Sustainability is alive and well in Louisville, thanks to the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC), the source of many of the green-minded initiatives taking place in the state. The LSC promotes a strong economy while supporting the well-being of the people of Louisville and the health of the area’s environment. By bringing together people, businesses, nonprofits, academia, and governmental agencies, the LSC is able to achieve some of the most aggressive and innovative sustainability benchmarks, with the ultimate goal of becoming one of the top ten sustainable metro areas in the nation by 2025.
Some of the LSC’s achievements in the last two years include the launch of Solar Over Louisville, which consisted of installing two million watts of solar power in 2016, and the partnership with the City Office of Sustainability to ensure Louisville reports any third-party sustainability ratings like the STAR Community Rating System.
Louisville’s LSC is just one of countless sustainability organizations and agencies throughout Kentucky that require the expertise of a wide variety of sustainability professionals. Whether your talents and skills lie in engineering, public policy, agriculture, or design, there’s a place for you in Kentucky’s innovative sustainability efforts.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Kentucky with the Right Degree
With the right degree on your resume, you can begin making a difference in many of the exciting organizations and agencies in Kentucky that promote sustainable living.
For example, the Kentucky Environmental Foundation works to forward research, public education, and community participation in issues affecting the environment. Originally formed to protect the citizens of Kentucky from environmental exposure, the Foundation’s initiatives have since grown to include many aspects of the state’s environmental health and justice movement. Just some of the issues currently addressed include air, water, and soil pollution and hazardous waste manufacturing, storage, and disposal.
Food insecurity and sustainable agriculture remain a top priority in sustainability in Kentucky, with many organizations focused on creating a better food system. Just a few of the big names here include the Community Farm Alliance, which advocates for better access to sustainably produced food, GleanKY, which delivers donations of repurposed produce to established food banks, and Kentucky Women in Agriculture, which works to bring together and empower women in food production and agriculture.
You’ll find salaries for sustainability professionals in Kentucky to be competitive even when compared to what they earn in other parts of the country. According to 2018 BLS statistics, environmental engineers in Kentucky earn $80,900, while conservation scientists earn $67,440 and environmental scientists earn $51,740.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Kentucky
Sustainability is a broad field, so graduate study is your opportunity to focus your skills in a specific area like engineering, public policy, business, or design.
Sustainable agriculture programs in Kentucky include Kentucky State University’s MS in Environmental Studies, which offers a host of exciting courses in sustainable agriculture systems, aquatic ecology, aquaculture, and agriculture and environmental policy, and Murray State University’s MS in Sustainability Science, which offers an option in Agriculture Sustainability.
The University of Kentucky’s College of Design offers an MS in Urban and Environmental Design, a hands-on, studio-based program that examines the principles of design in a number of contexts and with environmental problems in mind. Students of this program consider all strategies for creating sustainable communities.
Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green offers an MBA with a Sustainability Certificate, which together allows students to examine the link between business and sustainability. WKU is the only university in the state to offer a graduate certificate in business sustainability.
The University of Louisville’s Department of Urban and Public Affairs offers an MA/MS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Sustainability, which seeks to examine the complex challenges that occur at the intersection of growth and limited resources. Choose this program and you’ll explore exciting topics like sustainable transportation, urban design and development, environmental policy, and housing and community development.
The University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering offers an MS in Civil Engineering, which includes your choice of seven areas of research, including construction engineering and project management, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and more.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Kentucky
A comprehensive look at sustainability and its application in today’s world is accomplished through a bachelor’s degree. Complete a bachelor’s degree in sustainability and you’ll be prepared to enter the field or continue on to graduate school.
The University of Kentucky offers a nice variety of bachelor’s degrees in sustainability, such as environmental & sustainability studies, sustainable agriculture, forestry, geological sciences, and natural resources & environmental science.
The University of Louisville offers a BS in Sustainability, which includes your choice of specialization in Sustainable and Societal Urban Systems, Policy and Governance in Sustainability, or Sustainable Societies.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Kentucky
Some of the most innovative and cutting-edge programs in sustainability are offered off campus through convenient and flexible online courses that appeal to working professionals and nontraditional students.
Two such Kentucky programs include Murray State University’s online Master’s in Agriculture, which has no GRE requirement and offers your choice of four specializations for a truly focused course of study, and Western Kentucky University’s MA in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities, which is an interactive online program that culminates in a symposium where you and your peers will share your original research in sustainability.