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SCOTT MERRICK
Customer Service Manager
Bergey Windpower
• Get hands-on experience. If you are looking for training as a wind turbine technician, make sure that the program has a wind turbine and a tower on site.
• New Mexico State University's College of Engineering is becoming known for their wind program. They were awarded a $2 million grant for equipment to develop large-scale wind blade and component test facilities.
• Look oversees. The European market for wind energy is more developed that the US market. Wind Turbine technology is moving quickly in countries such as Holland.
Bergey Energy, a prominent Oklahoma wind energy company, is a pioneer in the Wind Turbine market. Bergey Energy developed from wind turbine research at the University of Oklahoma in the 1970s. Today, Bergey sells and manufactures wind turbines that are used around the world, including such far flung markets as Kenya, Romania, and Fiji.
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.
HEIKE BILLER
Administrative Director
Catawba Lands Conservancy
• Classes in geography and mapping would be good preparation for a career in a land trust.
• Volunteer during college to gain an understanding of the way that land trusts operate.
• The ability to understand and use a geographic information system is a needed skill for land trusts.
North Carolina is a great place for green jobs. The state has a wide variety of natural wonders including the Appalachian Mountains, 300 miles of coast line fronted by barrier islands, and countless rivers and streams.

Land trusts work with willing landowners to save land from development. Catawba Lands Conservancy, in North Carolina's Southern Piedmont, is an important environmental organization in the local area. Environmentalists who might be interested in public-private environmental partnerships might be interested in employment in a land trust.

As administrative director at Catawba Lands Conservancy, Heike works in events coordination, fund raising, and land stewardship. This land trust is part of the North Carolina Conservation Network, a statewide network of environmental groups that might be a good resource for locating open positions in environmental and green organizations.
RICK GASKINS
Executive Director
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
• Have a passion for volunteerism. Even though Rick holds both an engineering degree from Duke and a Harvard Law degree, he still insists that environmental advocacy groups prioritize candidates who demonstrate an interest in working with volunteers.
• Write well. Environmental jobs often require degrees in the hard sciences, but Rick says that being persuasive with a pen often leads to the most sought-after positions.
• Learn how to fund-raise. Most non-profit organizations need volunteers to help solicit donations in order to implement their goals. If you want to hold an executive position in the environmental advocacy field, then volunteer your time and learn from the ground up.
Green jobs in the Charlotte area can be found in a mix of established and emerging businesses. Rick Gaskins leads the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, a Charlotte-area non-profit that advocates for the protection and enhancement of the Catawba River watershed. Rick pointed to the many land and water conservancies as a potential source of employment. Many of these organizations are loosely affiliated, making networking convenient. Rick named local groups such as Clean Air Carolina and Sustainable Charlotte as well as local chapters of national organizations such as the Sierra Club as excellent resources for aspiring green industry professionals interested in the Charlotte area.

The environmental community has long-standing ties with local academic powerhouses such as Duke University that conduct environmental research and offer several excellent academic programs with an environmental focus. Other nearby colleges such as Charlotte Community College have excellent sustainability programs also, with specialization in green technologies such as solar energy. Rick suggests contacting these educational departments to see what businesses they partner with. University department heads often serve as an excellent networking channel.
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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