Enviornmental Planning and Design

Environmental planning and design is a field which emphasizes an understanding of the planning and management of the physical environment, and the interaction of natural and social systems. Some specialties within this field are Environmental Geomatics/Planning, and Landscape Architecture/Industry. Professionals typically fall into two areas—those that concentrate on a specific geographical area (e.g., city, state, ecosystem) and those who specialize in a particular issue (e.g., air and water quality, transportation). Regardless of their concentrated area, planners focus on problems and issues about the physical environment and propose solutions to solve them. While most environmental planners and designers work at the local level, many planners are interested in national issues and their global effects.

Quick Facts

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Recommended Minors
  • Sociology – studies groups, the ways people behave in groups and how an individual’s attitudes and actions are influenced by them.
  • Political Science – equips students to understand political life, to be effective citizens, and to achieve positions of political leadership.
  • Economics – prepares students to be able to apply the theory of economic issues and policies.
  • Global Business – students gain traditional functional knowledge and analytical skills, yet are increasingly adept at leading diverse teams of innovators and managers from around the world.
Types of Employers
Non-Profit and Private
  • Architectural Firms
  • Construction Firms
  • Engineering Firms
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Environmental Health Consultants
  • Environmental Justice Groups
  • Golf Courses
  • Landscape Architects
  • Ski Resorts
  • Utility Companies
Government Agencies
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of the Interior
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • County Planning Departments
Environmental Studies Graduates’ Positions
  • Protection Specialist, US Environmental Protection Agency (Jenny [Stephenson] Dixon)
  • Wetland Conservation Act Administrator, Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Pollution Control Specialist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Scott Schroeder)
  • Conservation and Recovery Specialist, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Transportation Planning Analyst, Kimley-Horn and Associates (Ashley Ver Burg Soukup)
  • Wind Energy and Solar Energy Project Developer, Renewable Energy Systems (Sean Flannery)
  • Land Management Assistant, Minnesota Native Landscapes
  • Environmental Consultant, Duluth (Kate Sinner)
  • The Nature Conservancy, Lobbyist (Stephanie Pinkalla)
  • County Planner, Lincoln Co. Planning & Zoning (Joan [Van Grinsven] Doss)