How to Become a Conservationist
Conservationist Job Duties
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Conservationist
Influential Professional Conservationists
Leading Conservationist Organizations
Top Cities for Conservationist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Education in many areas of the physical sciences can prepare one for work as a conservationist. Some people pursue degrees in environmental science, while others focus more specifically on chemistry, geography, physics, or another specialty. Environmental scientists with specialized degrees often do research or internship work to apply their study to the environment.
Environmental science degrees consist of undergraduate study in a variety of natural sciences, as well as education in pollution, and ecosystem protection. Graduate study usually follows a path related to the specific area of research and work that will be pursued. Consulting firm and State and Federal employees generally have education in hydrology, hazardous-waste management, environmental legislation, chemistry, and fluid mechanics.
An understanding of the geochemistry of organic compounds is important in developing plans to reverse environmental damage. Knowledge in environmental regulations and government permit issues is necessary for those who plan to work in mining and oil extraction.
Education in environmental science combined with study in business, finance, and marketing can prepare one for a wide array of job opportunities.
Environmental scientists conduct research on many common human practices that can have negative effects on the environment. They may focus on waste management, food production, deforestation, water contamination, air quality, or energy usage. Environmental scientists have specific training in both hazardous and sustainable business and living practices.
While some conservationists focus on specific areas of risks and hazards, it is becoming more common to focus more on the broad interconnectedness of life processes in order to understand and correct environmental threats. Environmental ecologists take various factors within an ecosystem, such as population size and resource usage, into account when researching and reporting data. Ecological modulators specialize in mathematical practices to discover relationships between a population and their environment. Environmental chemists assess the toxicity and effects of the countless chemicals used in our society.
Many conservationists work at consulting firms. These environmental scientists use their education and research findings to aid businesses and government agencies to conduct their affairs with minimal environmental impact. Conservationists are also hired to help companies to stay in compliance with environmental policies. Environmental scientists may be employed by large companies, doing long-term projects and working with people in other scientific disciplines. Other conservationists work for smaller firms and interact more with business professionals.
Some environmental scientists work in policy formation in order to prevent future degradation of the natural world. Others work in colleges and universities as researchers and educators.
Conservationists in a number of positions often must write grant proposals in order to fund their work.
Conservationists in entry level positions often work mostly in the field, while those with more experience often spend more time in offices and laboratories. Depending on the employer and the position, an environmental scientist may work regular business hours, or longer hours and erratic schedules.
Being part of a team is often involved in conservation work, making good interpersonal and communication skills essential. Bilingual individuals may have an advantage due to growing international work in the field.
High quality writing skills are quite useful and can determine whether or not an environmental scientist receives funding for their work.
Physical stamina is necessary for fieldwork in certain conservation research.
Greenpeace is an international conservation organization which exists to help activists help the environment and the animals of the world.
Washington, D.C. is the top city for conservationist jobs in the United States, followed closely by Phoenix, Arizona. Houston, Texas and New York City are tied for third place while Los Angeles, California is the fifth best city for conservationist jobs in the United States.
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