Thursday, March 6, 2008

Combine environmental stewardship and professional advancement in a conservation career

It is an exciting time for people who care about the environment and are choosing career directions. The environmental challenges are great, and the ways to be professionally engaged in protecting environmental resources are numerous. The result is you can forge a career path that is both professionally interesting and personally rewarding.

Conservationists don’t necessarily have “conservation” in their job title. In fact, what makes conservation work so stimulating is partly the interdisciplinary interaction of the people involved. Soil and Water Conservation Society members, for example, include economists, agronomists, geologists, biologists, geographers, engineers, ecologists, landscape architects, soil scientists, computer scientists, and the list goes on. In addition to the wide range of disciplines, conservation careers include a wide range of job types—from technical advisers to researchers to educators to technology developers to policy makers, etc.

Collectively, these scientists and professionals contribute to the cause of healthy land and clean water.

It is also a good time for people mid-career who might be ready for a professional change or could benefit from enhancing their professional achievements with a sense of greater purpose and personal pride—that is, through a focus on sustainable natural resource management.

Whatever stage in your career, look into the future and imagine your retirement celebration. Wouldn’t you like people to say not only was this person a great _____ (professor, program manager, technician, or whatever the case may be), this person also stood for something—smart, sustainable use of our natural resources. This person’s work made a difference in the world. This person made a real contribution to protecting our environmental resources for future generations. This person can be you.

The knowledge, tools, and partnerships necessary to achieve this vision can be accessed through membership in the Soil and Water Conservation Society. The society’s publications, events, and other services allow its members to learn from each other across disciplines and work together in innovative partnerships—all in the cause of advancing sustainable use of resources for healthier land and cleaner water for years to come.

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