Also called: Conservationist, Environmental Analyst, Resource Conservationist, Soil Conservationist
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When today’s farmers and ranchers need help with their farmland, they count on conservation scientists. To help resolve problems with soil conservation or range management, working in this field often means literally working in a field! Conservation scientists usually start by analyzing how land use patterns contribute to problems identified by farmers, such as overgrazed rangeland, soil erosion, or a shortage of water reservoirs for cattle. These scientists review the results of lab work on soil samples. They record, analyze and map data to formulate plans that will correct problems without endangering the environment, for example using better plowing and planting methods. They must consider laws, costs, and the time required to achieve improvement. They may put their plan into action and monitor progress, or they may follow up with others who implement their plan. Like most jobs in scientific research, these scientists need to possess a healthy degree of curiosity, detailed knowledge of their field, and the discipline required for a trial and error approach to problems. While most conservation scientists hold a bachelor's degree, often in a natural science, a doctorate is required to lead research projects or to teach. Conservation scientists enjoy the challenge of giving nature a little extra help.
What they do:Manage, improve, and protect natural resources to maximize their use without damaging the environment. May conduct soil surveys and develop plans to eliminate soil erosion or to protect rangelands. May instruct farmers, agricultural production managers, or ranchers in best ways to use crop rotation, contour plowing, or terracing to conserve soil and water; in the number and kind of livestock and forage plants best suited to particular ranges; and in range and farm improvements, such as fencing and reservoirs for stock watering.
On the job, you would:
- Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
- Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
- Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
- customer service
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
Engineering and Technology
- product and service development
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- reading work related information
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- listen and understand what people say
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- use rules to solve problems
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- do two or more things at the same time
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
Geographic information system
Analytical or scientific software
- Clover Technology GALENA