3 answers

For those interested in pursuing a career in ecology and evolutionary biology, what types of jobs are available that involve working in the field with real organisms?

Asked Haddonfield, New Jersey

I have always been very interested in biology and animals, so when I discovered the ecology and evolutionary biology major at most prestigious schools, I thought it would be perfect! However, I know that I am a very hands on learner who would prefer to be out in the environment as opposed to at a desk, so I was wondering what types of jobs would allow me to do this. #biology #animals #environment #ecology #environmental-services #evolutionary-biology #field-work #animalscience

3 answers

Sara’s Answer

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I work in water resources and we hire ecologists (classified as environmental scientists) to survey populations of aquatic organisms (everything from algae to river otters) as well cull overpopulated species like geese. We also have environmental scientists employed at our freshwater mussel hatchery and who operate a fish ladder (allows migratory fish to safely traverse dams). You can find similar positions in many local and state conservation districts, natural resource management and environmental agencies. A good number of positions can be found with non-profits and in academia as well. If you're interested in working with larger animals your best bet is probably a game commission, department or agriculture, park service, zoo, or wildlife refuge.

Keep in mind that even with a field position you will likely be expected to spend sometime in an office preforming tasks like filing reports, analyzing data, inventorying equipment, and applying for grants. Good luck with your studies!

Thank you so so much!

Tess’s Answer


As an Associate Ecologist at an environmental consulting firm specializing in wetland science/delineation, my colleagues and I are in the field about 50% of the time.

With wetlands work, most of our field work focuses on soils, hydrology, and vegetation, but wetlands and associated areas are often hubs for wildlife and protected species, like bald eagle and salmon. For this reason, a lot of our reports describing where wetlands are located (which drives where construction can take place) also describe the habitat functions of the wetlands. These are called habitat assessments, and we have a team member who takes on the majority of this work at our small company.

Honestly, I've always been more interested in wildlife than plants - but in my current work I get to see how they're so interconnected and being outside looking at plants and occasionally observing wildlife is really fulfilling. I'm so happy that my job involves getting outside - and even the research and report writing in the office isn't so bad.

Good luck!

This is so helpful, thank you!!!

James’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Any field biologist post with a state conservation department would fulfill an evolutionay biologist's needs. Also counties and towns offer jobs including environmental scientist,marine biologist or ecologist posts.

Thanks! Sounds great