Environmentalism is a field focused on lessening the burdens on the environment: including pollution, water and air contamination, and deforestation. Environmentalists work to preserve natural resources and promote sustainability and conservation.
Those working to ensure environmental justice also look to ensure that low-income, or otherwise disadvantaged groups or populations are not disproportionately affected by the negative effects from the harm done to the environment through litigation, organizing, or scientific innovation.
Environmental justice is a relatively new field that began in the 1980’s to combat the polluting practices of many companies and its effect on the community as a whole.
those looking to work for environmentalism or environmental justice, have
worked to lessen the burdens of pollution on communities.
Potential Jobs/Projects in the Field:
Environmentalism and Environmental justice are sectors that provide unique opportunities for people wishing to pursue social justice as a career working in government, law, not-for-profits, or as social entrepreneurs.
Below are some sample job listings with descriptions. These are just a limited sampling and below you can find more links to customize your search.
Lawyer for the NRDC
As a not-for-profit litigator for the National Resources Defense Council, you could be working to pursue environmental justice by litigating against companies who do not comply with environmental regulations. Furthermore, you could be partnering with government agencies to develop new environmental protections, or help mobilize various community groups or leaders to promote environmental justice.
NRDC Job Description
Environmental Protection Agency Mechanical
As a mechanical engineer for the EPA, you could be conducting the engineering analysis with the use of energy modeling applications to deter
mine the probable
reduction in the emission of green house gases. With this job you would take
responsibility for providing technical assistance, cost estimates, and ensure
quality effectiveness for proposed projects to reduce pollution and
contaminants throughout the country.
EPA Job Description
Cargill Rural Development Manager
Working on rural development, you could be organizing classes for farmers in rural areas of developing countries to teach them how to best leverage resources to maximize their farming output in environmentally friendly ways. Furthermore, you could help organize lending programs to farmers to help them get access to capital to pursue sustainable agriculture.
Interviews About Environmental Justice
Get insights from James Rose of GRACE about how to "break-in" to the environmental justice sector, and about his work in innovative media strategies that increase public awareness of environmental issues.
Resources on Campus/Related Organizations:
Columbia Earth Coalition A student action group which works to make our university more sustainable. We promote environmental consciousness through outreach and service to the community.
Consilience Journal A global online publication dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainable development.
Core Foods Student run not-for-profit working to provide students and members of the Columbia community with affordable, nutritious foods produced in a sustainable way.
Americorps Guide on Environmental Sector Comprehensive guide to finding a job in the not-for-profit sector created by Americorps.
EPA Jobs with the EPA for students (summer internships and jobs)
NYC Environmental Protection Agency NYC Environmental Protection Agency jobs listings
National Park Service Job opportunities for the National Park Service (volunteer opportunities also listed)
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Information about summer internships and jobs for students also included)
Sustainable Business Website covering “green” news, developments, and offers a jobs listing for positions that are specifically “Clean Tech”
Grist A nationwide magazine for resources and news updates about environmentalism/environmental justice with a jobs listing for positions within environmentalism field.
GreenPeace Job opportunities with Greenpeace (volunteer and internship opportunities are also listed)
Earth Corps One year Americorps Program performing service by community building, habitat restoration, and promoting conservation techniques