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Careers in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Career Possibilities

Arborist

Arborists are employed by cities to improve urban green space, utilities to maintain power distribution networks, companies to care for residential and commercial properties, as well as many other settings.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Conservation Scientist

Conservation scientists manage, improve, and protect the country's natural resources. They work with landowners and Federal, State, and local governments to devise ways to use and improve the land while safeguarding the environment. Conservation scientists mainly advise farmers, farm managers, and ranchers on how they can improve their land for agricultural purposes and to control erosion. A growing number of conservation scientists are also advising landowners and governments on recreational uses for the land.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Environmental Science Technician

Environmental science techniciansperform laboratory and field tests to monitor environmental resources and determine the contaminants and sources of pollution in the environment. They may collect samples for testing or be involved in abating and controlling sources of environmental pollution. Some are responsible for waste management operations, control and management of hazardous materials inventory, or general activities involving regulatory compliance. Many environmental science technicians employed at private consulting firms work directly under the supervision of an environmental scientist.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Environmental Specialist

Environmental scientists conduct research to identify, abate, and eliminate hazards that affect people, wildlife, and their environments. These workers analyze measurements or observations of air, food, water, and soil to determine the way to clean and preserve the environment. Understanding the issues involved in protecting the environment-degradation, conservation, recycling, and replenishment-is central to the work of environmental scientists. They often use this understanding to design and monitor waste disposal sites, preserve water supplies, and reclaim contaminated land and water to comply with Federal environmental regulations. They also write risk assessments, describing the likely affect of construction and other environmental changes; write technical proposals; and give presentations to managers and regulators.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Game Warden

Game Wardens are the law enforcement agents of the state and Federal fish and wildlife agencies. They enforce laws and regulations designed to protect and conserve fish and wildlife. While patrolling assigned areas, wardens may warn, cite, and arrest individuals suspected of violations and may seize the fish, game, and equipment connected with the violation. They collect information and report on the condition of fish and wildlife in a specific area. They may supervise the activities of seasonal workers. Game Wardens employed by the Federal government are known as special agents (wildlife). Game Wardens may have other responsibilities, such as investigating wildlife crop damage and advising owners of preventative measures. They may inspect commercial fishing operations, canneries, processors, and fish markets. They may issue deer hunting licenses, conduct hunter safety training, and assist in controlled hunt planning. They may participate in rescue operations, and may investigate coastal water pollution.

Source: National FFA

Lawyer

Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors in our society. As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client. As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest particular courses of action in business and personal matters. Whether acting as an advocate or an advisor, all attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the law to the specific circumstances faced by their clients. Lawyers may specialize in a number of areas, such as probate, international, agricultural, or environmental law. Those specializing in environmental law, for example, may represent interest groups, waste disposal companies, or construction firms in their dealings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other Federal and State agencies. These lawyers help clients prepare and file for licenses and applications for approval before certain activities may occur. Some lawyers specialize in the growing field of intellectual property, helping to protect clients' claims to copyrights, biotechnology, product designs, and other discoveries.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Park Ranger

Park Rangers can have many duties or specialty areas of expertise. Their overall responsibility is to help visitors experience the natural and cultural heritage of the United States. In doing so, they must ensure parks are protected from inappropriate use and abuse. They carry out various work tasks related to structural and forest fire protection, and protection of property. Rangers plan and carry out measures to protect and manage the natural and cultural resources in the parks. Rangers assist with conservation and ecology studies. They may study wildlife behavior by tagging and tracking animals. They also study plants, water quality, and park air to monitor and record disease, pollution, or damage. Park Rangers also can be involved with helping to education the public about natural, historic or cultural features of the park. These types of Park Rangers are often call Interpretors and help interpret the parks ecosystems and history to others.

Source: National FFA

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

A Regulatory Affairs Specialist works within regulated industries, such as food, agricultural, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health care, energy, and banking. Regulatory Affairs professionals usually have responsibility for Ensuring that their companies comply with all of the regulations and laws pertaining to their business. They work with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies and personnel on specific issues affecting their business, such as the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, or Department of Homeland Security.  They advise their companies on the regulatory aspects and climate that would affect business activities.

Source: Wikipedia

Restoration Specialist

Restoration specialist renew a degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystem through active human intervention. It is an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability. The practice of ecological restoration includes wide scope of projects including, but not limited to: erosion control, reforestation, removal of non-native species and weeds, revegetation of disturbed areas, daylighting streams, reintroduction of native species, as well as habitat and range improvement for targeted species.

Source: Wikipedia

Science / Technical Writer

Science/Technical Writers present information and instructions in clear, understandable language for non-technical readers. They research, write, design, edit, and prepare publications in wide-ranging fields. The publications may be technical reports, instruction manuals, newsletters, articles, papers, proposals, brochures, and booklets. These writers explain and illustrate complex procedures in simple terms people can understand. They may be responsible for supplying illustrations such as schematics, pictures, charts, tables, or graphs to go with the write-up. They may create these illustrations themselves, or they may work with photographers, technical illustrators, drafters, and publishers. Technical writers employed by one company or organization may prepare pamphlets or booklets on job procedures, worker benefits, and company rules.

Source: National FFA

Soil Scientist

Soil scientists study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as it relates to plant growth. They also study the responses of various soil types to fertilizers, tillage practices, and crop rotation. Many soil scientists who work for the Federal Government conduct soil surveys, classifying and mapping soils. They provide information and recommendations to farmers and other landowners regarding the best use of land and plants to avoid or correct problems, such as erosion. They may also consult with engineers and other technical personnel working on construction projects about the effects of, and solutions to, soil problems. Because soil science is closely related to environmental science, persons trained in soil science also work to ensure environmental quality and effective land use.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Systems Ecologist

Ecologists investigate the relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environments, examining the effects of population size, pollutants, rainfall, temperature, and altitude. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, ecologists may collect, study, and report data on the quality of air, food, soil, and water.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Wildlife and Fisheries Scientist

These scientists study wildlife and fish-their origin, behavior, diseases, and life processes. Some experiment with live animals in controlled or natural surroundings, while others dissect dead animals to study their structure. Zoologists and wildlife biologists also may collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of current and potential uses of land and water areas. Zoologists usually are identified by the animal group they study-ornithologists study birds, for example, mammalogists study mammals, herpetologists study reptiles, and ichthyologists study fish.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Wildlife Manager

Wildlife Managers specialize in the research and management of wildlife and their habitats. Most of the work of Wildlife Managers is directed toward learning as much as possible about wildlife, and their habits. The purpose of their efforts is to ensure continued and satisfactory wildlife populations and to lessen the impact of civilization on them. To help preserve the environment, they may direct their efforts to ecological, economic, educational, aesthetic, or scientific interests. Wildlife Managers in conservation work to maintain, improve, and protect natural resources, including animals, plants, soil, and water . They try to establish a balance between animals and the environment they live in. In protecting animal habitats and animal populations, wildlife biologists may study the interrelationships among different kinds of animals. In these activities they may work with land managers or other natural resource managers. Wildlife Managers count and sometimes tag animals in order to track their movements and study their behavior. Wildlife Managers plan, create, and manage sanctuaries to protect threatened and endangered wildlife.

Source: National FFA

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