In South Portland, sustainability is serious business. It may be Maine’s fourth largest city, but as far as environmental efforts are concerned, it takes the lead. For example, in 2019, South Portland led the charge and formed a coalition with 17 other cities and towns across Maine to help establish solar facilities and other types of initiatives that work toward reducing their carbon footprints.
Best of all, more than a dozen additional communities throughout Maine are taking note of South Portland’s efforts and receiving updates on the coalition. Plus, a number of groups like the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Maine Conservation Voters are lending a helping hand to get the coalition off the ground.
South Portland’s role as the statewide leader in sustainability doesn’t end there. Other major green efforts of this city include the reduction of plastics and pesticides, the addition of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, waste reduction, and the implementation of energy efficient building materials.
These types of major sustainability projects and initiatives require the expertise of a wide range of professionals, which means exciting opportunities for everyone from business professionals to urban planners to engineers are ready and waiting in Maine.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Maine with the Right Degree
Careers in sustainability in Maine are plentiful and exciting, thanks to the state’s outstanding number of organizations aimed at the green movement.
For example, the Natural Resources Council of Maine is a major nonprofit here that has worked to protect, restore, and conserve Maine’s environment for more than half a century. Some of their work includes promoting sustainable communities, protecting the health of the state’s waterways, curbing pollution, and conserving the state’s lands and wildlife habitat.
The Maine Conservation Alliance is another nonprofit leader here whose sustainability efforts include educating the public and policymakers on policies that advance environmental priorities. Within the Alliance is the Environmental Priorities Coalition, which includes 34 environmental, conservation, and public health organizations that work together to protect the health and quality of life of the state’s citizens.
Professions in sustainability in Maine come with competitive salaries, according to 2018 BLS statistics. For example, environmental scientists in Maine earn an average salary of $67,390, while conservation scientists earn $61,970. Other sustainability professionals in Maine include environmental engineers, who earn an average salary of $75,440, urban and regional planners, who earn an average salary of $67,730, and political scientists, who earn an average salary of $72,850.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Maine
Focusing your career on one of the major areas within sustainability is easily accomplished through a master’s degree that combines the study of sustainability with other disciplines like engineering, urban planning, and business.
The University of Maine’s School of Food and Agriculture offer master’s degrees in food science and human nutrition, horticulture, and plant, soil, and environmental sciences, all of which feature a nationally and internationally renowned faculty and in-depth study on the sustainable production of plants and animals and safety and production topics in food and agriculture businesses.
Unity College’s Sustainable MBA features an in-depth examination between business, the environment, and society. This program is offered entirely online for the best in flexibility and convenience for working professionals and those students with geographical limitations.
The University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs offers an MA in Global Policy that can be specialized through your choice of concentration in environmental policy, security and foreign policy, trade and commerce, or climate policy. The School of Policy and International Affairs is the only policy-focused graduate program of its kind in northern New England that’s focused on the world’s most pressing global challenges.
The University of Maine’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department offers the nationally renowned MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering, which can be specialized through your choice of concentration in structural engineering and mechanics, geotechnical engineering, or environmental and water resources engineering.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Maine
Bachelor’s degrees in sustainability are designed to kickstart your career by providing you with a comprehensive foundation in the field of sustainability. While some programs are broad in design, others offer more focused courses of study.
Some of Maine’s bachelor’s offerings in sustainability include the University of Maine’s BS in Environmental Horticulture and BS in Sustainable Agriculture, Unity College’s BS in Sustainable Agriculture, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s BS in Environmental Science and Sustainability, which offers a sustainable agriculture or natural resources and environmental science concentration.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Maine
Earning a degree in sustainability has never been easier, thanks to the outstanding selection of programs offering the option of a fully online course of study. While there are few programs in Maine that are offered through online delivery, you’ll find a wealth of sustainability programs offered through esteemed colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
In Maine, Unity College offers both a Masters in Professional Science and a Sustainable MBA as fully online programs. Both programs feature a world-class faculty, small class sizes for the best in personalized learning, and flexible online schedules that include five start dates per year.