Welcome to The National Environmental Professional, a site dedicated to highlighting the people, projects, and places that make up the environmental professional lifestyle.
The “environmental professional lifestyle”? What does that mean?
We are all asked what we do for a living from time to time, usually by new acquaintances. If you’re a teacher or a doctor or a photographer, everyone has an idea of what you do. They probably also have an idea of your lifestyle. For an environmental professional, it’s not always an easy answer. I’ve had several colleagues tell me stories about trying to answer that question without boring or confusing people. The answers I’ve given include environment consultant, environment scientist, environmental, health & safety instructor, and more. And even those don’t mean much to someone outside the field. My favorite answer is to say I’m an environmental Winston Wolf. (If you don’t know The Wolf, it’s worth your time to look him up. See: Fiction, Pulp).
Even within the environmental field, saying consultant isn’t specific enough. Are you a RCRA- or DOT-ologist, a hydrogeologist, a researcher developing green technologies, a natural resource manager, a sustainability manager, an activist, a lawyer? Are you starting to see why I’m creating a place to tell our stories? Although there is no one clear definition of an environmental professional, we’ve all made a career in the environmental field a part of our life. Just as those who are journalists see the world through journalistic-eyes, environmental professionals see the world and live their life with their own tinted eyes, which incidentally are not always “green.”
I hope to introduce you the interesting people I’ve met and plan to meet, open your eyes to some amazing work, and share some great stories. This will span the nation because although we all have a home office and/or a region, so many people I’ve met have spread their expertise across the country. I myself have covered 49 states. Who knows? Maybe this will give me an opportunity to see #50.