Environmental Policy and Management is an exciting career path for people who enjoy exploring various perspectives on a certain issue, working with others to accommodate those perspectives, and formulating rules and procedures that others will follow. Humans are increasingly interacting with and manipulating their natural environment. The role of people working in Environmental Policy and Management is to plan for, detect, and mitigate those effects on the natural world. They use their understanding of humans to advocate for the environment, manage environmental projects and personnel, and develop plans to conserve and protect natural resources.
Environmental Policy and Management can include a number of different positions. Most involve working indoors with peers who have similar education and interests. This means that teamwork, communication, and the capacity to work on office and paperwork are essential. Positions might include working for environmental consulting firms, federal resource management agencies such as the Forest Service or the EPA, state agencies that focus on resource development or preservation, or environmental advocacy organizations.
Students looking to get into Environmental Policy and Management must have a solid foundation in the social sciences. Understanding of the legal, economic, sociological, and political structures at play in the management of the environment is very important, but students should also gain a working understanding of the natural sciences as well. Students considering a career in Environmental Policy and Management should look into the Environmental Policy Concentration.
Graduates who have pursued careers in Environmental Policy and Management
Janne K. Flisrand (’94) is a self-employed urban sustainability consultant. In this capacity, she “connects people, places, and ideas through smart process.” Her consulting work focuses on affordable and healthy housing, green building, and energy conservation. She has also presented on green marketing, sustainable investing, and transportation/land use. As an urban sustainability consultant she has worked with the State of Minnesota through Minnesota Green Communities to make all publicly-funded affordable housing meet Green Communities Criteria. She is frequently hired to write policy research papers, accessible handbooks, and program summaries. She also works as a facilitator when a group of organizations wants to work together.
Will Hoyer (‘02) was one of the first students to graduate from Luther with an individualized major in Environmental Studies. He is currently a research associate for the Iowa Policy Project, a non-profit research organization based in Iowa City. He is focused on water quality, especially the impact that agriculture has on the state's waters, as well energy efficiency and renewable energy. His work is aimed at improving policies at the state and local level.