Sustainable Agriculture is tied closely with conservation. A conservationalist is responsible for improving, protecting, and managing earth's natural resources. To do so, they work closely with private landowners, federal, state, and local governments. Conservationists also frequently meet with farmers to consult them on the best practices for their land and how to increase their productivity while keeping the environment safe.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Research or study conservation management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife
- Develop technical standards and specifications used to manage, protect and improve the natural resources of conservation
- Maintain soil stability and vegetation for non-grazing uses, such as wildlife habitats and outdoor recreation
- Manage forage resources through fire, herbicide use, or re-vegetation to maintain a sustainable yield from the land
- Plan and direct construction and maintenance of conservation improvements such as water shed research and soil-erosion control structures
- Study forage plants and their growth requirements to determine varieties best suited to particular area
- Utilization of equipment for monitoring conservation structure and navigation
- Develop new and improved instruments and techniques for activities such as reseeding
- Measure and assess vegetation resources for biological assessment companies, environmental impact statements, and conservation monitoring programs
- Offer advice regarding water management, forage production methods and control of brush
What education and training is required?
A bachelor’s degree in natural resources, crop science, soil science, biology or a related field, such as horticulture, plant physiology or environmental science is required. Positions that are research focused require a master’s or doctorate degree.
To pursue a career as a Conservationist:
The following high school courses are recommended:agricultural education, earth science, chemistry, biology, botany, and mathematics.
Employed by Research firms, governmental organizations, environmental organizations or conservation organizations, and colleges or universities.
Future Job Market/Outlook:
With increased interest in preserving natural habits and maintaining them for public use and research, the need to conserve those environments will continue to grow and create job opportunities for public conservation managers. However these career opportunities may not grow as rapidly as others.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: