It is really important and useful for undergraduate students to get practical experience doing ecology. Gaining hands-on experiences is a great way to learn specific skills, help get a feel for the day-to-day work of ecologists, and establish contacts for future jobs.
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Ask a professor at school with an ecology background or contact someone at another school nearby or working locally in government or industry. The career center at your school also has information about graduate schools, job search strategies, and career planning. By joining ESA, you will be a part of a professional non-profit membership organization of ecologists.
The web site provides links to other professional organizations as well. Reading these publications also will help you determine your interests.
Now that you know you are interested in pursuing a career in ecology, you need to decide whether to go on to graduate school or find a job. Remember, you can always go to graduate school after gaining work experience. If you are interested in graduate school, you will need to look for a program and an adviser who will accept you before you apply. To find potential programs and advisers, you can:.
Once you have identified programs and potential advisers, send an email to the ecologist expressing your interest in their research and inquire into graduate research opportunities. Timing, networking, and luck are all important factors in finding the right job. Talk to family, friends, teachers, guidance counselors, and advisors in your college or university career planning office.
Get involved with a professional society. Most importantly, ask questions and make contacts. Contacts lead to contacts — — and networking is invaluable in finding a job. You will find ecology to be an exciting and rewarding career.
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Skip to main content. During the school year or over summer breaks: Work for a professor doing lab, library, or field — work. Work as a teaching or lab assistant for a biology or ecology course. Spend a summer at a field station.
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