Cedar Rapids may be rooted in business and industry, but this innovative, progressive city is forging ahead with impressive sustainability efforts that are sure to give any city in the nation a run for its money.
In fact, thanks to its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, Cedar Rapids is now ranked a 4-STAR Community—a national ranking that measures a community’s economic, social and environmental health. Cedar Rapids earned this designation after meeting a number of benchmarks in areas like climate and energy, health and safety, innovation and processes, and more.
Just some of the sustainability efforts achieved in Cedar Rapids include an increase of 20% clean energy since 2016…more than 1,000 affordable housing units since 2010…recognition as Iowa’s first ‘solar ready’ city…and nearly 65 miles of bike lanes.
Cedar Rapids is just one of countless Iowa cities that are making a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, preserving natural resources, and living more sustainably. With the right education under your belt, you can become part of Iowa’s countless efforts aimed at a more sustainable future.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Iowa with the Right Degree
You’ll enjoy a wealth of professional opportunities in sustainability in Iowa through nonprofits, private businesses, NGOs, and more.
For example, the Iowa Environmental Council is a nonprofit alliance of organizations that works together toward one goal: Iowa’s environment. Just a few of the council’s 65 member organizations include 1000 Friends of Iowa, Center for Rural Affairs, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Drake Environmental Action League, and the Iowa Groundwater Association.
The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust is a major player in sustainable agriculture in Iowa that works to save and protect the farms that feed the state’s citizens. In just four years, this organization has protected eight farms that total about 770 acres of land throughout the state.
Salaries for Iowa’s sustainability professionals are impressive, according to 2018 BLS statistics. For example, environmental engineers here earn an average salary of $79,210, while agricultural engineers earn $85,320. Environmental scientist average salaries here are similar, with these professionals earning $74,140 on average, while conservation scientists earn less at $56,820.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Iowa
Advanced study in sustainability is often achieved through focused master’s programs aimed at sustainability’s biggest areas of study, such as architecture, development, business, and public policy.
Iowa State University’s MS in Sustainable Agriculture is an interdisciplinary program aimed at the biological, social, and economic aspects of sustainability.
Iowa State University offers a Master of Design in Sustainable Environments that emphasizes design strategies related to the production of sustainable environments. Some of the highlights of this program include faculty-led research projects, and coursework that’s focused on understanding, promoting, and creating sustainable practices in design and planning.
Fairfield’s Maharishi University of Management’s MBA in Sustainable Business offers you the choice of a weekend/evening or online format, a curriculum complemented with evidence-based techniques, and small courses for an intimate learning environment. Just some of the classes offered through this program include Social and Environmentally Responsible Management, Sustainable Technologies, and Sustainable Community Development.
The University of Iowa offers an MS in Sustainable Water Development through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This program features an in-depth examination into social justice issues affecting food, energy, and water and your choice of a variety of elective courses for a personalized course of study.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Iowa
Bachelor’s programs in Iowa provide the ideal foundation on which to build a career in sustainability. The Maharishi University of Management offers a BS in Sustainable Living, and Upper Iowa University offers a major in Environmental Science.