Although our state is built around the river we are named after, most of the environmental sustainability issues in Mississippi are firmly land-based. With major investments in crops like cotton and in hard and soft wood forest harvesting, environmental questions in the state have begun to revolve around the sustainability of agricultural production and natural resource conservation.
Withefforts spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mississippians have begun to mold our dominant regional industries in such a way that they can sustain our way of life for generations.
Getting an education in a sustainability-related field is a forward-looking way to earn your place in the future of Mississippi and provide for the next generations of people everywhere.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Mississippi With the Right Degree
Mississippi has never got the national reputation that we deserve for our forests and forestry products industry, but, according to the Mississippi Forestry Association, forestry jobs account for some five percent of all jobs in the state, and around sixty-three percent of our land area is woodland.
That has drawn in major logging and production firms like Weyerhaeuser and Georgia Pacific with operations in places like Taylorsville and McComb. Understanding that the future of their businesses rests with responsible management of those limited forest resources, these companies are always on the lookout for environmental managers and specialists with sustainability credentials.
Other manufacturers in the state outside of the forestry industry, like ESCO in Newton with their big mining equipment factory, also have a need for environmental specialists with expertise in sustainable manufacturing operations.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Mississippi
Unfortunately, Mississippi is a little behind the curve in sustainability education. You will find only a handful of schools with degrees focused in the field.
On the other hand, a lack of degree programs do not necessarily indicate a lack of interest or expertise in questions of sustainability… Mississippi State University, in Starkville, for example, has a substantial investment in research and development in clean energy systems through the Energy Institute, although it has no formal degree programs in the area. And the school also has some cutting-edge sustainability programs aimed at the campus itself through the Office of Sustainability, which affords student workers the opportunity to participate first-hand in sustainability projects.
There is also the Civil and Environmental Engineering Master of Science at Jackson State University which offers an environmental engineering emphasis that can give you most of the tools you need to take on large-scale sustainability projects with a strong education in hydrology and fluid mechanics, along with an examination of air and water pollution and wastewater processing.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Bachelor of Science in Geography that includes an emphasis option in sustainable development. The curriculum selection includes options on applied climatology and environmental hazards, as well as the option to take courses from other departments in conservation biology, environmental history, and economic botany.
And MSU has a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Bioproducts that falls right in line with our big forestry industry. The degree offers a gritty, industrial perspective on sustainability through the lens of the school’s renowned College of Forest Resources. Focused on renewable structural products, the program will put you on a track for a career in manufacturing, sales, or trade in building products, materials, and structures, including both wood and non-wood products from agricultural resources.