Forest and conservation workers perform a variety of tasks to reforest and conserve timberlands, and to maintain forest facilities, such as roads and campsites. Some forest workers, called tree planters, use digging and planting tools called “dibble bars” and “hoe dads” to plant seedlings to reforest timberland areas. Forest workers also remove diseased or undesirable trees with power saws or handsaws, spray trees with insecticides and fungicides to kill insects and to protect against disease, and apply herbicides on undesirable brush and trees to reduce competing vegetation.
Forest workers in private industry, usually working under the direction of professional foresters, paint boundary lines, assist with prescribed burning, aid in marking and measuring trees, and keep tallies of those trees examined and counted. Forest workers who work for State and local governments or who are under contract to the Federal Government also clear away brush and debris from camp trails, roadsides, and camping areas. Some of these workers clean kitchens and rest rooms at recreational facilities and campgrounds.
Other forest and conservation workers work in forest nurseries, sorting out tree seedlings and discarding those not meeting prescribed standards of root formation, stem development, and condition of foliage.
Some forest workers are employed on tree farms, where they plant, cultivate, and harvest many different kinds of trees. Their duties vary with the type of farm. Those who work on specialty farms, such as farms growing Christmas or ornamental trees for nurseries, are responsible for shearing treetops and limbs to control the growth of the trees under their care, to increase the density of limbs, and to improve the shapes of the trees. In addition, these workers’ duties include planting the seedlings, spraying to control surrounding weed growth and insects, and harvesting the trees.
Other forest workers gather, by hand or with the use of hand tools, products from the woodlands, such as decorative greens, tree cones and barks, moss, and other wild plant life. Still others tap trees for sap to make syrup or to produce chemicals.
Here are just a few of the careers you can pursue in wildlife or forestry management:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 66 percent of conservation scientists work for government at the local, state, and federal levels. The remaining third are employed in private industry as forest managers and conservation consultants.
Possibly because of this emphasis on being outdoors, some terminal master's degrees, such as the Master of Forest Resources (MFR) can be obtained without a thesis, whereas a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy require a thesis and dissertation, respectively. You need to find the best online conservation training courses.
The breadth of programs and specialties available for a PhD may seem overwhelming, but some investigative research helps you narrow down your areas of interest. It’s important to remember that, as a PhD student, you may be called upon to define a specific area of research in which to complete your dissertation. To begin defining the research in which you might be interested, brainstorm a written list of your interests starting with the most general and ending with the most specific. This can help with the next step on the road to getting your degree.
Field work, faculty, and location are important considerations in this step. You may want to find a doctoral program that provides access to field work experiences similar to work you might find interesting after graduation. Reach out to university faculty who conduct research in your areas of interest. The more time you spend getting to know potential mentors, the more you can predict about the degree that you pursue.
Several organizations are dedicated to wildlife conservation, forestry, and natural resources science. These organizations are good resources for providing information about field work and research in wildlife and forestry. Contacting them may give your ideas for how you want to specialize your PhD in wildlife and forestry. If this is a field that interests you and you already have an undergraduate degree, you might want to seriously consider pursuing a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Forestry. Find the top online conservation training courses here.