Tap to Read ➤

Ecologist Job Description

Indrajit Deshmukh
Comprehending the job of an ecologist entails understanding the ecosystem and the relations between living organisms like humans, animals, plants, and their surroundings.
Ecology can be termed as the study of biotic organisms, their interaction with the environment around them, and the impact of these transactions.
The job of an ecologist involves the study of the impact that living organisms have on the ecosystem and how it affects their habitation.
The job profile is very interesting. It comes with the great responsibility of studying the environment we live in and predicting the effects of our interactions with the ecosystem. There are different sub-specialties under this branch.
For example, there are marine ecologists who study aquatic ecosystems. Then there are forest ecologists who will study the forest environment and its impact. Some will specialize in studying plant life, while others may get interested in studying animal life.

Education and Salary

To build a career as an ecologist, you need at least a Bachelor of Science in Ecology. The course will focus on biology, chemistry, and life processes. However, this is a basic program and you will need to study a master's program in order to further your career.
A master's program will consist of classroom training, as well as on-field experiences.
At the end of the program, during the internship, students will get the much-needed exposure to ecosystems and their inhabitants.
Individuals can also enroll for a Ph.D. program, if they are interested in teaching or research positions.
Salary depends on the location, education, and experience of the individual. Statistics have revealed that the average ecologist salary can range anywhere between USD 42,000 to USD 103,000. Most ecologists are hired by the government for research work and are compensated well. The salary can easily touch the USD 100,000 mark.
If you see the state-wide average of ecologist's salaries, you will find that in California, the salary is around USD 75,000, and in New York, it can go to USD 90,000 annually.

Job Description of an Ecologist

Ecology is the study of the environment and its inhabitants. The job, therefore, involves the study of living organisms, and their impact on the non-living components of an ecosystem.
Today, there is more awareness about the impact of environment on our lives and this has led to development of specialized branches of ecology. The job description will vary according to the specialization.

Marine Ecologist

As the name suggests, this branch of ecology deals with aquatic life and the impact it has on the environment that we live in. Marine ecologists will study aquatic life forms like fish, plants, etc. and study their impact on the environment. They will also work in zoos and aquariums to help preserve and protect marine life forms. Marine ecologists are also required to carry out environmental impact assessments and study ecology issues.

Restoration Ecologist

The scientific approach to recreating degraded ecosystems is known as restoration ecology. It is an important part of environmental science study. Due to globalization and the impact of human population, many ecosystems have been destroyed and restoration ecologists will work on projects dealing with reviving the environment, by introducing measures like revegetation.
They will work in areas where there has been ecological damage like deforestation. They will try to revive the environment by planting trees and at times removing non-native weeds. A restoration ecologist will also have to burn areas of land to make it suitable for replantation. They will also, at times, redirect streams to help the local environment.

Forest Ecologist

Studying and classifying the different species of plants, animals, and insects in the forest is one of their major tasks. They will also study the impact of humans and global warming on the forest soil and climate. A forest ecologist will have to carry out studies that will help in implementing conservation projects. They will have to implement different techniques to carry out habitat surveys like global positioning systems and aerial photography.
The job also involves writing detailed reports about their study of environment conservation projects or the impact of evolution on the ecosystem. The job can be challenging at times, due to on-field nature of the work.