Does working at a desk all day seem unappealing? Ever think that working in a field of science meant being stuck in a lab or office all day? That is definitely not the case! If you are interested in a STEM career that will bring you out of the office, consider the careers below:
Marine Animal Rescuer
A Marine Animal Rescuer helps to rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick, or stranded marine life like seals, turtles, dolphins, manatees, sea birds, and other marine life. Rescue jobs can be found at various colleges, universities, animal protection and advocacy groups, and aquariums. Marine Animal Rescuers work near beaches, estuaries, and on boats at sea. They also work directly with animals at rehab facilities. Many in the field have a degree in Biology or specifically Marine Biology and begin by volunteering at a rescue group.
For more info, go to marinemammalcenter.org and seaworldcares.com
Environmental Engineering is a branch of engineering that concentrates on reducing pollution in the environment and remediating any existing contamination. Environmental Engineers plan and implement projects that address issues like energy preservation, waste control, and improving the quality of the environment. They are also responsible for producing studies on the environmental impact of proposed construction projects. Environmental Engineers do work in offices when planning projects, but they can work on site to conduct inspections and impact studies.
For more info, go to environmentalscience.org
Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that deals with the cultivation and propagation of plant life. Horticulturists are involved in the management and cultivation of gardens and land. They conduct research in areas such as crop production, genetic engineering, and pest and disease resistance. Their work involves plants like fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees, as well as soil management. They also work to design parks and focus on preserving natural resources. Horticulturists work in industries like education, government, and agriculture.
For more info, go to American Society for Horticulture.
A Park Ranger is responsible for protecting and supervising private, state, and national parks. They patrol park grounds and make sure that visitors are abiding by park rules such as fire safety and that the natural environment is being preserved. They can teach about wildlife and conservation to all different age groups, from kids to adults.
For more info, go to: ParkRanger.edu
An Equine Nutritionist specializes in the health, diet, and feeding behaviors of horses. Many in the field have master's degree or are large animal veterinarians that have specialized in equine nutrition and disease. An Equine Nutritionist will examine a horse's health and body condition to build a diet and meal schedule based on the horses needs and overall health goals.
For more info, go to: theequinest.com.
New England is waking up and spring is here. The signs are evident: birds are chirping, perennials are blooming, and all of our allergies are swinging into gear which means … the gardeners and landscapers are preparing for their busy season! Workers in these ‘green’ positions have many things in common: they like the feel of dirt on their hands and sunshine on their backs as they work in the great outdoors, and couldn’t begin to imagine being tied to a desk all day. Does this sound like you? Read on to learn about this field.
Professional gardeners work in private and public landscapes to create, design, maintain and manage gardens. They are often employed by botanical gardens, parks, landscaping firms, garden centers, estates and private residences, and some will go into private business as a gardener for several clients. Professional gardeners are responsible for all aspects of plant care for annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Working outdoors in all types of weather conditions is often required, as well as physically strenuous labor.
Having an interest in the outdoors and nature is a great place to start when considering a career as a gardener. Having a “Green Thumb” can help, a term given to those that have a natural ability to grow plants. But there is much more to gardening; jobs in horticulture involve science, math, English and art. Nursery and landscape careers require a strong academic foundation of literacy, chemistry, biology, mathematical and analytical skills, not to mention creativity, problem solving, coordination, and most importantly, passion! These skills can often be gained through a 2- or 4-year college degree.
To gain work experience, it is helpful to acquire an internship with a professional gardener. Experience can also be gained through volunteer involvement with community gardening clubs. These offer opportunities for networking through work parties, special events, community service projects and community education.
Professional gardeners with work experience and certifications can advance their career by moving up in their company from an assistant position to a managerial position. They may become the head of the department for local parks, or the director of a botanical garden. Those who pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in horticulture can open their own business as a gardener or detail gardener providing consultation and design services to residential clients, and overseeing garden laborers. You can earn a great living as a nursery and landscape industry professional! Wages may vary by region, but depending on which career path you choose, you could make more than $100,000 a year and even open your own business.
If you are interested in this skilled trade, many opportunities exist throughout the country with positions available in every state. Working in the nursery and landscape industry can give you tangible results and immediate satisfaction and offers the perfect opportunity to see something that you've created everyday.
Become a Professional Gardener
How Do I Become A Gardener?
Now it’s not every day that an animal comes back from the brink of extinction, but the little rabbit known as the New England Cottontail has done just that. The New England Cottontail is the area's only native rabbit and at one time had a large population. Due to significant habitat loss, the New England Cottontail population shrunk to just five locations around the region, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2006, it was classified as a candidate for endangered protection. As of September 2015, the New England Cottontail was declassified as a result of conservation efforts. It took an organized collaboration from state and federal agencies, private companies, animal organizations, universities, and many more groups to save the New England Cottontail. Preventing an animal from being an endangered species is a tall order, but that’s where people in the wildlife conservation field come in. If you are interested in working with wildlife, here are just a few careers to consider.
A Wildlife Biologist researches and monitors wildlife and their habitats. They can collect data on many different things like diseases, behaviors, genetics, nutrition, population dynamics, etc. They use this information to help animal species and their environment.
For more info, go to the EnvironmentalScience.org
A Wildlife Rehabilitator treats and cares for injured, orphaned, or sick wild animals so that they can be released back to the wild.
For more info, go to the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer
A Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer is responsible for enforcing wildlife laws and regulations. They also do population surveys and educate the public about wildlife.
For more info, go to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Office of Law Enforcement.
A Wildlife Technician works with a Wildlife Biologist or Manager to help collect data on animals and their habitats.
For more info, go to Eco Canada.
Wildlife Educator/Park Ranger
Wildlife Educators teach the public about wildlife and conservation. They also take important scientific data and explain it to the public in a way that is relatable. They can teach to all different age groups, from kids to adults. They also may work hands-on with educational animals to help engage the public. A big part of a Park Ranger’s job is to educate the public like a Wildlife Educator, but they also are responsible for protecting public land.
For more info, go to: ParkRanger.edu and Zooniversity.org
A Wildlife Inspector seizes illegal animal shipments for the pet trade. They usually work at ports of entry to the U.S. and have a very important job in helping stop illegal dealings with wild animals.
For more info, go to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The word taxidermy usually conjures up thoughts of dusty museum halls or memories of that large elk head in the local VFW. But taxidermy has had an interesting new resurgence with a younger generation. Young, educated professionals are being drawn to taxidermy and are interested in a more sustainable practice of the ancient craft. “Ethical Taxidermy,” as it’s called, is a more humane way to discover the animal world.
What makes it ethical? Ethical taxidermy is when the specimens used are not killed for the purposes of taxidermy. Generally, the animals have died of natural or accidental causes. Also, many ethical taxidermists use the entire animal. Taxidermy is more eco-friendly than you would think. Ethical taxidermists use non-toxic chemicals that won’t hurt the environment. No formaldehyde here!
So what’s with this rebirth of taxidermy? Making and doing things by hand is popular with millennials. From knitting to farming to woodworking and everything in between, this generation is putting a sustainable twist to old techniques. And it doesn’t hurt that being a science nerd is in vogue.
Some maybe a little squeamish at the process of taxidermy, but it can be admired for its scientific and artistic qualities. Taxidermists have to be well versed in the anatomy and physiology of many different species. Also, they are responsible for restoring museum displays and extracting DNA from endangered or extinct species. Taxidermists are also talented artists and need to make their subject accurate and visually appealing. If you want to learn more about young people in the taxidermy industry, check out:
Mickey Alice Kwapis at www.mickeyalicekwapis.com
Allis Markham at www.preytaxidermy.com
If you were to make a list of animals you will probably never see in the wild, that list would probably include Tyrannosaurus rex and the dodo, among others. But what if that wasn't the case? Just like in the movie Jurassic Park, there are scientists who use specialized scientific equipment and a fine understanding of genetics to try to answer some of the oldest mysteries we have. Did you know there were real scientists who do that?
There are scientists called paleogeneticists who study the genetic makeup of lifeforms that have long been extinct. From the bacteria that caused the plague deaths in the middle ages to the genetics of ancient humans, paleogeneticists work with tiny fragments of remaining DNA to learn more about organisms from another time.
Becoming a paleogeneticist requires a thorough understanding of biology, archeology, and genetics, among other skills, so becoming one of these specialized scientists takes a significant amount of study. But even though it can be a long process, how cool would it be to be a real life Jurassic Park scientist?
To read more about the neat work being done in this fascinating field of science, click here to visit paleogenetics.com.
Welcome to How We Science, a blog sponsored and maintained by the Natural Resources Trust of Easton and dedicated to sharing the wonders of science and STEM-related careers in ways you may not even know existed. Each week we will be bringing you great information about pursuing careers in science and other STEM fields, resources for learning more about science and STEM professions, and interviews with real people who are scientists in the real world. We hope to educate, inspire, and excite all of our readers!
We also want to hear from you! Are you a student scientist with a special interest that you want to make into your career? Do you work in a really cool STEM job and want to tell others about it? Do you have a science job that no one else knows exists? We want to know more! At How We Science we are looking for real life stories, short videos, science-related book and website reviews, and more that tell people about how you use and enjoy science in our work and home life.
Contact us by email with your post ideas and questions. We look forward to sharing our excitement about science with you!
On January 4, 2016 join us for the launch of the NRT's new online science education initiative, How Do You Science?, and blog, How We Science. These two resources are dedicated to educating and inspiring aspiring scientists everywhere! Whether you are an amateur naturalist with an interest in the environment or you are looking for ways to turn your interest in working with metals into a career, How We Science will have resources that can help you discover more about the opportunities available in science and STEM-related fields.
So we hope you join us on January 4th for our new blog launch, then explore our new website How Do You Science? to learn more!
How We Science is moderated and edited by the staff of the Natural Resources Trust of Easton.