A list of green professional associations to get involved in on an individual level.
Many find issues with staying involved and up to date with the latest and greatest information within their environmental discipline post-college. Education should not end at the university level but should be fostered throughout your entire green career. Joining a green association is a great way to stay involved in cutting-edge science, network with like-minded professionals, and more within your environmental discipline.
When joining a green professional association, you pay a fee (typically an annual fee) in exchange for information, networking opportunities, workshops, and more. Green professional associations oftentimes revolve around a common theme, discipline, or field of study while connecting you with a community that shares a common interest. Networking opportunities and continued education are sought after by members who join an association related to their careers.
Green professional associations are not only limited to those who work in the environmental world but are also open to those that simply have a green passion. By joining a green professional association related to a passion of yours, you have access to resources such as workshops and volunteer opportunities that will help you fulfill your appetite to make a difference.
National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)
Price: $60 – $175/year
NAEP is a multi-disciplinary green association committed to advancing environmental professionals through its structured career development platform. The Association strives to be a source of unbiased information and teaches the importance of fact-based and ethical decision-making in the workplace. NAEP encourages its members to thoughtfully consider all of the environmental implications during the decision-making process.
Members gain access to state-of-the-art information through open forums, a contact list of other professionals, presentations, annual conferences, and more. Membership types include voting and non-voting members. Voting memberships include a general membership, an emerging professional membership, an emeritus membership, and a transitioning professional membership. Non-voting memberships include a student membership and an associate membership.
Women in Cleantech & Sustainability
Price: $72 – $147/year
Founded in 2007, Women in Cleantech & Sustainability set to create an inclusive community in the Bay Area to give women the opportunity to thrive in environmental professions. The Association has grown to over 3,000 environmental professionals scattered throughout the world. Members range from college students up to C-Suite executives and investors. They meet once per month to discuss industry-specific developments, hear from industry-leading professionals, and fine-tune their own skillsets.
Women will benefit from a membership with access to the Association’s event calendar, virtual happy hours, webinars, networking contact lists, exclusive job boards, annual events, mentorship programs, and huge discounts on in-person events.
NetImpact! is a massive association of students and professionals that are taking on social obstacles, protecting the environment, and developing cutting-edge products. The goal is to aid members in transforming their passions into fulfilling careers of world-changing initiatives. It’s a grassroots movement with over 435 chapters in 40 countries. Pricing is based off on annual membership dues that are specific to each chapter. Members will benefit from their extensive global network of contacts, exclusive programs and events, and membership discounts.
Association of Climate Change Officers
For only $1/month you can join the Association of Climate Change Officers. This Association focuses on empowering and educating employees that are responsible for climate change initiatives at their respective companies. The Association created its own accredited and professional certification called the Climate Change Professional (CC-P) credential. Requirements include a Master’s plus 2 years of climate change experience, a four-year degree plus 4 years of climate change experience, or secondary school (high school) plus 7 years of climate change experience.
Price: $20 – $50/year
A global community of over 130,000 earth and space scientists that are dedicated to driving change and supporting upcoming generations of earth and space science professionals. The Union will help you enlarge your professional network, gives members a platform to share research and ideas, learn from others, stay up to date with industry-specific trends and advancements, and help make the community more inclusive and diverse.
Membership types include student membership, standard memberships, associate memberships, and even lifetime memberships. Members benefit from discounts on books, reduced rates for meetings, a monthly issue of Eos (AGU’s award-winning magazine), and access to a digital library of content dating back to 1996.
The Geological Society of America
Price: $40 – $100/year
The Geological Society of America (GSA) is dedicated to providing its members with the tools, confidence, and connections needed to help propel their geosciences careers. The GSA advances arduous scientific advancements to solve Earth’s challenges. It hosts annual conferences and meetings with industry-leading professionals, encourages inclusion, supports geoscience careers through job boards, grants, mentoring, and more.
Memberships include professional memberships, early-career professional memberships, student memberships, K-12 teacher memberships, and affiliate memberships. At GSA, you will belong to a community that leads with integrity in geoscience discovery. You’ll have access to discounted meetings, publications, and opportunities to progress your education.
American Association of Zoo Keepers
Price: $30 – $55/year
This is a member association for animal care professionals to help foster professional development and the exchange of information. A large goal of this association is to not only educate their own members but to also aid in educating the general public to get them involved in animal conservation. The Association offers workshops, conferences, newsletters, forums, and more to help educate its members on husbandry, training, nutrition, conservation, and more.
Memberships include professional, affiliate, and student memberships in the United States and Canada. It also offers international members for those that want to join from outside of the United States and Canada. For just $57/year, you can purchase a library membership and have full access to thousands of scientific articles and journals relating to animal care.
Price: $10 – $95/year
Dating back to its bi-monthly publications in 1872, the American Fisheries Society is one of the oldest and largest environmental professional associations in the world. With over 8,000 active members, the Society is comprised of fishery managers, biologists, educators, ecologists, aquaculturists, engineers, geneticists, and more. The Society encourages research-based management of fisheries and their associated resources.
The American Fisheries Society offers a $10/year membership for citizens of low-income countries. They also offer regular memberships, student memberships, early-career memberships, retired memberships, and lifetime memberships. Each membership includes access to the Fisheries publication as well as an extensive online journal database.
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
Price: $0 – $120/year
Otherwise known as ASLO, this Association began over 80 years ago with a focus on Earth’s water resources. It’s a global Association that offers $0 memberships for citizens of developing countries. Limnology and Oceanography are truly at the forefront of the member’s minds here. Memberships include student memberships, early-career memberships, regular memberships, developing country memberships, and emeritus memberships. Members will benefit from discounted conferences, discounted books, and access to a large network of other limnologists and oceanographers.
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Price: $95 – $100/year
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums provides its members with the best available practices to allow them to be industry-leading professionals and innovators when it comes to animal care, wildlife conservation, community engagement, guest experience, and outreach. They offer a professional certification called the AZA credential. Memberships include student memberships, professional associate memberships, professional affiliate memberships, professional fellow memberships, and advocate memberships.
American Society of Mammalogists
Price: $20 – $75/year
Members will have access to the publication of The Journal of Mammalogy and Mammalian Species. The Society gets its members involved through specialized committees, grants, publications, meetings, and education. Members have an interest in paleontology, ecology, and evolution as it relates to mammals. ASM is comprised of over 2,500 active members that advocate for better public policy, resource management, habitat restoration, and education as it relates to mammals.
Memberships range from regular memberships, student memberships, developing country memberships, patron memberships, and lifetime memberships.
Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
Price: $30 – $200/year
The CERF works to promote understanding and stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems throughout the world. The CERF takes advantage of member-only ‘listservs’ to help conveniently connect like-minded individuals to encourage collaboration. A ‘listserv’ is similar to a group chat or e-list. Members will help CERF meet its mission of promoting coastal and estuarine stewardship by staying up to date with the latest science, receive discounted registration fees, and access to an extensive job board.
Memberships include one or two-year options. Membership types range from sustaining memberships, full memberships, mid-career professional memberships, emerging & developing country memberships, early professional memberships, emeritus memberships, family memberships, and student memberships.
Price: $38 – $189/year
Otherwise known as the ESA, The Ecological Society of America encourages ecological science by giving members access to a network of other ecologists to encourage communication and the sharing of information. Another goal is to raise the public’s awareness of ecological issues that the world is facing today. It encourages members to use ecological science in decision-making between the ecological community and policy-makers.
The Society is the largest community of ecologists in the world with over 9,000 active members. Membership dues are dependent on annual income. Students have the lowest fees while members earning $150,001 or more per year pay the most.
Society for Conservation Biology
Price: $30 – $120/year
The SCB boasts that it is the premier international association for professionals, students, and non-profits. Its mission is, “to advance science and practice conserving Earth’s biological diversity”. To achieve this mission, the Society engages members through publications, policy-making, groups, conferences, and professional development. Regional sections are broken down into local chapters and even working groups.
Memberships are tiered depending on earned income. Students pay the least while earners of over $75,000 pay an annual fee of $120. Member benefits are extensive, including discounted publications and conferences, access to online databases and newsletters, eligibility to apply for grants, and more.
Price: $25 – $100/year
SGIS is a passionate group of GIS professionals that care about protecting the Earth’s natural resources and environment. The Society focuses on pairing cutting-edge GIS techniques to help facilitate conservation efforts in many different scientific disciplines. The Society is inclusive and adheres to a strict code of conduct that members take pride in.
Memberships range from student memberships, basic memberships, sponsor memberships, and lifetime memberships. Members receive discounted registration fees for conferences, a free ArcGIS Online account, discounted ESRI software and database layers, access to GIS-related news, and more.
Society for Freshwater Science (SFS)
Price: $0 – $130/year
An international society dedicated to freshwater ecosystems, the interface between terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and the exchange of scientific information relating to these topics. Members work on rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, wetlands, bogs, fens, riparian forests, grasslands, and more.
Members are able to apply for awards such as research awards, endowment awards, career awards, study presentation awards, and more. Memberships are tiered based on income. Emeritus members pay just $0/year whereas members with an earned income of over $100,000 pay $130/year.
Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS)
Price: $10 – $145/year
SWS aids members in encouraging understanding, conservation, protection, restoration, science-based administration. It fosters the science-based sustainability of wetlands. It offers an extensive list of grants and awards to participating members such as chapter and section grants, fellow awards, lifetime achievement awards, merit awards, international travel awards, international fellow awards, president’s service awards, the Doug Wilcox award, and more.
Membership fees are based on a tiered structure depending on the member’s earned income. Developing countries only pay $10/year whereas those making over $100,000 per year will pay $145 annually. Members will have access to webinars, monthly newsletters, quarterly publications, and more.
Price: $42 – $83/year
The Wildlife Society boasts an inclusive network of industry-leading wildlife scientists, managers, and conservationists. Otherwise known as TWS, the Society encourages education through publications, conferences, and professional development opportunities. It encourages networking at conferences, working groups, and social media. It encourages member engagement through donations, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. Lastly, the TWS is incredibly involved in next-generation scientists through student chapters, student benefits, and more.
Memberships offered include student memberships, regular memberships, retired memberships, new professional memberships, and family memberships.
American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
Price: $25 – $100/year
Not only is this association comprised of black professionals in the energy industry, but it focuses on the racial disparities in black members as it relates to energy issues. It encourages African Americans to pursue careers in energy-related fields to give back to their communities. There are scholarships and other financial aid opportunities for students interested in energy careers.
Membership fees depend on your chapter. There are over 20 chapters scattered throughout the United States to choose from.
Association of Energy Engineers
Being an Association of Energy Engineers member means that you’ll be a part of a growing and active community of over 18,000 engineers in over 100 countries. With over 90 chapters, there is plenty of opportunity to network with and learn from some of the brightest minds in engineering in the energy sector. Members benefit from leading technical publications, newsletters, magazines, discounts on seminars and conferences, networking opportunities, job boards, and more.
Membership fees are left up to each chapter’s discretion and can vary greatly from chapter to chapter.
This inclusive list of green professional associations is diversified to give you an idea of the types of associations that are currently in existence. As you can see, there are professional associations that encompass just about every discipline and passion of the environmental world. All green professional associations on this list are active and vetted for legitimacy.
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