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Becoming An Ecologist Is An Exciting Venture

Essay, Research Paper

Becoming an Ecologist is an Exciting Venture

Because of the increasing changes in the environment, a career as an

ecologist is an important venture, especially for an earth-science oriented

person with a love for nature and animals. With the number of ecological

disasters escalating every year there is an ever increasing need for ecologists

and people trained in ecology. Along with these disasters there are hundreds of

animals and plants that are disappearing off the planet everyday. There is also

an increasing demand for a person with the training to take care for,

rehabilitate and then return to the wild injure animals, which is the prime

responsibility of an ecologist. Ecologists mainly study the ways in which

mankind is destroying the natural ecosystems of the earth and how people can

help to revive them. Louise Miller once said that,”. . . the ecologist is the

one that brings together the study of all natural systems- earth, air, water,

plants, and animals. Connections between living organisms and effects of their

interactions are ecologists’ concerns. . . . .The balance of nature, wherever it

occurs, is what you will investigate and analyze”(17).

Since a career as an ecologist is usually long term, there are certain

characteristics a person should have in order to maintain a successful career.

One of these characteristics that is the most important is patience. Patience

is important because as an ecologist a person will have to at some point in

their career talk to another person who knows nothing of or about ecology.

Another reason why patience is important is because through the first years of

being an ecologist finding and possibly attempting to tag an animals or

gathering research material will be the main jobs of that person and will take a

very long time to accomplish. For a person who is just starting out as an

ecologist, manual dexterity is just as important as patience. However, later on

in a career as an ecologist, many traits will have to surface . Some of these

traits include a sense of professionalism, enthusiasm for the work at hand, deep

concern for the world, curiosity and dedication. However, skills that are

common to most of the ecologists in the world today are creativity and problem

solving which are just as important and probably even more important than the

rest. A deep love for the environment around a person is one of the best and

most desirable characteristics that a person who wants a job as an ecologist

could have.

Pre-training occurs when a person volunteers their services to any

organization so that they can get the much needed information that they need to

perform their job more efficiently. This information would include how to

conduct research, how to track animals, and how to clean up disasters in new

ways. Getting to see what the animals and nature that a person will most likely

be working with or around or would be like is also one of the job details that

they must become fluent in. Many organizations, from scouts to the World

Wildlife Foundation, can use the services of a ready and able bodied and able

minded people to help them out in their conduction of research and concluding

hypothesis. Through these organizations a person can make valuable contacts

that can help that person get a job in the environmental field or to get a

promotion later on in their career.

Because of the changes in the world around us, a person in the field of

ecology must stay focused on all of the upcoming and new technologies in the

world today. A person needs to have a formal education of at least a bachelor?s

degree. A person will also need at least some experience in conducting research

so they will be able to take advantage of certain opportunities in the future.

While a person is still living at home, they can find new and inventive ways to

apply their knowledge of the environmental sciences. Planting and raising a

garden, designing a garbage disposable system that will gather the different

recyclables are some of the things a person can do. A person can leave high

school at the age of sixteen and get a job in some practical part of ecology

such as a green house attendant or a tour guild at a local natural reserve.

However, if a person further educates themselves they will have a better chance

of getting a job that they would want much more. These are all reasons why

Fanning says, “While still in high school take a well rounded program including

biology, mathematics, physics, geology, chemistry, social sciences and

humanities”(30). A college education is mandatory, with an emphasis on biology.

Yet that person should also round out their education with all of the other

science classes that they can take. Also, taking social sciences and many

mathematics classes will round out their schedule. To become an ecologist it is

mandatory to have at least a bachelor?s degree in an environmental scientist.

However, if that person gets a master?s or even a doctorate?s degree, he or she

will be hired before a person with only the bachelor?s degree. While combining

the pre-training and a college education a person will be building a solid basis

for their future career.

Ecologists mainly focus their attention on the ecosystems of the world

and the impacts that man has on the environment and energy developments on the

environment. They also try to understand the links between organisms and their

environments. It is just like what the Encyclopedia of Vocational Guidance says

about ecologists, “?a primary concern of ecologists today is to study and

attempt to find solutions for disruption in various ecosystems. Increasingly,

an area of expertise is the reconstruction of ecosystems”(687). Many of the

duties which a person in the field of ecology has are of so much importance that

many things in this world could not be done without them. Most of the working

conditions for a person who goes into the field of ecology will mainly be in the

outdoor with Mother Nature. Peter Newman once said that, “. . .you will be

pioneering what has become on of the most dynamic of the new career

opportunities today”(18). Many of the state and federal agencies hire

technicians to gather data from backwoods city landfills or even lake and ocean

bottoms. As an entry-level ecologist a person will usually be concentrating on

hands on work, going out and cleaning up and caring for an area. However,

through the seasons an entry-level ecologist may be forced to transfer

frequently. After many years as an ecologist working outdoors, he or she may be

stuck behind a desk for some time. Over a couple of years as an ecologist a

person will possibly be responsible for taking care of an entire woodland. Some

of the main job duties of an ecologist are the ability to care for and raise an

animal, tag animals, and collect research materials.

There are many different jobs available for an ecologist. Some of these

jobs are in the private, federal, and public sectors. Because salaries range

from state to state and sector to sector it is hard to get an exact amount per

year. A salary for a person working for the federal government is dependent on

a person?s GS level. A GS-5 level person is what a person will probably start

at, which is a person with at least a bachelor?s degree in biology or a related

subject. A GS-5 person salary ranges from $16,973-$22,067. However a person

with the highest level GS was last paid $97,317. The federal government?s pay

scale is slightly better than that of many of the states yet lower than that in

the private sector. In the state sector the starting pay in about $12,000 up to

$34,000 and usually end up with a job paying about $60,000. All of this

information came from the following three books: Careers for Nature Lovers and

Other Outdoor Types, Opportunities in Environmental Careers, and The

Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance.