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Environmental Sustainability (BA/BS)

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Environmental Sustainability (BA/BS)

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Environmental sustainability studies how human societies can meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Achieving this goal requires balancing short- and long-term needs related to jobs and economic growth, societal well-being, and environmental health. 

Climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and the overuse of natural resources have contributed to a human environment that may no longer be sustainable Only by using modern scientific methods and by integrating scientific research with an understanding of the global economy and governmental institutions can we expect to understand and manage a natural environment that will be sustainable, supporting and enhancing the quality of life for generations to come. Skilled professionals educated in the principles of environmental sustainability are essential to the effective management of the natural environment.  These professionals will be qualified for numerous sustainability-related positions in government, the private sector, the non-profit sector, and education. Because many managers in these sectors have only a vague understanding of sustainability, persons with degrees in environmental sustainability are positioned very well to achieve important leadership positions, setting agendas for long-run sustainability at the local, regional, national, and global levels.

Interested? Email the Undergraduate Adviser, Jamie Steele at jamie@ou.edu

Students may pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in any of the following options:

  • Science and Natural Resources (  / BS) (pdf)
  • Culture and Society (BA / BS) (pdf)
  • Planning and Management (BA / BS) (pdf)

Recent OU Environmental Sustainability Alumni - Employment

  • Environmental Programs Specialist II at OK. Dept. of Environmental Quality
  • Air Quality Program Coordinator at Choctaw Nation of OK
  • Brand & Content Strategist at Opower in San Francisco
  • Business Development at CleanTX in Austin
  • City Planner for the City of Amarillo
  • District Executive for Boys Scouts of America in OKC
  • Field Scientist at Terracon in Katy, TX
  • Freshest Cargo Route Manager at Fresh Approach in San Francisco 
  • GIS Specialist at LandWorks, Inc. in Houston, TX
  • Director of Marketing and Communications at CleanTX in Austin
  • Retail Strategy Architect of Digital Innovation in Norman
  • GIS Specialist for Brownsfields Program for Oil and Gas Conservation Division of OK. Corp. Commission
  • Health and Safety Executive (HES) Officer. Innospec Oilfield Services in OKC
  • Insurance Agent at Kemper in Georgia
  • Associate Planner and Program Coordinator at the Office of Sustainability in OKC
  • Quality Control Analyst at Cyanotech in Hawaii
  • Brown Field Coordinator at Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Office of Environmental Health and Engineering 
  • Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) Graduate porgram in WDC, American University School of International Service (SIS)
  • Masters of City and Regional Planning Program, UNC; Graduate Asst. UNC Highway Safety Research Center on safe routes to school

Career Options in Environmental Sustainability

Government

  • Sustainable community planner
  • Green economic developer
  • National Park ranger
  • Municipal water conservation program manager
  • Green team leader for city government
  • Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Officer

Business

  • Green energy entrepreneur
  • Corporate social responsibility manager
  • Environmental consultant
  • Energy auditor
  • Environmental journalist
  • ISO certification specialist

Nonprofit

  • Executive director of a local environmental nonprofit
  • State-level engagement coordinator for Greenpeace
  • Fundraising and grant writer for Sierra Club
  • Communications manager for World Wildlife Fund

Helpful Resources