Environment, Natural Resources, & Wildlife

Think you might be interested in working with the environment, natural resources, or wildlife? We can help!

Maureen enjoys working with students to help them connect the dots between their interests, skills, and experiences in order to search for opportunities and make meaningful career decisions. She has experience with AmeriCorps and taught English through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Hokkaido for two years.

Her Facebook group is a great place to learn more and connect with others with similar interests.

Make An Appointment

Explore Career Paths

What does it mean to work in fields such as Environmental Planning/Conservation, Sustainability, Resource Management, Remediation/Compliance, Quality Assurance/Control, or Wildlife Management/Care? Read more below about each of these areas and how your L&S degree can lead you to a career in these fields.

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Environmental Policy & Planning

The Environmental Policy field centers around the alternation of public policy and social institutions that influence the way we manage the environment and our natural resources. By researching scientific data and current legislation Environmental Policy makers create new laws and legal standards that will better serve shifting environmental demands.

Environmental Planning careers create programs that use land more efficiently with minimal damage to the surrounding environment. They often focus on the use of natural resources and attempt to predict any risks or problems that may arise, and then create plans to combat these risks.

Sustainability & Green Jobs

Though the words “sustainability” and “green” often invoke the idea of environmental scientists, this narrow view does not accurately represent the diversity of the field. While these scientific careers are certainly part of the industry, there are many other options for those seeking a Sustainability job or Green profession. In fact, many Sustainability careers are often focused on helping organizations and companies run more efficiently, thereby increasing their profits, pleasing their customer base, and creating a sense of well being among the community.

Environmental Public Health Careers

Opportunities in public health are expanding, largely due to the prevalence of preventable diseases and the challenges presented by an aging population, environmental contaminants, and natural disasters. Since the environment plays a major role in our health many career options focus on understanding and improving conditions in both natural and built environments. These are often referred to as occupational and environmental health professions. Workers in these careers keep us safe by inspecting facilities, researching how the environment influences human health and disease, and minimizing environmental health risks.

Agriculture & Forestry

Careers in Agriculture and Forestry make up one of the largest industries and sources of long-term employment in the country, providing jobs for millions of Americans. These careers supply us with a multitude of food products and alternative energies, among many other important resources for sustaining our country and contribution to the world economy. In addition, these careers – particularly those associated with Forestry – conserve our natural resources and assure we have bountiful supplies of land to utilize in the future. Many of the careers in the Agriculture and Forestry industry are considered “Green Careers,” meaning that the careers are involved in preserving or protecting our environmental resources.

Ways to Explore

Environmental SCIENCE.org: Use this resource to get started on figuring out how your interests could fit with a possible career path. Learn about education options, detailed descriptions of career paths, plus jobs and more.

US EPA: Become knowledgeable of cutting edge environmental topics and issues, laws and regulations and how the EPA is involved in making key decisions that impact current trends in managing human health and the environment.


ONET OnLine: O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

Occupational Outlook Handbook: The OOH can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations.

CareerOneStop: A source for career exploration, training & jobs. Sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

Glassdoor.com: Jobs, Company Reviews, Salaries, Interviews, Know Your Worth.

Environmental Careers
Natural Resources
Wildlife Careers






Ask a Badger

Listen to UW-Madison alum Linda Vakunta (BA ’09, Psychology) talk about her career journey.

Employment of conservation scientists and foresters is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Heightened demand for American timber and wood pellets will help increase the overall job prospects for conservation scientists and foresters.

Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2017

Attend an Event

Opportunities to Explore

Still exploring your options and looking to learn? These events are a great place to start.

Oct 29

Political Science at Work

October 29 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Oct 29

Asian Studies at Work

October 29 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Oct 30

Sociology at Work

October 30 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Oct 30

Comm Arts at Work

October 30 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Oct 30

Biology at Work

October 30 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Career & Networking Events

Ready to get your applications together, network with employers and alumni, and land that job or internship? Don’t miss these events.

Sep 09

Fall Public Service Fair

September 9 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sep 16

Career Fair Prep Night

September 16 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sep 17

Fall Career & Internship Fair

September 17 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Get A Job Or Internship

Ready to learn about job or internships, refine your application materials, or land a position? Internships are your way of “test-driving” a particular field or career path. They allow you to experience what skills, challenges, and opportunities may be offered in many different positions and work environments. Here, you will find many resources to help you apply to jobs and internships in this industry as well as view featured employers that may be helpful on your path to success!

Dig Deeper

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Build Your Experience & Skills

Use these sites to search for Internships, Volunteer, Part-time/Full-time jobs. Learn position requirements and qualifications to find out what skills and experiences you need for jobs of interest. In addition, search specific state, federal, and private organization websites for other job listings.

Handshake: Find opportunities specifically for UW students and recent grads.

UW-Madison Environmental Science Careers Page – several resources including  local, state, and national environmental organization lists and opportunities

The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

UW-Madison Office of Sustainability Jobs & Internships

Association of Zoos & Aquariums

The Wildlife Society Jobs

Wildlife & Fisheries Job Board

Forestry & Natural Resources


Indeed.com A job search site listing positions at the national level.

LinkedIn: Search human services, mental health.

Idealist.org: Non-profit jobs and internships.

Glassdoor: Search by job title or company.

Wisc.jobs: Find jobs in the State of Wisconsin.

Job & Internship Search Resources

Top Employers


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

University of Minnesota

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)


U.S. Forest Service

Teach for America

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Peace Corps

City of Madison, WI

State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Health Services



 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

U.S. Forest Service

University of Wisconsin-Extension

University of Minnesota

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Wisconsin Department of Transportation


American Family Insurance

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ERM: Environmental Resources Management


US Environmental Protection Agency


Arizona State University


 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

The Nature Conservancy

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

University of Minnesota

Dane County Humane Society

National Park Service

Colorado State University

University of California, Davis

Madison Metropolitan School District

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Iowa State University

Graduate School

If I want to work in sustainability and green jobs, conservation and natural resource management and wildlife, do I need to go to graduate school or receive further training or certification? If yes, what is the right program(s) for me? Does it make sense to do a Ph.D. or a professional master’s program? Talk to your career & internship specialist, your academic advisor, and faculty members to learn more and to find out about different programs, here are a few resources to get you started: The Top PhD Resource on the WebSustainability DegreesBiodiversity and Conservation graduate programs.

Connect with Professionals

LinkedIn: Build your online presence by developing a profile, search for alumni in your major to learn the different paths you could consider, search for opportunities and more!

Use the Higher Education section to access guides on how to best use LinkedIn.

Badger Bridge: Whether you are fresh off Bascom Hill, a seasoned professional, or still a student, Badger Bridge is for you! Consider this your go-to resource for:

  • Seeking alumni connections for professional advice
  • Making a career change
  • Connecting with alumni in your city or cities across the globe
  • Considering relocating


A good way to further explore career interests is by checking out professional associations’ career and education resources. You can also learn about relevant events and conferences to attend, which is a great way to meet people in the field and make connections.

Featured Employers

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

Learn More

Jobs & Internships on Handshake

Set up your profile in Handshake to take care of everything you need to explore career events, manage your campus interviews and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.

Check out these courses


Prerequisites: None

Nature and variability of wind, temperature, cloud and precipitation. Storm systems, fronts, thunderstorms, tornadoes and their prediction. Air composition and pollution. Global winds, seasonal changes, climate and climatic change. Enroll Info: Open to Fr. Stdts may not receive cr for both Atm Ocn 100 & 101


Prerequisites: None

Atmospheric problems of global significance. Greenhouse warming, ozone layer, acid rain, climate change. Study based on elementary principles of atmospheric science. Systems approach applied to changing atmospheric composition. Interactions among geochemical cycles, anthropogenic inputs and other parts of the environment.


Prerequisites: None

Human geographers explore socio-spacial relations, processes, and representations of the world in which we live. This course engages economic, political, urban, socio-cultural and environmental geographic perspectives to investigate patterns and processes that have come to be associated with ‘globalization.


Prerequisite: None

Lectures and discussions about environmental issues. Historical and contemporary environmental impacts of humans on the biosphere. Global futures: population, technology, societal values, resources and prospects for sustainable management.


Prerequisites: None

This course relates principles of environmental science to our daily activities, with an eye to sustainability, conservation, and systems thinking. It introduces science as a process of inquiry and discovery rather than just a pre-established set of facts. Topics relate to energy, water, and land use, and include food, electric power, materials, buildings, transportation, and waste.


Prerequisites: Open to Freshman

Application of geology to problems resulting from the ever more intense use of the earth and its resources. Lecture and discussion.