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ROB SISSON
President
Republicans For Environmental Protection
• Working as a staffer in a political organization is a good place to get into environmental politics.
• All members of congress employ an environmental legislative assistant.
• You can work on sustainability inside corporations. Look for positions as Corporate Responsibility Officers or Sustainability Officers.
Republicans for Environmental Protection is an organization dedicate to restoring the GOP's great conservation legacy. Rob cites several environmental Republican presidents who established milestones in our nation. Abraham Lincoln protected Yosemite. Ulysses S. Grant created Yellowstone, the first national park. Theodore Roosevelt championed conservation by designating 150 National Forests and five national parks. Even conservative icon Ronald Reagan ratified the Montreal Protocol to protect the Ozone Layer. Rob's expertise is in Republican environmental politics but his advice could just as easily translate to the Democratic Party. While any college major can lead to a career in politics, law degrees are very common and any classes in environmental science would also be helpful. Look for entry level positions as political staffers, at think tanks, or in foundations.
MICA ODOM
National Energy Media Director
Environmental Defense Fund
• Mica attended Columbia Business School and concentrated in Social Enterprise. Look to Ivy League MBA programs for business training in sustainable energy.
• Internships, even unpaid, or other networking opportunities are the key to getting your foot in the door in green and environmental industries.
• MBA and business students should look to Net Impact for networking opportunities in green and environmental industries. Net Impact has chapters on most campuses in many cities, and the web site includes a jobs page.
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. As National Energy Media Director for the Environmental Defense Fund, Mica Odom has insight into career success in green marketing. Mica points to the success of past EDF campaigns such as the 2007 landmark deal that canceled eight coal-fired power plants proposed in Texas and adopted an unprecedented set of environmental initiatives, preventing 57 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Mica's career highlights the importance of business skills in the green and environmental industry. MBA programs in both the Ivy League and state schools are offering innovative programs that highlight green and environmental business training. The economic push from MBA students trained in sustainable business models is currently demonstrating the viability of green career fields such as engineering, green building, renewable energy finance, green marketing, and philanthropic foundations with an environmental focus.
JULIA KERTZ GRANT
Foothills And Open Space Manager
City Of Boise Department Of Parks And Recreation
• Spend a day shadowing an environmental professional to learn about the industry.
• Look to graduate programs that offer interdisciplinary environmental programs that include a variety of classes including business, law, and education classes.
• Alumni networks are a great place to get the help and connections to break into the environmental industry.
The Boise metropolitan area, like much of the Pacific Northwest, has many growth opportunities for green industry professionals in public, private, and public-private partnerships, according to Julia Kertz Grant, Foothills and Open Space Manger at the Foothills Learning Center in Boise, Idaho.

The Sunergy Solar Plant, the first large scale solar energy production facility in the state will come online in 2012. The $45 million facility should provide job opportunities in a number of green tech and green engineering areas.

Julia also pointed out the impact of the City of Boise's Green House, a local green technology incubator funded by both the public sector and the City of Boise. This public-private business incubator provides financial, human resources, e-commerce, legal, and marketing support services for several growing, early stage green companies. As these young companies mature there will be plenty of job opportunities for green industry graduates in the Boise area.
SCOTT M. FLYNN
Green Homes Builder
Flynner Homes And Renovations
• Green building has been very negatively affected by the real estate crash.
• The long term cost savings of green building to both home owners and companies will continue to propel green building in the future.
• Retrofitting existing commercial buildings is the most promising area of green building in the current market.
According to Scott Flynn, owner of green builder Flynner Homes, green building nationwide has been hit hard by the extreme downturn in real estate prices, and the Boise area is no exception. However, Scott says environmental retrofits of existing commercial building are still popular due to the energy savings that can be achieved in larger projects.

As a green home builder, Scott says part of his job is to educate his customers on the green technologies that are available. Many green technologies require a more substantial initial investment, but pay for themselves in long term cost savings. This can be a tough sell in a down economy.

A big part of green building is getting more value form the energy that is put into heating and cooling a structure. Advanced framing techniques and green insulation techniques can provide a significant cost in energy bills if they are implemented during construction. Scott uses computer modeling to find the furnace and duct work that best optimize energy savings.
SANDY PICKARD
Business Manager
Solar Energy International
• Take classes at Solar Energy International. Workshops are offered in solar, thermal, green building, and even hydro technologies. Classes are offered in twelve locations around the US.
• Roofers can improve their skills by taking classes in solar energy installation.
• Solar energy installation and commercial size energy efficiency projects are the hottest areas of green technology.
Solar Energy International has been providing education in solar and other renewable energy technologies for 20 years. They have become one of the premiere institutions for accredited renewable energy workshops and offer classes in a number of locations.

Business manager Sandy Pickard highlighted the important work this non-profit does through their educational mission. Solar Energy International has expanded to include workshops in solar electric, solar thermal, micro-hydro, and wind energy. Classes are also offered online.
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