ESS – Sustainable Livelihoods and Communities – Bachelor’s Degree Program (BS)

ESS – Sustainable Livelihoods and Communities – Bachelor’s Degree Program (BS)

Study Sustainable Livelihoods and Communities at the University of Montana

Learn the skills and strategies for transitioning to sustainable communities and economies, from global to local levels. The sustainable livelihoods and communities concentration of UM’s environmental science degree explores the intersections between environment and development, natural resource governance and collaboration, and community pathways to sustainability.

As an environmental science major, you’ll gain the skills to connect science and practice, engaging in extensive hands-on, field-based learning opportunities in the incredible outdoor classroom of western Montana. Many students in the sustainable livelihoods and communities concentration participate in a semester living and learning in the Swan Valley, nestled in between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Our faculty members are leading environmental scientists, with professional connections that span the globe. When they aren’t in the field, lab or classroom with students, they are conducting cutting-edge research to solve environmental problems and advance sustainability.

97%

of FCFC graduates are employed or in graduate school

6

concentrations to help build your expertise

25K

acres of land managed for faculty and student research and learning

Other concentrations  for environmental science and sustainability at UM

Climate Science and Environmental Change

Ecosystem Science and Restoration

Environmental Policy and Planning

Resource Conservation

Water Resources

What can you do with an environmental science degree?

In the sustainable livelihoods and communities concentration of the environmental science and sustainability major, you’ll integrate the science of ecosystems with the science of social systems, learning skills to build sustainable communities. When you graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and experience to work in public relations, community organizing and public engagement, in addition to many other fields.

Why employers choose UM environmental science and sustainability graduates

  • Hands-on field-based training that develops practical job skills.
  • Specialization through concentrations that address current and emerging issues in sustainability and resource management.
  • Coursework that’s continually updated to include the latest science and skills that employers require.

Environmental science jobs

Potential jobs for environmental science majors who concentrate in sustainable livelihoods and communities include:

  • Public land manager
  • Community organizer
  • Sustainable community development planner
  • Environmental planner
  • Watershed coordinator
  • Public relations specialist
  • NEPA coordinator
  • Sustainability coordinator

Environmental science salary

Find average salaries nationally for several community and sustainability jobs:

  • Sustainability coordinator: $55,019
  • Public relations specialist: $61,150
  • Watershed manager: $68,220
  • Urban and regional planner: $74,350

Video: A culture of sustainability at the University of Montana

At UM, sustainability is part of everything we do. Find out what it means to us, and how we’re leading the way to a more sustainable future.

Experiential learning in the environmental science and sustainability major

From immersive field courses and undergraduate research, to summer jobs and internships, environmental science majors at UM take their studies into the mountains, rivers and valleys of western Montana — learning to understand the world through science, and use innovation to solve pressing environmental challenges.

Field experiences in the sustainable livelihoods and communities concentration

Many students in this concentration spend a fall semester studying community conservation and water and forest management in the Swan Valley, through Landscape and Livelihood — a field-based program that immerses you in the glacier-carved mountains and valleys of western Montana. In this program, you’ll explore the relationships between rural livelihoods and natural resource conservation and learn strategies that transform challenges into opportunities for sustainability. Learn more about the Landscape and Livelihood field program.

Environmental science and sustainability internships

With a major in environmental science and sustainability, you’ll have numerous opportunities to participate in paid summer internships and jobs in your field of study. Your faculty mentor will work with you to identify opportunities that fit your interests and career goals. Find more resources to help with internships and environmental science and sustainability jobs.

Study abroad opportunities for environmental science and sustainability majors

Engage in field-based classes that focus on environmental and conservation issues overseas. Environmental science and sustainability majors qualify for Franke Sustainability Fellowships, which fund international research and education focused on sustainability. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.

Career development in the environmental science degree

Earn your degree in environmental science and sustainability at UM and connect with people who share your passion for the natural world. We offer numerous opportunities to build your professional network and find potential jobs in your field, through internships, field trips, summer jobs and working with faculty mentors who are leading environmental scientists.

Student organizations for environmental science majors

Student organizations are a great way to get involved in the community and make new friends. Clubs you may be interested with a focus in sustainable communities include:

  • UM Society for Ecological Restoration
  • American Fisheries Association
  • Climate Response Club
  • Fire Club
  • Student Recreation Association
  • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • UM Whitewater Club
  • UM Ski Club

Environmental science and sustainability scholarships

Get help with tuition and other education costs. Majors in environmental science and sustainability qualify for Franke College of Forestry and Conservation scholarships, which complement other scholarships and financial aid opportunities awarded at UM.

Explore classes for the sustainable communities concentration of the environmental science degree

Courses in the sustainable livelihoods and communities program address the intersections between environment and development, natural resource governance and collaboration, and pathways to sustainability. Graduates will have a strong understanding of key social and institutional processes involved in transitioning to sustainable community living and sustainable economies at both the local and global levels.

View all classes for the sustainable communities concentration of the environmental science bachelor’s degree.