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What jobs can I apply for with a degree in conservation biology?

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I previously wanted a degree in wildlife biology, but after I further explored my interests I became more intrigued with the conservation aspects of biology rather than the scientific aspect. It's also come to my attention that Conservation Biology is a fairly knew major, and I was wondering what jobs accepted that degree.
#wildlife-conservation #animal-conservation #wildlife #wildlife-biology #job-search #general-career-advice-for-young-people

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Maura’s Answer

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Hi Jazmin,

I would say follow your interests and strengths, but do not shy away from subjects that may feel less appealing, and give yourself as much exposure as you can to the environmental science field. As for the newness of the degree in conservation biology, it may be a new degree for your school, but it is not a new subject to the field and has been practiced for a very long time. Its wonderful that institutions like yours are now merging degrees and courses to better align with the potential positions students may find after university, but it is not a guarantee you'll receive a "Conservation biologist" position.

Basically, as long as you stick to a Bachelor of Science in the Environmental Science field (which conservation and/or wildlife biology fall under) it's the FIRST STEP for setting yourself up for success post university in the Environmental Science world. Here are the other potential steps if you're interested:

Good luck!

Maura recommends the following next steps:

  • 2. Internships - Someone earlier mentioned internships, and I whole heatedly agree this is the best way to really help you figure out what you like and where you shine. One of the greatest determinations with the environmental sciences is figuring out whether or not field work is a good fit for you. Some people flourish in the field and can't get enough bad weather, hairy terrain, and feeling hungry. Others find out they excel in the research, policy or social development side of the field instead. Then others thrive in both sides of the field. So, why not try it all?! If you can, take every summer to try a different technician job in different locations. If your means are limited, there are many summer jobs that come with housing and provide work transportation . Check out the Texas A&M Environmental job board, it's my go to.
  • 3. Double Up Majors - I understand this also may not be as easy as it sounds, with funding, school policies, etc. potentially making this a challenge. However, if you truly love both wildlife biology and conservation biology, it might be worth the sacrifice of one more semester or year of school to major in both. More likely than not you will probably want to consider continued education post your Bachelor's, but if you really love learning and want another advantage in the job market or as a masters/PhD candidate, your love for learning (coupled with internships) may give you a strong advantage.
  • 4. Outdoor Recreation - Not knowing your regular activities, this too might be a good way to help narrow in what you really care about by spending more time outside. Try skiing - maybe you get to love snow so much you can't bear the thought of no snow in the winter due to climate change. Mountain Biking - it's a fast and endearingly dirty sport and it has a lot to do with great landscapes and views-capes. Fly fishing - this is all about water, water quality, watershed health, and so much more. Whatever you find you love to do the most outdoors, may be your guiding light. And it's never too late to start a new sport, I learned to ski when I was 22 and can not get enough of it. It's just all about getting outside.
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Ken’s Answer

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The positions for which you might make application are those that are most closely aligned with your personality traits. Learning about those traits and making networking connections with those people working in positions that look interesting to you will allow you to find an answer to this question.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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Sherrie’s Answer

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Hello,

I'm glad to hear that you are interested in conservation biology. There are numerous opportunities for someone with a degree in conservation biology. These include working for governmental organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a researcher in an academic institution, or for a non-profit agency (e.g. The Nature Conservancy). You may want to consider completing an internship while you are working towards you degree. If your university's Biology Dept. doesn't provide direct assistance, you may try researching an organization where you would like to work (e.g. an aquarium or zoo in your area), and contact them directly. You may also look into jobs with the World Health Organization if you are interested in working overseas. Whatever you choose, good luck!

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Hana’s Answer

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I am naturally . very much interested in nature so I devoted my graduate studies to scientific research on nature and environment

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Manush’s Answer

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You have options to do research as technician level in an academic institution. You also can do policy line if you're interested in advocacy.

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DAVID’s Answer

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biology

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Lauren 'Ivy'’s Answer

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As already mentioned, conservation is a huge broad field with lots of avenues that would depend on your interest. There is a sociology aspect, policy is huge, and of course application which is what I do- restoration ecology. I like being hands on and in the field surrounded by the nature we want to conserve. I would suggest sampling multiple avenues anyway you can: internships, volunteering, Americorps can be great & we give all our Americorps members broad experience even in parts they didn't 'sign up for'. Knowing what you definitely DON'T want to do is also very valuable. :) Try mixing things you are interested in outside conservation as well. You never know what can go together- like art & science = biological drawings. See what peaks your interest. There's a place for all sorts of interests & skills in conservation. Its huge. And so important. Good luck exploring.

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