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How to Find a Job in Sustainability

Sustainability PowerPoint (PDF)

Related Articles

Are Sustainability Degrees Worth it?

Though this article mainly focuses on sustainability education at the graduate degree level, the author does a good job of explaining the growing sustainability job market and the need for students with a sustainable education.

Degrees in Sustainability, Risky or Worth it?

This article takes the perspective of students enrolled in a sustainability minor at Arizona State University. The students talk about their perceived benefits as well as their experience with the minor. This article is a good resource for students who are not sure how a Sustainability Minor can benefit them.

Sustainability by the Numbers, Trends, and Analysis

This article sticks to the numbers, using facts and business terms to actively display how businesses are moving towards sustainability.


If you are wondering what type of job would utilize sustainability skills, you should start reading this government produced article. This article provides a thorough explanation of the different aspects that encompass sustainability.

This article also goes on to look at different jobs in different industries that require both sustainability skills as well as other skills. This also provides median wages of individuals within these industries. If you are wondering what type of job you could have where you would use sustainability skills, you should start reading this.

Promote Sustainable Development

The United Nations created this article to discuss sustainability throughout the world. Learn more about the goals the UN has set for the future of sustainability throughout the world.

WSU Goes Green

Did you know that Winona State University is dedicated to making our campus more sustainable as a whole? Learn more about sustainability efforts at WSU. 


What Professors Say About Their Classes

HERS 205

We infuse messages of sustainability throughout the semester in HERS 205, though the most focused content is during the last week of the semester. In the class students must be able to complete this project:

  1. Define sustainability (Gussow and Clancy).
  2. Delineate the steps in the food system; discuss how sustainability plays a role in each step.
  3. Contrast our industrial food system with a local, independent food system; list pros and cons of each.
  4. Define monoculture and biodiversity; describe the risk of “putting all our food eggs in one genetic basket.”
  5. List statistics related to our domestic and global total solid municipal waste and food waste.
  6. List three sustainable lifestyle choices you can (realistically) commit to in an effort improve your “shade of green.”

BIOL 315

This is an oral intensive course. Our activities include periodically discussing something on sustainability, but we also go beyond sustainable topics. During one class period per week we discuss weekly environmental issues in the news and prepare a separate set of discussions for the other period.

MKTG 105

The primary objective of this course is to provide an introduction to key macro-marketing concepts within the context of sustainability and the interconnectedness of markets, society and the environment.

This course is designed to explore the social goals and ethical responsibilities of the marketing system in consumption patterns, the resources used to produce those goods, and the impact of that production and consumption on the environment, society and stakeholders. We will investigate the interaction between consumption and the physical environment, as well as explore the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental optimization that protects and creates a sustainable future. 

BIOL 394

In industry, tissue culture is commonly used for 3 purposes: to create clones of disease-free plants such as orchids, to produce plant pharmaceuticals in large quantities in liquid cultures of plant cells, i.e. vaccines, and the more common use: to transfer genes from other organisms into sterile plant parts. The latter application produces a plant with a new trait, such as high protein content, which will then be moved into the field as a genetically-engineered plant.

In this discussion- and lab-based course, however, we discuss the dangers of genetically-engineered plants to our soil and environment, and we focus instead on a plant’s microbiome – the bacteria and fungi that are required for plant growth, but are stripped away as plant pieces are sterilized and put into culture. By adding microbes back to sterile plant cultures, we can make plants tolerant to high temperatures, drought, or saline soils. In other projects, we use tissue culture as a means to select for improved varieties of plants in sterile culture without genetic engineering - for example producing a plant with high amylase to be used in biofuel production or the food industry; we use micro-propagation to produce disease-free plants; we vary growth hormones and alter nutrients in the media to observe a plant’s response to different environments. We learn how to visualize a normal plant’s anatomy by staining, and discuss how changes in culture conditions can alter a plant’s form and the medicinal chemicals a plant might produce. These are just a few of the 7 projects we work on, in addition to learning how to design good experiments, make media with different components, and statistically analyze results.

The students also work on an independent project of their own design.

PHIL 232

Students in Philosophy 232 engage with philosophical ideas that challenge their attitudes towards natural resources, the environment, and nature as a whole. This class is designed around student participation and students are always encouraged to discuss and challenge the philosophical ideas put forward in the assigned readings. Students will confront arguments in favor of animal rights and will discuss the extent to which their dietary choices contribute to environmental degradation. The class also discusses a number of theories regarding the value of nature, including the following questions: Is nature inherently valuable? Is it wrong to see nature simply as a set of resources? Do we have moral obligations to protect natural beauty? Should we allow corporations to patent lifeforms like genetically-modified seeds?

The class also asks students to think long and hard about human dependency on the natural world. We discuss the victims of pollution, the nature of sustainable development, as well as the moral and scientific questions surrounding anthropogenic climate change. In short, this is the class for students who want to broaden their horizons and be challenged to think about environmental ethics in ways they never have before.