Even small changes have the ability to make a big difference, and when it comes to sustainability efforts in West Virginia, this holds particularly true. The West Virginia Department of Education, through its Sustainable Schools award program, recognizes schools that make a commitment to sustainable practices and integrate them into the curriculum and the community.
West Virginia schools haven’t disappointed, rising to the sustainability challenge in a variety of ways.
For example, Moundsville Middle School focused its efforts on community and school recycling, while Sherrard Middle School in Marshall County integrated greenhouse technologies into its food program and promoted a district-wide recycling program. John Marshall High School in Glen Dale quickly made a name for itself when it implemented a large-scale renovation project that included LED lighting retrofits, the integration of sustainable materials in classroom design, new food delivery systems, and the introduction of an ‘Act Locally, Think Globally’ program designed to bring together AP classes in an effort to emphasize sustainable literacy.
Earn a degree in sustainability and you can become part of West Virginia’s sustainability efforts, whether large or small, and begin making a positive impact on the state’s environmental landscape.
Sustainability Jobs Available in West Virginia with the Right Degree
You and the right degree are sure to be a great fit in West Virginia, thanks to organizations and agencies aimed at everything from renewable resources to water conservation to land and water preservation and more.
For example, the West Virginia Environmental Council helps citizens organize grassroots efforts, brings together established environmental organizations, and stays connected with local, state, and federal agencies involved in environmental management.
The WV Citizen Action Group works to establish new environmental policies that benefit people and a clean environment. Just some of the environmental issues the action group addresses include groundwater contamination, nuclear waste, hazardous waste, and recycling efforts.
According to 2018 BLS statistics, West Virginia professionals in sustainability often enjoy competitive salaries. For example, environmental engineers earn an average salary of $69,800, while environmental scientists earn $56,380 and conservation scientists earn $50,210.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in West Virginia
Master’s degree programs in sustainability are your opportunity to build upon your current knowledge and skills in sustainability or focus your current area of expertise on the sustainability field.
West Virginia University offers a master’s degree in Agricultural, Natural Resources and Design. This program is housed in the university’s College of Agricultural, Natural Resources and Design, which is home to one of the largest certified organic university farms in the U.S., an outstanding location for superb research and hands-on experiences.
WVU’s Landscape Architecture master’s degree is an advanced course of study in environmental planning, design, and management. This program is broad enough to allow students to develop a specialization in areas like community design, environmental resource analysis methods, or environmental restoration.
Appalachian State University’s Master of Arts program features an optional specialization in Sustainability in Appalachia, which allows you to dive deep into sustainable solutions for the people in Appalachia and other highland and rural regions. This program features an inclusive learning environment that emphasizes collaborative research and mentoring.
West Virginia University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers an MS in Civil Engineering, which includes your choice of specialization in environmental and hydroelectrical engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, or structural engineering.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in West Virginia
A bachelor’s degree in sustainability is your chance to explore the concept of sustainability, either in general or as it relates to a specific profession, such as engineering or business.
West Virginia is home to a number of these programs, including Shepherd University’s Sustainable Agriculture program, which partners with the College of Business to produce a program that’s focused on sustainable agriculture production within agricultural business management.
WVU is also home to a nice selection of bachelor’s degree programs aimed at sustainability, such as agribusiness management, agroecology, energy land management, forest resources management, and more.