Deep Dive - Sustainability Skip Navigation

Sustainability

Are you interested in the environment and natural resources? Consider exploring sustainability careers!
Elliot Voss '17 with employees of sPower
From government agencies to non-profits, career options are diverse and can include: renewable energy specialist, health & safety coordinator, environmental protection agent, wild life expert or conservation officer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “although their specific career paths might differ, sustainability professionals promote environmental protection, social responsibility, and profitability.”

Colgate Professional Network

To provide an opportunity for those working and with an interest in the sciences to connect, the STEM Network brings together the Colgate community in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Sustainability Advisor

Head shot of James Reed, techology advisor
Read about James
James joined Colgate Career Services in September 2014 as a Career Advisor with a focus on the STEM disciplines. Prior to his arrival at Colgate James was employed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he served as an Associate Director and Lecturer in the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development.

James earned an Ed.M. degree in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in Student Affairs Administration from the University at Buffalo and a BA in History from the State University of New York, College at Geneseo. James brings to Colgate more than ten years of experience working with college students in a variety of capacities including, leadership education, curriculum design and assessment, community development, and one-on-one coaching. He enjoys helping students bridge their interests and passions with their professional goals to find a sense of fulfillment and success.

Originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York State, James resides in Syracuse and is excited to enjoy the diverse array of outdoor recreational activities that Central New York has to offer.

Questions

Call 315-228-7380 for an advising appointment.

Explore Careers

Careers in Sustainablity
Vault.com has guides for a variety of careers in the Environment/Sustainability field: 1) Log in or create an account (you will need to create an account using your Colgate e-mail address to view this content) 2) Search for one of the following careers
  • Alternative Energy
  • Bioenergy/Biofuels workers
  • Energy Conservation Technicians
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Environmental Lobbyists
  • Environmental Planners
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Environmental Technicians
  • Fuel Cell Technology Workers
  • Geotechnical Engineers
  • Geothermal Energy Industry Workers
  • Green Builders
  • Green Transportation Careers
  • Hydropower and Marine Energy Industry Workers
  • Renewable Energy Careers
  • Renewable Energy Engineers
  • Solar Energy Industry Workers
  • Solar Engineers
  • Wind Energy Industry Workers
Website Exploration
Sustainability Degrees.com This website provides information for college students about the industry, potential careers and degrees to pursue, as well as articles like:
“Most in Demand Sustainability Jobs”

Prepare for Jobs and Internships

Information, tips, and strategies to help prepare you as an undergraduate.
Education Requirements
The Environmental Education site provides a helpful description of education requirements based on different perspectives (i.e. science, policy, business, engineering, social sciences, etc.), as well as some potential careers.
Industry Reports
Career Beam offers industry reports on very specific fields such as Environmental Consulting Services and Solar Power Generation To access these: Log into CareerBeam using your Colgate credentials, go to Research Tools > Industry Reports, and then use the search box or explore the full list of industries on the right hand sidebar.
Helpful Skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Interpersonal
  • Technical
  • Math
  • Scientific
Buzz Words
Be familiar with these terms and use them in application materials and networking conversations:
  • Micro Grid
  • Integrated Company
  • Climate Change
  • Green Energy
  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
  • Renewable Energy
  • Non-renewable Natural Resource
  • Recycling
  • Scarcity
  • Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
A Sampling of Relevant Colgate Activities
  • Campus Ecology Group - An umbrella group that brings together all green groups and organizations.
  • Green Summit - Colgate's longest running annual event that takes place each October. The Summit is a collaborative think tank that brings the Colgate community together to exchange ideas and plans of action for making our campus more sustainable.
  • Our Green Journey - Colgate's own sustainability blog! Check here often for the latest news and upcoming events related to campus sustainability.
  • Outdoor Education Program - Learning cannot be limited to the classroom. This program is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best as it helps students, faculty, and staff explore their sense of place and adventure.
  • Students for Environmental Action - They educate and energize students about recycling, waste reduction, energy consumption reduction, and greater community issues.
  • Sustainability Council - As an educational institution, Colgate recognizes its responsibility to be socially, economically, and environmentally responsible while protecting the surrounding environment and promoting a sense of environmental stewardship among its faculty, staff, and students.
  • Upstate Institute - The mission of the Institute is to create linkages between Colgate University and the regional community to engage students, faculty, staff and residents in research and a reciprocal transfer of knowledge that will enhance the economic, social and cultural capacity of the area and sustain the environment.
Colgate Coursework
Environmental Studies Program - The environmental studies program is designed to enhance your awareness of the complexity of regional and global environmental issues and to underscore the consequences and impacts of the human experience on the environment. The program administers five majors: Environmental biology, Environmental economics, Environmental geography, Environmental geology and Environmental studies.

Additionally, there may be courses offered through Colgate’s natural, life and physical science departments.
Local Organizations
Resources by Area
Agriculture Conservation
  • Conservation International - Nonprofit that applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's biodiversity around the world
  • Student Conservation Association - Their members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces in all 50 states.
  • The Nature Conservancy - The leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people
Green Building & Architecture
  • Architecture 2030 - A non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization, was established in response to the global-warming crisis.
  • Environmental Building News - Provides information designed to help building-industry professionals and policy makers improve the environmental performance of buildings.
  • Sustainable Cities - A non-profit, SCI works with cities around the world to bring about change towards urban sustainability.
  • United States Green Building Council: LEED Certification - Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across all the metrics.
Higher Education & Sustainability National & Global & Sustainability
  • 350.org - 350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.
  • ChasingGreen - A consumer resource that covers a wide range of topics on how ordinary people can help the environment and promote a green lifestyle.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Climate - EPA's climate change programs and activities are an integral part of the Agency's mission to protect human health and the environment.
  • Green America - Their mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
Outdoor / Environmental Education
  • National Environment Education Foundation - NEEF is an organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.
  • North American Association for Environmental Education
  • Outdoor Ed - Provides a rich community for professional outdoor and experiential educators to come together and share their knowledge, ideas, questions, and issues.
  • Outward Bound - This non-profit educational organization serves people of all ages and backgrounds through active learning expeditions that inspire character development, self-discovery and service both in and out of the classroom.
  • Overland - Overland offers 43 carefully crafted outdoors, service, language immersion, writing, environmental studies, field studies and gap year programs for 10 to 19 year olds.
  • Wilderness Therapy Treatment Programs

Alumni Advice

Headshot of Kathryn Bacher '14
Current Title and Organization:
Staff and Press Assistant, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Major at Colgate:

Environmental Economics
Q&A with Kathryn
  • What do you currently do?
    In my position, I am responsible for conducting policy research on the issues under our committee's jurisdiction, prepping for hearings and press conferences,  answering constituent calls, and aiding the committee staff with miscellaneous tasks.

  • What was your first position out of Colgate and what did you do in that role?
    I had a paid 6-month internship at a DC environmental think tank called the World Resources Institute. In this role, I researched and wrote a publication with colleagues outlining a guide for policymakers in developing countries on how to adopt mandatory greenhouse gas reporting programs.
  • How can students prepare themselves while at Colgate to work in your field?
    The Environmental Studies Program and the Office of Sustainability Internship Program are great resources for students interested in climate change and environmental policy. Given Colgate's goal to become carbon neutral by 2019, students should try to get as involved as they can for that historic achievement.
  • What extracurricular activities, associated with your profession or not, were you involved with while at Colgate?
    Given that I've been interested in environmental policy since I got to Colgate, most of my extracurricular activities aligned with this interest – I was an intern in the Office of Sustainability, served on SGA as the Environmental Policy Coordinator, and was the Sustainability Chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Find Opportunities

Job and Internship Programs
  • Colgate Office of Sustainability Internships - The Office of Sustainability offers several internship positions each year. In the past, they have included internships for Green Raiders, composting, Green Bikes, the Community Garden, food and dining, and communication. Check availability or apply for these positions on the portal.
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center - Lists openings for jobs, internships, and volunteer positions.
  • Washington D.C. Internships in Environmental Policy and Agriculture - All located in the DC area, focusing mostly on policy and research.
  • Energy.gov - Provides information on experiential and educational opportunities from internships to graduate fellowships.
Job and Internship Search Sites
  • Conservation Job Board - Posts jobs related to conservation, ecology, forestry, restoration, wildlife, fisheries, marine science, environmental education, land trusts, protected areas, outdoor recreation, ecotourism, and more.
  • Environmental Career Opportunities (EcoJobs) - Frequently updated, neatly categorized environmental job board.
  • Green Dream Jobs - Your home for green jobs: renewable and clean energy jobs (solar, wind jobs), green building jobs, organic jobs, and all environmental and sustainable jobs.
  • Green Jobs Ready - An online informative portal offering the latest news views and resources on breakthrough green jobs training programs in the Renewable Energy world.
  • Idealist.org - Search for jobs and internships in the environment, energy conservation, wildlife and animal welfare, and more. International jobs too.

naviGATE Opportunities

Below are some opportunities that may interest you from naviGATE, Colgate's internship and job database.

More Opportunities

The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) and Nationwide Internships Consortium (NIC) are databases of internships and entry-level jobs posted by employers interested in hiring liberal arts students.

Connect to Careers

Latest stories about internships, workshops, professional networks, and more.
  • Loading...