmental Studies.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Florida
Online programs in sustainability are also commonplace in Florida, although they are generally aimed at undergraduate studies. Examples of these convenient, flexible courses of study include the online BA in Sustainability and the Environment at Florida International and the BS in Environmental Policy and Management through Everglades University.