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Careers Advice

So, what makes an ecologist or environmental manager?

There are general qualities, such as self motivation, teamwork, computer literacy and communicating and negotiating skills, which are necessary for most areas of work, but special qualities are needed for success in ecological work.

These extra skills include:

  • a fascination for animals and plants;
  • a thorough knowledge of the functioning of natural systems;
  • good academic qualifications in biological or environmental subjects;
  • expertise in one or more groups of living organisms;
  • the facility to infect others with enthusiasm about the natural world;
  • enjoyment of fieldwork;
  • the staying power needed to complete tedious and sometimes uncomfortable tasks in field or laboratory; and
  • an objective approach to conservation issues.

Where do you find Ecologists and Environmental Managers?

Local Government and Statutory Agencies - Many departments and agencies of central and local government have responsibilities to promote or have regard to the conservation of wildlife, habitats and landscape quality e.g. Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage, Defra, Environment Agency, and many more.

Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) - NGOs have an increasing influence on attitudes to the environment. Many NGOs are involved with physical conservation and habitat management e.g. RSPB, Wildlife Trust, BTCV, BTO and many more.

Consultancy - Consultancies provide expertise on ecological and environmental issues to industry, government agencies and other organisations. Their services include EIA, Surveys, habitat management and restoration guidance.

Business and Industry - Environmental action by industry is largely driven by legislation on pollution and the requirement for environmental impact assessment in the planning stage of developments.

Media and Public Relations - There has recently been an enormous growth in the environmental media industry, with television, radio, magazines, books, websites, exhibits and interpretation centres contributing to the quality and amount of material available.

Teaching and Research - Many schools, colleges and universities cover topics on ecology and environmental management.

Remember there are plenty of other careers out there for ecologists and environmental mangers.

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