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Industry: Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Careers in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences offer opportunities in a variety of environments including government agencies (local, state, and federal), laboratories, farms, forests, nature/wildlife centers, and more. Careers include a variety of sub-industries such as natural resource management, conservation, geography/sustainability, and more. People interested in this cluster of careers often enjoy studying the physical components of Earth, how humans interact with the environment, fieldwork to protect the environment, advocating for our naturals resources, or preventing environmental disasters. Skills used in this area include, but are not limited to: problem solving skills, written and verbal communication, and technical skills needed in the industry. We invite you to explore this cluster to determine if it is a good fit for you and leverage our resources to launch your job, internship, or graduate school search.

Make an Appointment with a Career Coach

Step One: Log into your Handshake account

Step Two: Click on Career Center in the top right, Appointments, and then Schedule a New Appointment

Step Three: Choose one of the following Appointment Categories: Resume/CV Review, Industry Research/Finding Experience, Graduation Professional School, Job Search

Step Four: Choose one of the following industries: Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Step Five: Choose the appointment time and date that work for you!

Example Career Paths and Job Titles 

General

Climate Change Analyst

City Planner

Ecologist

Environmental Analyst

Environmental Consultant

Environmental Scientist/Technician

Environmental Compliance Officer

Geoscientist

GIS Analyst/Technician

Land Surveying Technician

Occupational Health and Safety Manager

Outdoor Recreation Instructor

Park Ranger

Physical Scientist

Remote Sensing Analyst

Zoning Specialist

Conservation/Sustainability

Conservation Officer

Conservationist

GIS Analyst/Technician

Restoration Specialist

Sustainability Analyst

Sustainability Representative

Environmental Services

Biological Technician

Crop Advisor

Entomologist

Florist

Horticulturist

Plant Biologist

Plant Scientist

Seed Production Technician

Soil Scientist

Water Treatment Technician

Waste Management Specialist

Natural Resources

Arborist

Geologist

Fisheries Technician

Forester

Rangeland Management Specialist

Stormwater Quality Specialist

Utility Forester

Watershed Coordinator

Wildland Firefighter

Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Officer

 

 

Career Resources

Below are a few platforms you can use to explore and learn more about Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences:

Please consider viewing other industry clusters pages besides Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences as there can be overlap, especially if you are interested in the business aspects or science/research aspects of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.

Student Organizations

You can view a list of student organizations related to Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences on VolLink or by going to the Student Organization website for the Herbert College of Agriculture. Below are a few examples of some student organizations:

  • American Society of American and Biological Engineers
  • Crop, Soil, & Environmental Science Club
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences Student Association (GeoClub)
  • EcoVols
  • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)
  • Plant Sciences Club
  • Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK)
  • Society of American Foresters
  • UT Alliance for Geographers and Sustainers
  • UT Compost Coalition
  • Wildlife and Fisheries Society
  • Wildlife Disease Club

Research
Research is another experience that can be helpful in exploring careers and gaining relevant experience. If you are considering a Masters or PhD, gaining research experience is very important (possibly even critical) for graduate school admissions. Explore the following resources for ideas on how and where to get started.

For specific research opportunities, students are encouraged to reach out to faculty directly by browsing the department websites to learn about research areas and sending a direct email to the faculty member. Students should make sure their email is professional and may want to consider attaching a resume.

There are numerous opportunities to volunteer within the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences industry. We recommend researching organizations of interests and following them on social media or signing up for newsletters to find more volunteer opportunities. Below are a few highlighted resources:

Professional Organizations can be helpful in exploring more about certain sub-industries within Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, finding job opportunities, and connecting with professionals in your area of interest. Many have their own job search boards along with a way to sign up for job alerts. You can view a list of Professional Organizations associated with your area/major on What Can I Do With This Major. Below are a few examples of some professional organizations:

Graduate School Application Resources

Many graduate school resources can be found on our Prepare for Graduate School website, including deciding on graduate school, resumes, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays/personal statements. Graduate School Applications take time and will require roughly 6-9 months of preparation.

 

The key to applying to a graduate program within Natural Resources and Environmental Services will be exploring each school and program’s process for obtaining a faculty mentor. You will likely need to research faculty associated with the program of interests and contact them to inquire about research opportunities and faculty mentorship. Below are some links you may find helpful: