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Jobs in Ecology • What jobs am I qualified for ? • Types of jobs: pros and cons. • Listing and improving qualifications. • Where do I find job / volunteer postings?
With a BSc. in ecology (etc.) • Fisheries technician (monitor populations, catches) • Staff member - NGO (write reports etc). • Public outreach officer - aquaria, parks, etc. • Wildlife officer - local government • Staff - environmental consultant • Water quality technician (identify algae, etc.) • Forest entomology technician (monitor populations) • Agriculture inspector (search for introduced species) • Policy Intern - NGO, Public Service
Technician: government/university/private BSc. Staff member: NGO, environ. consult. experience Scientist: Environmental consulting firm Researcher: NGO/ Government College teacher MSc. experience Research scientist: Government/NGO University professor College teacher Independent consultant PhD.
Complementary degrees BSc. + MA journalism (1 year) Environment/science journalist + LLB (law: 3 years) Environmental lawyer + B.Ed. (1-2 years) Science teacher + BSc Comp. Sci. (20 months, UBC) Ecological modeller (may need MSc ecology too). + Film school Documentary maker
Examples WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST Fort St John $50,904.14 - $58,329.41 BSc + 4 years experience or MSc. + 2 years experience Technician Applied Ecology Bird Banding Monitoring Salary: From 40 951$ to 49 821 $ College degree + experience doing ecological fieldwork, particularly bird surveys and computer analysis Carbon Cycling Modeler/Analyst Salary: $50,069 to $64,769 per annum. MSc. in Forestry, Forest Ecology, Natural Resources Management, Soil Science or Agriculture
Research grants and permits Can you apply if not associated with university? With just BSc.? Generally not (grants). Definitely not (permits). Exceptions: NGOs, long publication record. Find university collaborator. See “Community of Science” website for grants.
Pros and cons: Government Job security: Good until Government cutbacks / restructuring. Jobs: Research, writing reports, administration, policy. Independence: Variable (depends on level). Can rise through experience, but education most impt. Red tape, red tape. End use: No control (esp. in Fisheries!).
Pros and cons: NGOs Job security: Poor, except for more established NGOs. Charity culture can lead to long hours, burn out, and low pay (but not necc.). Jobs: Policy, writing reports, literature reviews, basic field research, grant writer, volunteer co-ordinator, project manager, public outreach. Independence: Within aims of organization, but you may be able to set these aims. End use: High control, high impact.
Pros and cons: Private Job security: Poor, but many opportunities. Contracts are feast or famine, but flexible. Staff appointments. Jobs: Environmental Impact Assessments, ecological monitoring for govt., reports for govt./First Nations. Independence: Only free to refuse contract. Can set up own private firm eventually. End use: Often high impact (e.g. EIA), but some firms may be more pro-environment than others. Choose carefully. No control over how govt. reports used.
Pros and cons: University/College Job security: V high, but few openings (yet everyone good gets a job eventually). Can’t pick location. Jobs: Professor (40% research, 40% teaching, 20% administration). Workload very high (50-60 hours/week). Lecturer (60% teaching, 40% admin). Independence: High. But publication rate critical to maintaining grants. End use: Variable. Often only high impact to other academics (system set up this way). Can work on highly applied areas if publish results in journals. Scientific credibility useful in political impact.
Free qualifications • Registered Professional Biologist: BSc + 3 years work exp. + 1 publication • College of Applied Biology, B.C. • Registered Professional Ecologist: BSc + 1 year work exp. • Ecological Society of America • Society membership. Often cheap for students ($40-80). Ecological Society of America, British Ecological Society, Canadian Society of Zoologists..
Resumes General: Make it short. Forget fancy: Can’t make up for lack of content! Resumes for jobs: Emphasize skills, previous employment. Resumes for grad school: Emphasize independent research experience, reference letters, specific interests, grades. This class: List computer programs learnt, statistical analyses learnt, field techniques learnt.
Resumes - What else? • Experience, experience, experience (even if volunteer). • Volunteer history may be particularly impt. for NGOs. • Specific high-value skills: (1) Statistics. • (2) Computer programming. • (3) Mathematical modeling. • (4) GIS. • (5) Field experience. • (6) Publications.
Grad school 1. MSc or PhD? Can go directly to PhD, but only save a year or two (shorter cv when end). 2. Where? Should move institutions between degrees for academic career, experience outside Canada valuable. Choose best institution you can. Choose a supervisor carefully, and interview them. Apply widely, apply months before deadlines. 3. Funding? Best if you bring your own (e.g. NSERC, deadline Sept.), but most do not. 4. What? Anything, you will pick up skills as you go.
Where do I look? General postings • http://www.ejobs.org/ US-based but has Canadian subsite • http://www.esa.org/opportunities/ Ecological Society of America; general info on jobs, links • Puget Sound Society for Conservation Biology List-Serve • Email: Listproc@u.washington.edu with: • “subscribe PSSCBJOBS YourName” in message text • Ecological Society of America List-Serve • Email: email@example.com • “SUB ECOLOG-L <YourName>” in message text
Where do I look? Govt. Government Jobs: Federal: http://jobs.gc.ca/jobs/index_all_e.htm, then click on computer/technical/scientific B.C. Govt.: http://postings.gov.bc.ca/index.html, go to science and technical
Where do I look? University • Job postings on noticeboards (esp. summer jobs) • Word of mouth • Create opportunity (e.g. NSERC if have B+ or higher)
Volunteer opportunities Natural Resources Volunteer program: http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/cons/cvphome.htm UBC students only, local agencies and overseas Tuition credit: volunteer 100hrs, get $800 tuition credit