Are you fascinated by how one living organism relates to another, both in and outside its own species? Or maybe your interest lies in how they interact with their environment. In either case, you would likely enjoy working in an ecology career.
Working in this field gives you the opportunity to learn more about living organisms and their relationships. It also enables you to take that knowledge and use it to benefit the environment as a whole.
Does this sound good to you? If you're shaking your head yes, here are a few of the best ecology careers from which to choose.
1. Field Ecologist
In this role, you would spend your days studying or collecting data on a living organism within its natural environment. This could involve working in wetlands, forests, bodies of water, or wherever your specific organism exists. It might also require you to work in different weather conditions, so that's something to keep in mind if you're considering this ecology career.
2. Restoration Ecologist
If you like to take something damaged and help "fix" it, restoration ecology may be more satisfying. Ecological restoration involves taking a particular ecosystem that has been negatively impacted and working to restore it to where it should be had the damage not occurred. Restoration ecologists could be hired to deal with the negative effects of land clearing, poaching, or coastal erosion, for instance.
3. Park Naturalist
A park naturalist is someone who educates a park's visitors about its plants and animals, also sharing why it is important to protect not only the park but nature too. This is a good ecology career path for someone who likes to share their knowledge with others. When you're taking a group on a hike or nature walk, you're sure to get a few "wow" looks when teaching your guests about the world around them.
4. Marine Biologist
Roughly 71 percent of the Earth is covered with water. So, as a marine biologist, you can pretty much work anywhere in the world! In marine biology, you spend your days learning more about the organisms that exist within different bodies of water. Maybe there's a specific species that you're interested in studying or a particular ecosystem. This provides a lot of latitude work-wise if you choose this ecology career track.
5. Environmental Consultant
This ecology career is less about a certain living organism and more about reducing the impact of actions on the environment. You might consult for a company looking to reduce its water pollution, for instance. Companies also hire environmental consultants to address issues related to air quality and waste management. In this role, you use your knowledge of the environment to help companies make environmentally friendly decisions. You might also be called upon to help a business decide whether a piece of land has any environmental issues or concerns that they should know before they buy it.
6. Environmental Protection Specialist
As the job title suggests, this ecology career is all about protecting the environment. This might involve conducting field or lab tests to better understand the health of a certain environment, then forwarding it to people who are responsible for making policies for that environment. The information can also be used to help a particular industry develop processes designed to better protect the environment, or it could simply be provided to the public to help them understand the impact that their behaviors have on the world around them.
7. Natural Resource Manager
Another protective role within this list of the best ecology careers is that of natural resource manager. A natural resource manager is tasked with the protection of an area's ecosystem. Depending on where you work, this could involve monitoring wildlife to ensure that its population continues to grow or regulating the land to determine which resources can be used and which are off-limits. Natural resource managers can work indoors or out, giving you a couple of options to consider should you decide to take this route.
Ready to Start Your Ecology Career?
If any of these sound appealing to you, Saint Leo University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in biology with a specialization in ecology.
This 120-credit hour undergraduate degree program includes foundational biology courses such as Biological Principles, Organic Chemistry, and General Physics. Ecology specialization courses include Botany, Invertebrate Zoology, Mycology, Wetlands Ecology, and Medicinal Botany.
All of these courses will help better prepare you for your ecology career, no matter which track you choose! Contact our Admissions Office today to learn more about this exciting bachelor's degree program and the unique career tracks graduates may pursue.