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.
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.
Residential Sustainability Specialist
City Of Boulder Local Environmental Action Division
• Local Industry Leader: The Boulder Green Building Guild (bgbg.org) partners with the city and holds educational as well as social events providing opportunities to network with contractors and architects.
• Networks: Boulder has an active Green Drinks meet-up, as well as 2140 networking group for young professionals, and Naturally Boulder, which has a focus on green products and businesses.
• Career directions: The green job market is very competitive in Boulder. Experience working with contractors should be coupled with a strong understanding of building science. These skills could lead to careers beyond green building in policy and government program management.
Residential Sustainability Specialist Megan Cuzzolino faces a challenge unique to the City of Boulder: due to the large student resident population and the high cost of homes, rental properties make up half of city housing. An ordinance called SmartRegs was recently passed by City Council. The first regulation of its kind in the country, SmartRegs requires rental housing to reach a certain energy efficiency standard. The City of Boulder offers incentives to property owners and landlords that take steps to make their rentals energy efficient. Under the SmartRegs framework, Megan reaches out to landlords and coordinates SmartRegs certification training for the building inspectors who work with the landlords on energy-efficiency assessments.

Megan also partners with Boulder County's Sustainability team on the EnergySmart program, which is a one-stop-shop for residential energy efficiency upgrades. Megan says the advisor role for landlords and residents is key. Before EnergySmart, the percent of audits that lead to energy upgrades was very low. Hopefully, by minimizing hassle and confusion, EnergySmart can increase this percentage. "EnergySmart is intended to eliminate the hassle of residential and commercial retrofitting. So far, the program is seeing large enrollments within the City, mostly due to the SmartRegs requirements," Megan says. The hope is that the program will also be a major source of green economic stimulation.

In addition to energy-efficiency, Megan says the solar industry has a significant presence in Boulder, with regional utility Xcel Energy offering rebates for solar installations. Boulder also benefits from the significant environmental and clean energy research at the University of Colorado. Megan says the city works with the university's Environmental Center to organize Green Teams that do door to door energy-efficiency advocacy in student-dense neighborhoods. Boulder's extensive network of green organizations and institutions provide an excellent, if competitive, market for green jobs.
Executive Assistant
Greenprint Denver
• Network with members of the Sustainable Business Association Network .Check out their directory at http://sustainablecolorado.org/documents/sustainable-business-association-network-directory.
• Network through professional societies such as Young Professionals in Energy and Women in Sustainable Energy (WISE).
• Be comfortable communicating across education levels. Green municipal outreach programs look for people who can adapt their methods of engagement to reflect the diversity of the community.
Mim started working for the City & County of Denver in the Office of Sustainability, Greenprint Denver. As a Program Assistant in Greenprint Denver's central office, Mim followed the many projects and outreach efforts in progress throughout the city. From improving energy sustainability within the city's various departments, to coordinating efficiency efforts between the city and community, to greening roads by including bike lanes, Greenprint Denver embraces the concept of local government as a community leader. Mim has transitioned to Denver Environmental Health to run an air pollution prevention program, Engines Off! Denver. Mim sees growth happening in the energy efficiency field on multiple fronts because governments, businesses, and individuals are all looking to save money by lowering their utility bills. Plus, both municipal and private green incubator programs are underway to develop new green, renewable energy businesses in the area. She also noted Colorado's governor, John Hickenlooper, as actively seeking out new opportunities to connect entrepreneurs with funding and local research facilities, strengthening the state's green business community. Both the University of Colorado, Boulder and Colorado State University offer strong programs in environmental and green fields of study. In addition, Denver is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Denver should continue to see green job growth as these businesses and organizations continue to multiply.
Communications And Executive Support Manager
Urban Land Conservancy
• Areas of expertise: To work in a non-profit that deals with real estate and city planning like the Urban Land Conservancy, developing a background in government policy, urban planning, and project design is helpful.
• Skill sets: Technical skills such as mapping and geographic information system expertise would be helpful for an organization like ours in planning out developments and locating properties for potential real estate developments as well as preparing marketing presentations.
• Graduate Study Ideas: Urban Land Trust partners with the University of Boulder, Colorado’s Sustainable Development Department. Graduate Students have helped Urban Land Trust with their grant writing efforts.
The Urban Land Conservancy strives to preserve community assets in Denver neighborhoods by purchasing properties and partnering with community housing organizations and local governments to develop the sites.

Christi Longsdorf says there is a unique aspect to the organization:"We're not just focused on land preservation. We have community in mind." Recently, she says they were able to preserve a 100 year old school by buying it and selling it back to the community at the purchase price.

Current efforts are focused on Denver’s west side, where the city is developing a light rail extension into outlying neighborhoods. Denver is the first city in the nation to create a Transit-Oriented Development Fund, and the Urban Land Conservancy will partner with the city to develop a sight that will offer affordable housing, a branch of the Denver Library and office space for non-profit organizations.

The TOD Fund is a revolving fund that the city hopes to grow to 25 million dollars over time. The partnership between the Urban Land Conservancy and city government is a huge win for sustainability efforts in Denver, and is sure to be emulated as a model for growth in other cities looking to expand their green economies through TOD Funds.
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