Environment / Natural Resources / Sustainability

Finding opportunities for the natural and built worlds to co-exist is complex, and many industries are trying to find more sustainable solutions and reduce environmental impact, as well as “go green”. This community a dynamic one to explore and crosses multiple sectors.

Welcome to the Environment / Natural Resources / Sustainability Community

Finding opportunities for the natural and built worlds to co-exist is complex, and many industries are trying to find more sustainable solutions and reduce environmental impact, as well as “go green”. This community a dynamic one to explore and crosses multiple sectors.

Energy use is an integral part of all sectors of society, be they industrial, transportation, residential, governmental, individual, or other sectors. The bulk of energy used in the world comes from non-renewable sources. The field of energy conservation revolves around the belief that prosperity and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand. Energy conservationists create solutions for a wide range of environmental issues through political, design, scientific and economic expertise.

Nature and wildlife conservationists protect plants, animals and their habitats to ensure that the natural world will be around and healthy for generations to come. This can take the form of hands on science and research, government/policy work, national parks/education, non-profits focused on raising awareness and funds, and more. Career opportunities in this area are broad in scope, and students from any major should be able to find a way to put their skills to work in this area.

Cities, regions and their residents face significant challenges in the coming decades, and significant opportunities. Addressing the challenges and building on the opportunities requires skilled design and planning professionals who value both theory and practice, who can push professional boundaries while respecting community desires. Landscape architects develop creative designs for residential and commercial spaces in the private sector, as well as serving the public sector in the areas of historic preservation, recreation and other public construction. Regional planners address and resolve the physical, economic, and social problems of towns, cities, and larger regions, and attempt to anticipate and adequately prepare for the impact of growth and development on the environment and vice versa, and to resolve conflicts between development and the environment.

Relevant Courses

Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:

  • Critical and Analytical thinking
  • Persuasive writing & speaking
  • Creative problem solving
  • Written and graphic communication
  • Plant pathology

In the Relevant Courses section below are a few examples of relevant SBS courses, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.  Check SPIRE for full course descriptions and availability. These are abbreviated descriptions, and details may change at the discretion of the instructor.  Courses may not be offered every semester.

Also in this section are some relevant non-academic Linkedin Learning courses that you can take for free, compliments of UMass.

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Relevant SBS Courses

Your major does not necessarily have to be in direct line with your career! Sociology majors can work in the business sector. Economics majors can work in government. Poli Sci majors can work on Wall Street. Many SBS departments offer courses relevant to various career paths. Here is a very small sampling of courses relevant to this industry from across the majors. Please speak with your academic advisor to explore all available courses, and remember that you need not constrain yourself to courses within your major. Study what is interesting to you!

STPEC 291 CE – Capitalism & the Environment

STPEC 291 CE – Capitalism & the Environment: Explore the ecological crisis through the lens of both social/environmental theory and political…

COMM 494Cl – Communication, Ecology & Sustainability

COMM 494Cl – Communication, Ecology & Sustainability: As forms of communication contribute to the growing integration of the planet, the planet…

LANDARCH 494I – Landscape Planning and the Cultural Landscape

LANDARCH 494I – Landscape Planning and the Cultural Landscape: Landscape planning crosses scales from regional to site specific, taking a real…

RESECON 471 – Cost Benefit Analysis

RESECON 471 – Cost Benefit Analysis: Theoretical foundations and practical procedures of benefit-cost analysis as applied to public natural resources and…

ECON 308 – Political Economy of the Environment

ECON 308 – Political Economy of the Environment: Application of the theories of political economy to environmental problems and issues.  Topics…

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication: This course introduces non-majors to a variety of competing theories of interpersonal behavior and everyday social…

POLISCI 253H – Int’l Environmental Policy & Politics

POLISCI 253H – Int’l Environmental Policy & Politics: Focus on the social, political, and economic factors causing environmental threats and by…

SUSTCOMM 205 – Dynamics of Human Habitation

SUSTCOMM 205 – Dynamics of Human Habitation: How the built environment is shaped by humans. The forces that go into developing…

LEGAL 494DI – Environmental & Public Policy Dispute Resolution

LEGAL 494DI – Environmental & Public Policy Dispute Resolution: This course examines multiparty disputes involving topics such as land use management,…

LEGAL 497N – Environmental Justice

LEGAL 497N – Environmental Justice: This course provides an exploration of the environmental justice (EJ) movement. Central to our study is…

POLISCI 280 – Public Policy

POLISCI 280 – Public Policy: Focus on how public policies are made in the U.S., including the role of citizens, interest…

RESECON 262 – Environmental Economics

RESECON 262 – Environmental Economics: Economic analysis of environmental problems, focusing on air, water and land pollution. Emphasis is on analyzing…

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Explore Outcomes

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2020 was 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2021 was just shy of 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

  • First Destination
  • Top Employers
  • Starting Salary
  • Job Titles
  • Employment Locations
  • Top Universities
  • Degree Types
  • Fields of Study

First Destination

SBS graduates pursue a range of plans after graduation, including employment, continuing education, and volunteering/service, among others.  This graph depicts what recent SBS graduates tell us they are doing within six months after graduation.

Student Success Stories

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