Conservation Career Fields Guide


On the following pages, we explore nine broad conservation career fields, plus other career disciplines that are essential for the efficient function of any organization. For each field, we define the field, give examples of careers, touch on the types of education and training needed for jobs in the field, recommend ways to get experience and exposure in the field, and list potential employers. Several of the fields overlap and many positions address topics that are connected to topics not addressed here. This is not an all-inclusive list but a place to get you started. The nine fields are:​

Environmental Education


Informing, inspiring, influencing, and motivating

What is the field of Environmental Education?

Environmental Education (EE) is a process that helps individuals, communities, and organizations learn more about the environment, and develop skills and understanding about how to address local,​ regional and global environmental challenges. It has the power to transform lives and society. It informs and inspires. It influences attitudes. It motivates action. EE is a key tool in expanding the constituency for environmental stewardship and conservation, and creating healthier and more civically-engaged communities.

What is an Environmental Education professional?

Environmental Education professionals work in all segments of society. They work with students, teachers, administrators, and school boards to employ green practices at schools—focusing on curriculum, professional development, schoolyards, school buildings, and more. They work with businesses to educate managers, employees, and vendors about environmental, health, and economic issues. They are facilitators of community/citizen science programs to help people understand the scientific process and use the data to help protect species, habitat, communities, and ecological processes. They are professors in universities who train the next generation of teachers, environmental professionals, business leaders, and others. They work with journalists, photographers, artists, and even musicians to tell the story about the value of environmental education, and with decision-makers to advocate for environmental education best practices. They work hand-in-hand with conservation professionals to help engage people and communities in finding solutions to conservation issues—from loss of biodiversity to climate change. And they work with health professionals who educate doctors, nurses, insurers and other health professionals about the critical link between health and environment and how to increase time in nature to address health issues. They are naturalists helping to connect more people to nature and build stewardship values that last a lifetime. (adapted from the North American Association of Environmental Education).

An environmental educator understands highly technical, often multi-disciplinary scientific material such as raw data and scientific literature. They use pictures, presentations, created materials, and hands-on, learner- centered investigative activities to teach the information to interested but non-technical individuals of all ages. The goal is not only to advance environmental knowledge in the general public and amongst stakeholders but to help stakeholders think critically to assess and inquire from an environmental perspective. Environmental educators have a set of responsibilities that vary significantly from job to job, but the list here includes typical job duties:

  • Analyze and interpret data obtained from literature reviews, research, and sample findings, imagery, and computer model predictive data.
  • Research, interview, and teach about leading scientists and theories.
  • Explain and illustrate how the environmental event or trend in question may impact the earth, and human or animal populations.
  • Communicate lessons to stakeholders on environmental situations or environmental trends according to the scope of the course. Examples may include climate change, watershed protection, or recycling and composting.
  • Engage members of the public and stakeholders in the material; develop environmental awareness.
  • Develop curriculum-based resources and provide support for other educators.
  • Write resource material for personal use, other educators, or take-home materials for students and stakeholders, that includes paper, online, oral lecture and multimedia.
  • Facilitate discussions between differing interests in order to enrich course offerings with cross- disciplinary perspectives and understanding.
  • Develop feedback plans and programs to determine or evaluate success of the learning.
  • Lead learners of any age, birth to adult, in indoor and outdoor activities to learn about and experience various environmental topics, natural features, flora and fauna. This might include dipnetting for aquatic life in a pond, canoeing with excited children, hiking forest trails with groups, guiding teachers through learning activities to lead with their own students, teaching families how to cast a fishing line or how to observe birds, and much more.

Senior Environmental Educators often have enhanced job responsibilities that include managing, budgeting, and team collaboration. Such responsibilities often include:

  • Extract learning objectives from stakeholders and material.
  • Create a curriculum in order to teach the topic at hand in a compressive fashion, along a proscribed timeline if required.
  • Develop themes and activities to reinforce learning.
  • Create teaching materials.
  • Coordinate environmental professional development for teacher-colleagues and the public.
  • Manage budgets, prepare grant proposals, track and report progress toward goals and commitments.
  • Create assessment materials if required.
  • Use a clear perspective to steer the scope of the course.
  • Provide consultation and advice to agencies, professionals, or researchers.
  • Ensure that the course curriculum and assessment are accurate.
  • Plan, organize and participate in outreach campaigns to engage and challenge the public.
  • Establish efficient and effective workgroup protocols for a positive and challenging work environment; organize, lead, and/or facilitate collaborative projects.
  • Mentor and/or supervise junior team members and educators.

What are some examples of careers in Environmental Education?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Naturalist, Environmental Assessment Technician, Outdoor Instructor, Environmental Education Specialist, Environmental Education Assistant.

Professional (Bachelor or Master’s degree): Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental Science Teacher, Environmental Health Educator, Environmental Education Coordinator, Program Manager, Environmental STEM Educator.

Management (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D.): College or University Professor, Executive Director of Environmental Organization.

What are some examples of degrees Environmental Educators use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to): ​​

  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental studies
  • Geography
  • Ecology
  • Biology

How can I get experience and connect to the Environmental Education Industry?

Learning: MAEOE Environmental Education Certification Program, National Association of Interpreters Certified Interpretive Guide, Maryland Master Naturalist program, volunteering with your local nature center or local environmental education organization.

Working: Youth Employment: Conservation Jobs Corps, Student Conservation Association.

Networking: Professional Societies: Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education; North American Association for Environmental Education, National Association for Interpretation; Association of Nature Center Administrators, The Coastal Society, National Marine Educators Association, Environmental Literacy Council, Ecological Society of America, Environmental Education & Training Partnership.

Environmental Justice


Fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all

What is the field of Environmental Justice?

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. It is important to improve and maintain a clean and healthy environment, particularly for those who have traditionally lived, worked, and played closest to the sources of pollution. (EPA and Natural Resources Defense Council). Furthermore, environmental injustices are a result of and exacerbated by social and systemic injustices. Many communities of color or low-income communities have been and are still disproportionately exposed to environmental issues such as: environmental toxins, food apartheids, climate change and vulnerability to its effects, urban heat island effect, and access to green space. They may form grassroots organizations that become permanent forces for environmental protection and social change in their communities.

What is an environmental justice professional?

Environmental justice professionals work to identify real problems and develop solutions to implement sustainable practices in addressing environmental issues. They invest in programs that diversify the environmental field and supply opportunities to all groups. They can work closely with governors and authoritative figures to design plans addressing inadequate access to necessary resources and clean air and water acts. They can be the authority implementing the environmental laws as conservation officers for natural resources enforce the regulations and policies set forth to protect the environment. Environmental justice professionals have a common goal of redirecting the power to the people of communities to ensure the policies for protecting their environment are justified and acted upon. They support underrepresented communities by being a greater voice to solve issues regarding environmental racism, community contamination, and public health.

What are some examples of careers in Environmental Justice?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Grassroots Organizer, Litigation Assistant, Policy and Legislative Assistant, Community Outreach Coordinator

Professional (Bachelor’s degree): Research and Policy Analyst, Environmental Justice Advocate, Environmental Protection Specialist, Campaign Manager, Community Based Planner, Communications Strategist

Management (Master’s or Doctorate): Professor, Attorney, Recruitment Coordinator, Senior Researcher, Policy Developer, Consultor, Director

What are some examples of degrees Environmental Justice workers use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Environmental sciences
  • Environmental studies
  • Environmental health
  • Environmental management
  • Environmental policy
  • Public health
  • Global health
  • Biology

How can I get experience and connect to the Environmental Justice community?

Learning: Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Lab at UMD, Namati, Earthjustice, Chispa, Community Engagement

Working: Clean Water Action, TB Southern Region Neighborhood Coalition, Choose Clean Water Coalition, Empower DC, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Youth Employment: Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth

Networking: CEEJH Environmental Justice Symposium, Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC), Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Sierra Club, Center for Diversity and the Environment, Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment, National Black Environmental Justice Network

Forestry & Horticulture


Managing and improving our nation’s forest lands

What are the fields of Forestry and Horticulture?
The fields of Forestry and Horticulture are based on the propagation, planting, and care of plant​​s to improv

What is a forestry and horticulture professional?

Forestry and horticulture professionals are specialists in the field. They provide knowledge and skills caring for and maintaining forests, groves of trees, and plants in the public and private sector. Both professional pathways have potential for certification. Foresters can become e natural and man-made landscapes. Forestry combines physical, biological, and engineering science to manage and improve our nation’s forest lands in both rural and urban settings. These lands not only include the trees of a forest but other plants, the soil, water, wildlife, and human use. Horticulture is the art, technology, and science of plants applied to grow food, planting gardens and landscapes, and restoring native habitats.

certified through the Society of American Foresters and horticulturalists can become certified through the American Society of Horticultural Science. Forestry professionals have a range of responsibilities depending on the agency of employment, but generally are tasked with planting and managing trees and forests and are involved in restoration and conservation projects regarding protected areas. Horticulture professionals specialize in the care of plants and are responsible for identifying diseases in plant species and diagnosing treatment plans. They also can cooperate with landscapers for designing practical plant arrangements in public areas such as around schools, government buildings, parks and more. Since these fields are interconnected, professionals of forestry and horticulture may collaborate in efforts and can diversify into specific career pathways with the proper education and training.

What are some examples of careers in Forestry & Horticulture?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Agronomist; Dietitian; Farm or Forest-Based Educator; Farm Equipment Sales; Farmer; Fire Program Assistant; Flock Supervisor; Forestry Aide; Forestry Technician; Gardener; Greenhouse/Nursery Manager; Golf Course or Stadium Groundskeeper; Health Inspector; Horse Breeder; Farm Loan Officer; Nutrient Management Consultant; Pesticide Applicator; Plant Protection Technician; Soil Conservation Technician; Stormwater Management Technician.

Professional (Bachelor or Master’s degree): Agricultural Engineer; Arborist, Botanist, Cooperative Extension Agent; Entomologist; Fire Communications Specialist, Forest Fire Management Officer, Forest Products Scientist, Forester, Urban Forester, Soil Scientist, Wood Scientist; Integrated Pest Management Scout; Horticulturist; Community Garden Manager; Nursery Manager; Plant Breeder; Genetics Researcher; Greenhouse Manager; Landscape Architect; Agricultural Science Teacher; Turf Specialist; Soil Scientist; Plant Scientist; Journalist; Wildlife Biologist.

Management (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D.): Forest Economist; Forest Manager; Forest Policy Analyst; Forest Supervisor; GIS Specialist; Natural Resource & Environmental Systems Manager; Public Garden Manager; Public Lands Manager; Professor; Restoration and Remediation Manager .

What are some examples of degrees Foresters & Horticulturists use?

School of forestry must be accredited by Society of American foresters:
Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Urban or regional planning
  • Engineering
  • Physical geography
  • Natural resource planning, management, or development
  • Environmental planning
  • Resources economics
  • Environmental systems management
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Environmental science
  • Horticulture and forestry

Specialized certificates include (but not limited to):

  • Therapeutic horticulture
  • Forest pest management
  • Botanical garden/arboretum management

How can I get experience and connect to the Forestry & Horticulture community?

Learning: Volunteer positions, Internships, apprenticeships, fellowships, work/laboratory/field shadowing, High School Agriculture Science Courses, Maryland FFA membership, Maryland 4-H membership. U.S. Forest Service Pathways career program, Large public and private botanical gardens

Working: Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Maryland Department of Agriculture; Architect of the Capitol, Baltimore City Forestry Division, Maryland Forestry service, Schools, colleges and universities; U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Networking: Maryland Farm Bureau, Society of American Foresters, Forestry Boards (local and state), Weed Science Society of America, International Society of Arboriculture, American Public Gardens Association, American Society for Horticultural Science, Professional Grounds Management Society, Maryland Nursery Landscape and Greenhouse Association, Seed Your Future; American Society of Landscape Architecture, American Planning Association



Collecting and interpreting data about the Earth and the universe

What is the field of Geoscience?
Geoscience is a scientific field that involves the collection and interpretation of data about the Earth. Major disciplines of geoscience include geology, geophysics, hydrology, oceanography, marine science, atmospheric science, planetary science, meteorology, environmental science, and soil science. knowledge of the field of geoscience reveals how ecosystems are interconnected and utilizes tools and techniques from other disciplines to serve in understanding how the earth surface w​as formed and continually changing. Geoscience can be used to investigate the past and quantify resources to be evaluated through models to make predictions about the future conditions on this planet. Although a central part of geoscience involves studying the earth we inhabit, this field also encompasses the study of other planets in the solar system. This diverse field can help add to our understanding of our planet and the universe by the work of geoscientists.

What is a Geoscience professional?
The work and career path of a geoscience professional are varied. Some investigate the Earth’s physical environment including its soils, oceans, and atmosphere while others measure global climate change, locate adequate supplies of natural resources, such as groundwater, petroleum, and metals, and how to balance society’s demand for natural resources and the sustainability of our natural resources. Otherworldly geoscience professionals survey the geology of the celestial bodies such as planets other than earth and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteorites. Although these duties may seem universes away, they can have profound impacts on our earth's sustainability. The diversity of responsibilities for professionals in geoscience is immense and opportunities for specializing in certain subdisciplines of geoscience are plentiful in the conservation field.

What are some examples of careers in Geoscience?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Geotechnician, Soil Conservation Technician, Land surveying, CAD technician.

Professional (Bachelor’s or Master’s degree): Atmospheric Scientist, Civil Engineer, Economic Geologist, Engineering Geologist, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Geologist, Geochemist, Geologist, Geomorphologist, Hydrogeologist, Hydrologist, Marine Geologist, Meteorologist, Mining Geologist, Oceanographer, Petroleum Engineer, Physical Scientist, Sedimentologist, Research Geophysicist, Soil Scientist, Geographic Information Science Analysis, Urban Planner, Professional Land Surveyor, Mine Planning Engineer.

Management ( Master’s degree or Ph.D.): Professor, Supervisory Geologist, Program Director, Project Manager.

What are some examples of degrees Geoscientists use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Geology
  • Engineering geology
  • Earth science
  • Environmental science
  • Environmental geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry
  • Geography
  • Astronomy
  • Geoscience
  • Hydrogeology
  • Planetary science

How can I get experience and connect to the Geoscience community?

Learning: Prince George County Youth@Work/ Summer Enrichment Program, Montgomery Parks Archeology Summer Camps, Baltimore’s Club SciKidz, USGS Internship, NAGT/USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program, GeoCorps, Student Conservation Association, Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) program.

Working: USGS Volunteer Program, County Agencies, Citizen Science programs, NAGT/USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program, GeoCorps, Student Conservation Association, Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) program.

Networking: Geological Society of America, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Maryland Geoscience Society, American Institute of Professional Geologists, American Geophysical Union, American Geosciences Institute, American Meteorological Society, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists, Ecological Society of America.

Land Management


Determining how to best manage public lands for multiple uses and benefits​​

What is the field of Land Management?
Land Management is a career that utilizes information about the physical environment, biological resources such as wildlife habitat, and human influences such as recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, energy production, the preservation of historical or cultural resources and policy to determine how best to manage public lands for multiple uses and benefits. This may include managing a public space such as a park, forest or wildlife management area, as well as working with local advocates or working as a planner to determine long range plans for the management of lands.

What is a land management professional?
A person working in the field of land management works with other natural resources professionals, planners and generally the public to determine how a specific area of land should be used. Because land may be managed for a variety of uses, land managers have knowledge of many related fields as well as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Since the field of land management encompasses the physical, biological, and human environments, there are a variety of potential careers available.

What are some examples of careers in Land Management?

Technician​ (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): GIS Technician, Range Technician, Soil Conservation Technician, Agricultural Technician, Survey Aid, Biological Technician.

Professional (Bachelor or Master’s degree): Archeologist, Cartographer, Economist, Forester, Wildlife Biologist, Environmental Lawyer, Land Use Planner, Environmental Policy Specialist, GIS Specialist, GIS Analyst, Habitat Conservation Specialist, Land Surveyor, Land Use Planner, Law Enforcement Ranger, Reclamation Specialist, Restoration Ecologist, Soil Scientist, Systems Analyst, Terrain Analyst, Land Conservation Specialist.​

Management (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D.): Open Space Director, Park Manager, Professor, Public Lands Director, Refuge Manager, Resource Manager, Wildlife Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Biologist.

What are some examples of degrees Land Managers use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Forestry
  • Environmental studies
  • Fish and wildlife management
  • Environmental biology
  • Natural resource management
  • Geography
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Ecology
  • Land and energy management

How can I get experience and connect to the land management community?

Learning: Community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, Volunteering at a nearby park or refuge.


Working: Student Conservation Association, Youth Conservation Corps, National Park Service, US Forest Service or Fish and Wildlife Service Pathways programs, Bureau of Land Management, state parks, wildlife agencies, local parks, recreation departments, planning and zoning departments, land conservation organizations, private and public land trusts.

Networking: Soil Science Society of America, Society for Conservation Biology, Society for Ecological Restoration, Weed Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, The Wildlife Society, National Parks and Recreation Association, Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy.

Parks & Recreation


Furthering enjoyment, socialization, education, health, and well-being

What is the field of Parks and Recreation?

Parks and Recreation focus on the human use of natural resources for enjoyment, socialization, education, health and well-being. The field combines knowledge of the environment with skills in social sciences, economics, and business. A Parks and Recreation professional plans, organizes and administers recreation facilities, programs, services and activities in a variety of settings and to diverse audiences. They may work at national, state and local parks and open spaces, sports centers, resorts and camps.

What is a Parks and recreation professional?
Parks and recreation professionals are individuals who have met the educational standards for the position and are qualified with experience in the field. They are responsible for the various duties regarding the management and operation of natural resources utilized by the public. Positions can include park managers who are tasked with overseeing park maintenance routines and supervising other workers assignments and park rangers who are tasked with enforcing the rules and regulations of the park services. The commitment status for parks and recreation professionals can vary from county, state and national levels. A career in the field of parks and recreation can range to meet your passions and have many avenues for growth and development.

What are some examples of careers in Parks and Recreation?

Technician(No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Camp Counselor, Day Counselor, Field Crew, Guest Services, Park Maintenance, Community Assistant, Education Technician, Environmental Technician, Parks Technician, Playground Safety Inspector, Ranger Assistant, Tour Guide, Visitor Services Administrative Assistant, Wilderness Assistance, Seasonal Ranger, Seasonal Naturalist, Maintenance.

Professional(Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree): Adventure Guide, Community Organizer, Environmental Educator, Field Instructor, Landscape Architect, Naturalist, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Outreach Coordinator, Park Ranger, Interpretation, Parks Planner, Program Coordinator, Sports Coordinator, Summer Camp Director, Sustainability Consultant, Visitor Studies Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Park Ranger, Park Naturalist.

Management(Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD): Director of Activities, Director of Education, Director of Parks, District Manager, Public Lands Director.

What are some examples of degrees Parks & Recreation workers use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Park and Resource Management
  • Recreation and Park Administration – Recreation Management
  • Recreation and Park Administration – Therapeutic Recreation
  • Community Sports Management
  • Tourism Development and Management
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management
  • Natural Sciences

How can I get experience and connect to the Parks and Recreation community?

Learning: youth programs, apprenticeships, volunteer, internships, local parks or nature centers.

Working: Department of Interior, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, Corps Network, National Association of State Parks, National, State, Local Parks and Recreation Departments, Private and Non-profit Natural Resource Management Organizations, Maryland State Parks.

Networking: Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, Outdoor Industry Association, Association for Experiential Education, Wilderness Education Association, National Recreation and Parks Association, Maryland Recreation and Parks Association,National Association for Interpretation, Association of Nature Center Administrators.

Water Management


Making decisions about water quality and quantity​​

What is the field of Water Management?

Water management applies physical, chemical and biological sciences along with math, technology, engineering, economics and law to making decisions about both water quality and water quantity. Water management covers the management of different aspects of water, including but not limited to public drinking water, wastewater, storm water, agriculture, hydroelectricity, and navigable water. Water management is the control and movement of water resources to minimize damage to life and property and to maximize efficient beneficial use.

What is a Water Management professional?

Water is not only one of our most important resources it also links many environmental systems together and therefore is central to many environmental problems. The field of water management is challenging because of the growing water needs of humans and because water spans multiple jurisdictional boundaries. Because of this, water professionals must not only be skilled in the sciences, but also in problem solving, communication and working with other natural resource professionals.

What are some examples of careers in Water Management?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Aquatic Biologist, Aquatic Restoration Technician, Aquatic Toxicologist, Environmental Sampling/Monitoring Technician, Hydrology Technician, Lab Analysis Technician, Hydraulic Specialist, Wastewater Technician, Plant Operator, Water Treatment Operator

Professional (Bachelor or Master’s degree): Hydrogeologist, Hydrologist, Local or State Water Planner, Stormwater Technician, Surface Water Monitoring Technician, Water Law Expert, Water Treatment Expert, Watershed Planner, Watershed Scientist, Groundwater Specialist, Stormwater Compliance Inspector, Water Conservation Specialist, Water Quality Analyst, Water Recycling and Solid-Waste Engineer, Wetland Delineation Specialist, Environmental Engineer, Stream Engineer

Management (Master’s degree or PhD): Plant Superintendent, Environmental engineers, Irrigation and Water Resources engineer, watershed scientist, hydrologist.

What are some examples of degrees Water Managers use?

  • Engineering (Civil, Environmental)
  • Biology (Marine, Aquatic)
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science (Hydrology, Water Resources)
  • Geology (Hydrogeology)
  • Water Resources/Management

How can I get experience and connect to the Water Management community?

Learning: community colleges, 4-year universities, volunteer organizations, internships, apprenticeships, online courses and certifications.

Working:EPA, Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and Environment; County/City Department of Public Works/Parks & Recreation; WSSC Water; Private Engineer/Consultant.

Networking: Potomac Riverkeepers; Anacostia Watershed Society; Choose Clean Water Coalition, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, American Water Resources Association, National Groundwater Association, River Management Society, “LOCAL” Riverkeepers and River Associations.

Wildlife and Fisheries


Working to monitor, sustain, and restore fish and wildlife populations

What is the field of Wildlife and Fisheries?

Fisheries and wildlife are scientific disciplines including research, management, education and law enforcement to monitor, sustain, and restore fish and wildlife populations. The field encompasses the interest of outdoors and life sciences combining to efficiently manage ecological systems. Divisions of this field serve on conservation, protection, and restoration projects for fishery habitats for rehabilitating fish species and sustaining habitats for endangered wildlife species. The achievement of objectives associated with this field of conservation includes employing scientific methods for experimentation. Through this experimentation, we can obtain natural resource data to evaluate the state of environmental habitats that need scientific research and community involvement to aid in the sustainable management of our natural resources.

What is a Wildlife and Fisheries professional?

A fish and wildlife professional may work in research to determine the status of animal populations, the interactions between animals, how animals react to different environmental conditions, or an animal’s habitat requirements, behaviors or distribution. Fish and wildlife managers put this information to use in the field by developing and implementing restoration practices that improve fish and wildlife populations. Much of fish and wildlife management is actually people management. An effective professional often has education in economics, political science and law, psychology, sociology and history. Skillful communication, written and oral, is one of the most important tools a fish and wildlife professional uses.

What are some examples of careers in Wildlife & Fisheries?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Biological Science Technician, Fisheries Technician, Wildlife Technician, Wildlife Removal Technician, Environmental Educator, Vet tech, Survey Crew Leader .

Professional (Bachelor’s or Master’s degree): Animal Research Scientist, Biological Scientist, Ecologist, Entomologist, Environmental Scientist, Fisheries Biologist, Habitat Conservation Specialist, Mammalogist, Wildlife Biologist, Zoologist, Game Warden, Conservation officer, Conservation coordinator, Fisheries policy analyst, Extension Agent, Restoration Manager, Habitat Restoration Ecologist.

Management (Master’s or PhD): District Wildlife Manager, Fish Hatchery Manager, Professor, Supervisory Biologist, Wildlife Refuge Manager.

What are some examples of degrees Wildlife & Fisheries workers use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Wildlife management
  • Environmental science
  • Fisheries management
  • Zoology
  • Biology
  • Aquatic biology
  • Marine science
  • Natural resource management
  • Ecology

How can I get experience and connect to the Wildlife & Fisheries community?

LEARNING: Master Naturalist program, invasive species removal events, field volunteer with graduate research projects, wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, graduate student field assistant.

WORKING: Local county recreation and parks departments, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Contractors or biological consultants working on large public projects, Private labs.

NETWORKING: The Wildlife Society, Ecological Society of America, Women’s Aquatic Network, The Coastal Society, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Attend advisory commission or public meetings.

Conservation Careers – Beyond the Sciences


Contributing to sustainability in our environment, non-scientifically

What encompasses non-scientific Conservation Careers?

You don’t have to work IN the outdoors to work FOR the outdoors. Definitions of conservation careers can be very broad because they centralize activities that ultimately enrich the environment and its wildlife. Many people are passionate about our natural world, but have interests and skills outside of life science and geosciences. There are many critical roles in organizations or agencies that contribute to managing our natural resources but within an office atmosphere. These are incredibly diverse positions, with varying requirements in educational background, skills, and experience. The field of conservation spans a broad spectrum in which many roles in different fields will become significant to contributing to sustainability in our environment.

What are non-scientific conservation professionals?

Conservation as an industry has expanded largely over the course of degradation of the environment. Non-conventional roles in this field of work have serious beneficial implications for diversifying its sector. Many young individuals interested in the conservation field may be surprised to notice how many professional roles in conservation are non-scientific. Communication and marketing professionals that work in raising the public's awareness of conservation issues and ways they can help, social media content creation, journalism, and many more can fall under the umbrella of non-scientific conservation professionals. Laboratory and field work is not the only career pathway into the conservation spectrum and not all avenues must be with intentions of a scientific background.

What are some examples of non-science careers in Conservation?

Technician (No Degree, Associate or Bachelor’s degree): Accounting Technician, Database Administrator, Financial Management, Electrical, IT specialist, Application developer, Customer Service Representative, Welder, Mechanic, Maintenance, Construction.

Professional (Bachelor or Master’s degree): Administrative Officer, Budget Analyst, Community Organizer, Computer Scientist, Contract Specialist, Digital Communications Manager (A/V, Social Media, etc.), Grant Manager, Graphic Artist, Human Resources Specialist, Marketing Specialist, Philanthropy Coordinator, Public Relations Specialist, Purchasing Officer, Realty Specialist, Technical Writer.

Management (Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD): Communications Manager, Facilities Manager, Program Manager.

What are some examples of degrees non-scientific conservation workers use?

Undergraduate majors include (but not limited to):

  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Architecture
  • Environmental design
  • Graphic design
  • Public relations
  • Finance
  • Philanthropology

How can I get experience and connect to the non-scientific conservation community?

Learning: Community colleges, 4-year universities, volunteer organizations, internships, apprenticeships, online courses and certifications.

Working: National Geographic, New York Times, local radio stations, National Park Service, state departments and agencies, government agencies.

Networking: Earth Journalism Network, Society of Environmental Journalists, Tools of Change, The Trust For Public Land.