With an ecology career, your office could be the great outdoors.

That’s right. Your education can help you avoid sitting at a desk in a cubicle under fluorescent lights for the next 50 years.

Pursuing an ecology career can put you in a job that you love – and one that does good in the world.

To that end, here are five ecology careers that will take you into the great outdoors.

1. Environmental Consultant

An environmental consultant studies the environmental impact of both development and conservation to better understand how our actions impact the world around us. They can also find themselves studying endangered animals, oil spills, or other types of pollution.

Through this course of study, environmental consultants propose methods of solving ecological problems.

This ecology career has you spending a lot of time outdoors, as well as preparing reports and speaking with policy makers about potential courses of action, designed by you.

2. Research Scientists and Research Assistants

Often at the forefront of progress in environmental issues, research scientists and research assistants work with others to test new ideas and techniques, as well as finding the right questions to ask about environmental problems.

Not all research scientists will spend a lot of time outdoors, but many do and some of that balance will depend on the field of study you pursue. It’s a path that can be very rewarding for a student with an inquisitive mind.

3. Park Naturalist

Ecology Career

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

This is a great ecology career if you consider yourself a people person and love the outdoors.

A park naturalist works in the wide open spaces of state and national parks, developing walking routes and preparing educational materials about things such as local fauna, animals, geology, or other ecological features of the park. Additional duties may include creating exhibits, preparing brochures, or giving park tours.

A strong background in biology would pave the way for a career as a conservation biologist.

4. Restoration Ecologist

Restoration ecologists work at restored ecosystems that have been damaged through activities like farming or mining. Jobs in this field vary from working for environmental agencies or the government, or even consulting for private companies. If you have an interest in engineering, you could even check out an outdoor career in civic ecology.

5. Natural Resource Manager

If you’re a natural leader, being a natural resource manager may be the ecology career for you.

Natural resource managers work with a variety of scientists, like chemists, biologists, geologists, other ecologists, and a wide variety of other scientists to find ways for humans to use natural resources — water, soil, minerals — while simultaneously preserving the environment.

There is certainly a portion of this job that takes place in an office — creating reports and proposals — but there are also many opportunities to get outside.

Let an ecology career help take you someplace interesting, do something worthwhile, and put you in a position to have a little fun while you work. We can keep it a secret that you actually love going to work every day.
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