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JENNIFER BROWNING
Executive Director
Biodiversity Project
• Acquire a good background in environmental issues and the science behind them. Consider enrolling in biology and ecology classes.
• Take writing classes. Non-profits need grant writing, newsletter production and communications experts.
• DePaul University offers a masters degree in non-profit management, and the Illinois Institute of Technologies has a well regarded masters degree in environmental studies.
The Biodiversity project develops communications plans for environmental organizations through public opinion research, strategic planning and creative tactics. As executive director of the Biodiversity Project, Jennifer Browning is an expert in the area of environmental communications strategy, a vital skill for all environmental organizations that depend on public funding and public awareness.

Jennifer highlighted the importance of a good background in environmental science for a career in environmental communications. A technical understanding of how watersheds work or the science behind global warming can be helpful in a career with an organization like the Biodiversity project. Writing skills are also invaluable in a communications career, so any completed study in English, public relations, or marketing classes that require writing should be included in a job applicant's resume.

The Biodiversity Project is one of many important government, non-profit, and private industry green organizations in Chicago. Outgoing mayor Richard Daily made green jobs a priority for Chicago city government and Chicago has several innovative green programs.

Emerging professionals can further their training at the Center for Green Technologies, which has a variety of educational and volunteer opportunities.

For green professionals looking to network, the organization Chicago Wilderness has an extensive list of member organizations.
BEN HELPHAND
Executive Director
NeighborSpace
• Volunteer in a non-profit or environmental organization.
• Be your own advocate. Don't wait for things to come to you.
• Consider taking classes in managing non-profits, community organizing, environmental organizing, and communications (speaking and writing).
NeighborSpace, in Chicago, Illinois, is a unique type of land trust that concentrates their efforts on helping community groups protect urban parks and gardens. NeighborSpace's projects require much more community organizing than traditional land trusts. Ben Helphand, NeighborSpace's executive director, leads organizational support for 76 new gardens or parks and three to seven new projects per year. NeighborSpace works closely with the city of Chicago and several public and private groups to facilitate this effort.

Ben's best advice is to "be you own advocate". Green organizations such as NeighborSpace often find new employees through internships or volunteer positions. Just applying to jobs through job boards may not be enough. A good educational background in environmental science along with writing, speaking and communication skills provide a background for work in community organizing, but getting out there to volunteer and network will probably be the difference between success and failure.
STEPHANIE ADAMS
Communications Director
Prairie Rivers Network
• The school you attend matters less than volunteer and internship opportunities.
• Scientists with good communications skills are in high demand with organizations like Prairie Rivers Network.
• Any number of backgrounds, including biology, law, political science, graphic design, and communications can lead to a career in an organization such as Prairie Rivers Network.
Prairie Rivers Network is an environmental non-profit that helps community groups and individuals protect the rivers, streams, and watershed communities of Illinois. As the Communications and Development Director, Stephanie helps the organization communicate with the public about important environmental issues, such as controlling the runoff from coal or agricultural industries and stopping dangerous evasive species such as Asian Carp.

Prairie Rivers Network hires employees from a wide variety of backgrounds: Attorneys are needed to enforce the laws that protect people and the environment. Scientists, including biologists, ecologists, and wildlife biologists conduct tests, evaluate the strengthens of the standards, and research alternative technology and practices. Communications experts such as Stephanie Adams manage communications with the media and public.
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.
JENNIFER BROWNING
Executive Director
Biodiversity Project
• Acquire a good background in environmental issues and the science behind them. Consider enrolling in biology and ecology classes.
• Take writing classes. Non-profits need grant writing, newsletter production and communications experts.
• DePaul University offers a masters degree in non-profit management, and the Illinois Institute of Technologies has a well regarded masters degree in environmental studies.
The Biodiversity project develops communications plans for environmental organizations through public opinion research, strategic planning and creative tactics. As executive director of the Biodiversity Project, Jennifer Browning is an expert in the area of environmental communications strategy, a vital skill for all environmental organizations that depend on public funding and public awareness.

Jennifer highlighted the importance of a good background in environmental science for a career in environmental communications. A technical understanding of how watersheds work or the science behind global warming can be helpful in a career with an organization like the Biodiversity project. Writing skills are also invaluable in a communications career, so any completed study in English, public relations, or marketing classes that require writing should be included in a job applicant's resume.

The Biodiversity Project is one of many important government, non-profit, and private industry green organizations in Chicago. Outgoing mayor Richard Daily made green jobs a priority for Chicago city government and Chicago has several innovative green programs.

Emerging professionals can further their training at the Center for Green Technologies, which has a variety of educational and volunteer opportunities.

For green professionals looking to network, the organization Chicago Wilderness has an extensive list of member organizations.
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