Are you looking for a way turn a love of trees into a meaningful and rewarding career? You may want to consider a career in arboriculture. This field involves both the scientific study and physical care of trees, shrubs, vines, and other woody plants. To learn more about what is involved with a career in arboriculture from an expert, we were fortunate to interview Dr. Brian Kane of UMass Amherst for How Do You Science. Dr. Kane was generous to share his professional experiences with our HDYS readers:
Dr. Brian Kane, ISA Cert. Arb. #NY-0448
MA Arborists Association Professor
Dept. of Environmental Conservation
1. What do you do for work and how does it use science or STEM principles?
My job has three parts: teaching, research, and outreach. I use science in all of them. I try to incorporate the scientific method in all of my teaching and outreach work (outreach is partly interacting with consumers and professionals to help them understand and practice proper tree care). And I obviously use science when I conduct experiments.
2. What level of schooling or training does someone need to get this job?
Most jobs at public universities require a Ph.D., but there are some that require only a Master’s degree.
3. What is the most unique/enjoyable part of your job?
I get to be my own boss most of the time. For example, I can decide which research projects to work on, and, with some limitations, which classes I teach.
4. How did you become interested in doing the job you have?
I used to be a professional arborist, and I became interested in teaching and research when I realized that there are many aspects of Arboriculture that needed to be studied experimentally.
5. What advice would you give someone hoping to find a job in your profession?
I would encourage anyone who likes being outside to consider a career in Arboriculture. It’s a great way to make a living, there are plenty of career opportunities in New England (and across the country, too), and there are different mental and physical challenges on every job you do. It’s also critical to obtain a good education in Math and the sciences. Biology, Chemistry and Physics are part of nearly every aspect of Arboriculture. For example, you need to understand soil chemistry if you want to fertilize a tree to help it grow, and you need to understand physics to know how big a branch you can rig safely from the tree to the ground.
6. If someone wanted to learn more about the type of work you do, where can they learn more?
The best thing to do is enroll in the UMass Pre-College program in Arboriculture. Any high school student can enroll, and we teach all the basics of Arboriculture. If you’re old enough, you can also try to find a summer job with a tree care company—just make sure the company has a Certified Arborist on staff and that they have the proper insurance.
Dr. Kane provided some great real-life information for anyone who may be interested in learning more about a career in arboriculture. Perhaps you aren't sure if pursuing a Ph.D. is for you, but there are still many different opportunities to work within this field at many different levels. If you are interested in learning more from Dr. Kane about the many different aspects of his profession, he can be contacted by email at bkane[at]eco.umass.edu or through his UMass webpage.
Before you leave, check out some of these related videos from Dr. Kane and visit their UMass Arbor Facebook page to see arboriculture in action.
When you were younger, did you always enjoy building with blocks? Maybe operating the dump trucks in the sandbox were more your style? Well, if those activities are still what you wish you could be doing as you get older, you may want to learn more about becoming a civil engineer.
Civil engineers are professionals who design, manage, build, and maintain large construction projects. New mall going up in town? Civil engineers are likely the people who are overseeing everything from the construction of the parking lots to the layout of the roads that get people in and out of the area. A bridge being repaired on a local highway? Civil engineers are likely involved there, too. Whenever you see large construction projects and heavy equipment, you can bet there is probably a civil engineer on site.
Civil engineers have at least an undergraduate degree, and many have graduate degrees in their field. With the responsibility they have for large projects and the diversity of their jobs, it's important that all civil engineers are highly trained in their profession. Degrees in civil engineering are available at both state schools and private colleges, so there are many opportunities for schooling in your local area and around the country.
If you have always like building things and being outdoors, civil engineering may be the right profession for you. Check out the video below form the American Society of Civil Engineers to see some civil engineers in action.
To learn more about civil engineering, visit one of these resources to learn more or to speak to people who are in the profession:
* American Society of Civil Engineers
* UMass Dartmouth's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
* Northeastern University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
* Society of Women Engineers
Turn your passion into your profession!
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.