I am something of a career changer, though I got my start in a related field--I hold a BA in Environmental Science and a MS in "Land Resources" (which is an interdiscplinary environmental degree) with an emphasis in GIS. I finished my MS in 94, worked in environmental consulting for a couple of years writing EIS's for the military and doing other misc consulting before I was lured by the promise of riches into the high tech field.
After several years of discontent in high tech, I would like to go into environmental/resource planning and am wondering how to go about this. (I am also interested in land use/community planning.) I would prefer to go to work for a public agency (rather than in consulting) and have quite a few questions:
Do I need to get a Masters in Planning to be considered for these types of positions with my rather rusty skills?
What are the best programs for environmental planning? Berkeley looks like a strong program--are there others on the West Coast that people would recommend?
If I do decide to go for another Masters, how important is the quality of the program versus going to school close by where I am interested in working?
How can I get in touch with people in the field to do some informational interviews?
What other advice would you give a career changer?