Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning Major

Resources, Strengths, Career Paths, Skills

It’s no secret that “green” jobs are in some of the fastest growing fields in the 21st-century global economy. Government and corporate funding for retrofitting buildings, reconfiguring mass transit and restoring wildlife preserves reaches new highs every year. Many organizations have begun creating initiatives to develop environmentally friendly products and progressive green business practices. Minimizing the use of resources while lowering costs is an important incentive for businesses, government, and individuals to innovate and operate more sustainably. To achieve this, there is a need for skilled analysts, consultants, educators, advocates, planners, and policy makers. Many of these jobs did not exist several years ago and this “green” sector of the economy is expected to continue to grow.

Environmental Design, Policy and Planning majors are in a unique position to take advantage of the many new job opportunities every year in industries which, according to the federal government, are expected to grow 52% between 2000 and 2016.

Transferable Skills: Students of Environmental Design, Policy and Planning develop these general skills…

  • Thinking critically and analytically
  • Conducting research and presenting findings
  • Working in groups for collective problem-solving

…and hone their professional expertise with these:

  • Understanding Planning practices and processes
  • Articulating advanced environmental science concepts to the public
  • Proficiency in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Computer Aided Design

Career Paths: The major in Environmental Design, Policy and Planning prepares students to enter a variety of fields. Their interdisciplinary background provides a strong foundation for careers in:

  • Urban and regional planning
  • Sustainable building practices education
  • Research and development in sustainable planning
  • Environmental advocacy
  • Government and the nonprofit sector
  • Green business management and consulting

Resources & Professional Associations of Interest: There are many excellent professional organizations and other resources from which a student of Environmental Design, Policy and Planning will benefit. Below are some websites to help you start your research:

Consider joining on-campus clubs related to environmental conservation and advocacy. On-campus student organizations are a great way to meet people with similar interests who may be able to connect you with professionals in your intended field. Visit the Stony Brook University Student Activities site for more information.

Sample Job Titles: The environmental challenges of our time have increased the demand for environmental design professionals, including:

  • Design associates
  • Land-use planners
  • Sustainability coordinators
  • Recycling and waste reduction analysts
  • Natural resource managers
  • Environmental planning consultants
  • Preservation & stewardship managers
  • Zoning code enforcement specialists
  • Energy management auditors
  • Environmental compliance officers
  • Green marketing representatives
  • Environmental educators

Note: Some of these jobs may require an advanced degree

Information: For more information on Stony Brook’s Sustainability Studies Program with five majors, and six minors, please visit their website at: http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/sustainability