Ohio has a special place in the pantheon of the environmental movement, although it’s one that many of us would prefer to forget: the day in June of 1969 when Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River caught fire, fueled by unrestricted pollutants dumped in through the sewer system. But it could be said that there was something of a blessing hidden in the tragic event, as it effectively served as the launch date of the modern green movement in America.
Within a year, that singular event had sparked passage of the National Environmental Policy Act, which brought the Environmental Protection Agency into being and ushered in an era of science and regulation to govern American interaction with the natural ecology of the country.
It’s a humbling legacy, but it has lead to our state being one of the best places to study sustainability in the country. Clean-up and investigations have created research opportunities and jobs. Although Ohio is a much greener place today, there’s no let up in the sustainability industry here.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Ohio With the Right Degree
Agriculture is always a big employer throughout Ohio, and you can find plenty of sustainability jobs working with big food processing firms like Nestlé in Solon.
But we have a strong presence here with technology and energy firms, big power management corporations like Eaton, or manufacturers like Thermo Fisher Scientific and Procter and Gamble. With stringent environmental standards throughout the state, they are in constant need of sustainability specialists not only to ensure compliance, but to devise new and more efficient production and distribution methods for their products.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Ohio
The Ohio State University in Columbus has a Master of Science in Agriculture that offers a specialization in agro-ecology. The course sequence offers an intimate study of plant physiology and biology and the domestication of agronomic crops to help you put the current state of agriculture into perspective. A two-week field study trip in New Mexico takes you into the desert and introduces dry-land crop cultivation through the prism of ancient Navajo and Pueblo farming practices, repurposing the old ways for new needs.
Bowling Green State University’s Master of Architecture and Environmental Design degree goes with a classical approach to architectural training: an overview of history and the humanities combined with scientific and technical instruction that offers a broad-based approach to problem-solving in design and building. But the program takes a modern tack when it comes to sustainability concerns, looking closely at materials and building techniques from an ecological standpoint.
Environmental stewardship and a holistic understanding of the urban environment are the keys to Xavier University’s Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability and Resilience. This traditional Jesuit school brings the strengths of a rigorous, morality-driven education to the long-term goals of ecologically sustainable development using the latest science and technology.
Business and Policy
At The Ohio State University, sustainable development is blended together with economic reality in the Environment Economy Development and Sustainability program. As a multidisciplinary program that integrates courses from business management, environmental sociology, and international development, EEDS offers the full scope of considerations for any environmental sustainability initiative. The program offers specializations in Sustainability and Business, Environmental Economics and Policy, Community Development, and International Development.
Cleveland State University’s Master of Urban Planning and Development offers future urban planners and developers the policy chops and technical expertise to design and deliver sustainable new systems to carry cities forward into the 21stCentury.
Wright State University in Dayton delivers a Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Renewables and Clean Energy that breaks down the fundamentals of alternative energy system and then builds up your understanding of energy conversion, materials, efficiency, and thermodynamics. You get the complete picture in modern green energy capabilities as well as the opportunity to participate in leading-edge research in renewable energy resources.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Ohio
Laying the right kind of foundation for your sustainability career is important. Whether you plan to go on to earn a master’s degree, or launch directly into the job market, it matters a lot what bachelor’s degree program you start off with.
In Ohio, you could do a lot worse than picking up your four-year degree in Sustainability at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea. With tracks available focused on business, humanities and social science, quantitative science, and science, the school offers you the flexibility to specialize in an area relevant to your long-term goals. And with a campus that is committed to sustainability from the ground up, you’ll soak in the lessons not just in class, but from your entire experience.