What Jobs are Available in Ecological Restoration?

The jobs available in ecological restoration tend to be available to those who have a bachelor’s degree in natural science or natural resources. These include ecology, forest, ocean, conservation and environmental sciences. They also include specializations like environmental policy, natural resources management, conservation biology and urban planning, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ecology Program Representative

An ecology program rep will assist with the development and implementation of conservation projects. Their goal is to plan, execute and achieve assigned goals and benchmarks. They may work on projects related to endangered species conservation, predator coexistence initiatives, state national forest plans and public land management actions. Ecology program reps may attend public community meetings and private business events to actively promote and defend projects through scientific data, field-based projects and testimony presentation. In order to be effective, they must establish partnerships and maintain relationships and with conservation partners, community groups, industry associations and state and federal agencies. This may require them to work with private landowners and state officials to advance the conservation of protected forests, endangered species, polluted waters and at-risk communities. Senior ecology program reps may service as official spokespersons to the public and the media.

Landscape Ecology Technician

A landscape ecology tech may work for a university, government or private environment program. These professionals will be expected to have an advanced degree in ecology, geography or natural resources. For example, they may have a degree in geosciences, geomorphology or physical environmental science. Job candidates must have demonstrated teaching and research experience in remote sensing, systems modeling and geographic information systems (GIS). Job candidates should have experience with academic subjects like land use, urban systems, invasive species, carbon sequestration, restoration ecology and greenhouse gas emissions. Some jobs may require them to be part of groups who study the responses of coastal systems to climate change in the field or conduct postdoctoral research with interdisciplinary teams. Most projects investigate broad problems in landscape ecology and physical geography by researching the links between social, economic, biological and environmental factors.

Natural Resource Specialist

A natural resource specialist will most likely work for a government or non-profit organization. For instance, a heavily forested state with many forests, such as those found in the Pacific Northwest, will employ natural resource specialists to manage fire ecology programs. These natural resource specialists will understand the effects of fire and its by-products to take ecosystem restoration actions. They will understand fire weather, smoke management and fuel types, conditions and assessment. They will have knowledge of tools and techniques used to prepare and implement controlled burns. These natural resource specialists will know how to manage and supervise fire line hand crews and machinery. They will work with fire management, wildlife biology, state resources and forestry managers to develop safe plans for the restoration and maintenance of fire dependent fish and wildlife habitats. They will write burn plans, obtain necessary permits, inventory forests and develop statewide management strategies for high risk areas.

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Other jobs available in ecological restoration include botany research, wetland specialist, wildlife biologist, environmental consultant, restoration manager, landscape engineer, forest administrator and field assistant.