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Thread: Six years later same question: Do you enjoy or dislike environmental planning?

  1. #1

    Six years later same question: Do you enjoy or dislike environmental planning?

    Hi everyone. I recently got my B.A. from USC and am interested in entering environmental planning because I love the outdoors and want to help ensure future generations get to enjoy it as well. Thus, I want to help minimize environmental damage done by development projects thru sound environmental planning. For more context, I'm currently interviewing with ICF International (a private firm) for an entry-level environmental planning role.

    As someone deciding whether to enter the field, I want to ask: Have you enjoyed or disliked your environmental planning career? And why so?

    TribePlanner asked this question 6 years ago (http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=39998) but I wanted to ask it again to see if opinions have shifted over time.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I've done city and county planning for 10 years now and I still enjoy it. Like any job it has it's ups and downs. A down moment just walked in the door.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I started out in Environmental Planning and eventually transitioned to city planning. I loved most of my time on the environmental side, except for the alligators, snakes, wild hogs, mosquitoes...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Interesting first (drive-by) post, since you haven't returned in the several days since you put it up...

    Anyhoo, I've made a 19-year (so far) career out of environmental planning, so I think it's fair to say I like it an enjoy working in this subfield. Started with a state agency, flipped to the dark side after three years, haven't looked back (currently with a quasi-competitor of ICF).

    Pro tip: don't post who you're interviewing with...

    Some friendly advice if you break in with a private sector employer - wanting to preserve the environment is a good and noble thing. If most of your work is as a government consultant, however, unless your client is a natural resource agency that has retained your services to actually preserve something, your job will be to keep your clients in compliance in a manner that allows them to fulfill their mission. At best, most agencies view environmental compliance (NEPA, ESA, CWA, NHPA, etc.) as a necessary headache to get projects done...just go into this with your eyes open.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Interesting first (drive-by) post, since you haven't returned in the several days since you put it up...

    Anyhoo, I've made a 19-year (so far) career out of environmental planning, so I think it's fair to say I like it an enjoy working in this subfield. Started with a state agency, flipped to the dark side after three years, haven't looked back (currently with a quasi-competitor of ICF).

    Pro tip: don't post who you're interviewing with...

    Some friendly advice if you break in with a private sector employer - wanting to preserve the environment is a good and noble thing. If most of your work is as a government consultant, however, unless your client is a natural resource agency that has retained your services to actually preserve something, your job will be to keep your clients in compliance in a manner that allows them to fulfill their mission. At best, most agencies view environmental compliance (NEPA, ESA, CWA, NHPA, etc.) as a necessary headache to get projects done...just go into this with your eyes open.
    This. I'm a recent grad and do NEPA for a DOT. I enjoy my work and my role in the preliminary engineering process, but you have to come to terms with project managers, roadway design, etc. being frustrated with the NEPA process. I always tell resistant PMs that the earlier they understand that NEPA is an unavoidable part of their process, the smoother things will go.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2016
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    In CA, environmental planning seems to be the only planning that's happening. It's definitely a sub discipline and one that is glossed-over in school. It's more environmental law and public policy than it is true 'planning', and at the end of the day you kinda feel like a technical writer. So if that's what does it for you, then sure. But, any way you go in CA, you need to know about CEQA so this could be great way to get your feet wet.

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