Adventure

Friday, February 06, 2009

Q: How can I combine a career as a professional triathlete and environemntal scientist?

I'm a professional triathlete studying for an Environmental Science degree. I'm moving to erica and wish to get into the environmental industry and continue to pursue my other profession. Any idea how I can go about this? Matthew Sydney, Australia

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A:

Dude, you want a job that combines environmental science with biking, swimming, and running? Really? In today's economy, my PhD friends are psyched if they can land fulltime work at the Taco Bell takeout window. Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating, but not much. Fortunately for you, if there's one sector of the economy where growth might be expected, it's in so-called green jobs.

President Obama and many governors seem to believe that if the US can lead the world in creating and manufacturing sustainable-energy technologies, this country could experience an unprecedented expansion of wealth. As a result, state governments and the federal government are starting to pump billions of dollars into the effort. (So let's hope they're right.)

Here's basically how they say the boom would occur:

1) We'll wean ourselves off the teat of foreign petroleum producers, and potentially turn American farmers into the oil sheiks of the 21st century through biofuels.
2) We'll create electricity that's cheaper and cleaner than nuclear or coal, and the rest of the world will be clamoring for the technology.
3) These efforts will spur a new, booming domestic manufacturing base for green products, from hybrid cars to solar panels. I outline this theory in greater detail in my book Greasy Rider.

So what should your next step be in the employment process? Check out green job sites ecoemploy.com and renewableenergyjobs.net, and the jobs boards at greenbiz.com and treehugger.com, to name a couple.

As for an exact position that will combine your world-class athletic skills with environmental science, I don't know if one exists.

Just keep your eye on those boards. Good luck, Matthew.

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