YOUR CAREER AS AN
ENVIRONMENTAL/SOIL SCIENTIST

Environmental science is a broad research area and encompasses all aspects of natural and productive landscapes. Forests are an assemblage of many biotic and abiotic components, of which the soil and associated biogeochemical processes form a pivotal role. Forestry operations can impact upon these, and environmental research is aimed at minimising those impacts for the long-term sustainability of our forests. Areas of research include nutrient cycling, leaching and runoff, water quality, carbon sequestration and dynamics, soil stabilisation, plant/microbiome interactions and pest plants. An important focus of research is on understanding how our forests can be made more resilient in the face of climate change.

SNAPSHOT INFO

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Earning Potential

$55,000 – $125,000

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Qualification Required

Degree in environmental science/soil science + specialised postgrad

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Physically Demanding

Generally involves fieldwork

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Absence from home

Varies with job

QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS

Many universities offer environmental science and soil science degrees, and from this you will be exposed to various potential areas of specialisation. Researchers have often also undertaken a post graduate degree (masters or doctorate) in a specialist area.

Skills required include:

Depending on the area of research, scientists can be desk-based, work in the laboratory, and/or spend time out in the forest or in other research environments such as forest nurseries. 

See the Careers NZ website for more information about science careers in forestry.

SIMILAR JOBS

CAREER PROGRESSION

Researchers can move into more senior research positions and management roles, and consultancy. There is also potential for an academic career e.g. at a university. There is often the opportunity to work overseas for varying periods of time.