What Do Field Biologists Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Field biology is an important type of science that involves studying wildlife in natural habitats. You’ll find that field biologists possess knowledge of both biology and botany.

They conduct important research on land, in the water, and in the air. The observations made by field biologists help humanity to learn more about wildlife and their work also helps to gather information about climate change, environmental damage, and the impact of industrial development.



Field Biologists

Field biologists spend time observing wildlife to gain a greater understanding of what is happening to particular species. They spend time tracking the movements of various types of creatures, and they also collect samples that can be analyzed.

Salary: $49800
Personality: The Thinker

What they do

Field biologists spend time observing wildlife to gain a greater understanding of what is happening to particular species. They spend time tracking the movements of various types of creatures, and they also collect samples that can be analyzed.

Large Research Projects

Many field biologists will spend time on large research projects. For instance, a field biologist might spend a long time tracking a specific type of animal and making observations about its habit, diet, and other things. Field biology is all about gathering data and learning things about wildlife and nature. Some research projects will be huge in scope, but others will be much smaller and more focused.

Tracking Wildlife

Tracking wildlife is a big part of field biology, and field biologists will use many methods to track different types of animals. A skilled field biologist will learn how to track animals using things such as pawprints, fecal droppings, saliva, and animal sounds. Sometimes field biologists will need to trap animals to examine them more closely and gather data. They might place trackers on the animals so that they can keep tabs on them over longer periods of time.

Collecting Samples to Analyze

Collecting samples is another common task that field biologists will have to do. A field biologist will collect samples from animals, but they’ll also collect plant samples that can be studied. Sometimes it’s necessary to gather genetic data that can be analyzed to better understand what is going on. This can help them to learn about diseases, animal traits, and so much more.

Reintroducing Captured Animals to the Wild

Many animals are born into captivity, and sometimes it isn’t possible for animals to remain in captivity for their entire lives. Field biologists will occasionally need to reintroduce wildlife to the wild so that they can live out their lives as normal. Animals that were born in zoos, sanctuaries, or laboratories might need help acclimating to the wild, and field biologists are there to see that things go right. Such animals aren’t just released into the wild without observation or planning.

Creating Species Maps

Creating species maps is an important duty that field biologists are entrusted with. A species map gives people data about where a species is located, where threats to a specific species are, and information about biodiversity. Species maps wind up being an important tool that can help groups to research and protect different types of wildlife. This type of work is invaluable when it comes to safeguarding endangered species.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

You Spend a Lot of Time Outdoors

Spending a lot of time outdoors is one of the greatest benefits of working as a field biologist. Those who like to be out in nature will love the amount of fieldwork that they get to do. You won’t be cooped up in an office or laboratory nearly as often as many other types of biologists.

You Will Be Surrounded By People with Similar Passions

Being surrounded by people with similar passions will also be good for you. You’ll have colleagues working alongside you who care about animals and the scientific importance of what you’re doing.

You Get to Help Animals and Plant Life

Getting to help animals and plant life might be the biggest reason to consider a career such as this. If you’re someone who cares about the health of the planet, then getting to do your part to protect things with science feels great.

Cons

You May Encounter Occasional Weather Issues

This type of work sees you traveling to remote locations, and sometimes the weather will be less than ideal. You might set up a camp somewhere that is particularly humid and unpleasant, but it’s also possible to have to deal with huge storms.

Salary Is So-So

The salary of a field biologist is pretty good overall, but many field biologists don’t make a lot of money starting out when compared to other types of scientists. You can make a great living as a field biologist, but it might require you to gain experience or seek a higher degree to make the most money that you can.


Where they work

Universities
Governmental agencies
Environmental Groups

Field biologists will do a lot of work out in the field because they need to observe wildlife closely. They also spend a significant amount of time in laboratory environments as well as offices. Field biologists might be employed by universities, governmental agencies, environmental groups, and other types of companies. The work done by field biologists is important and this makes them in demand.

How to become one

Step 1. Study Zoology, Biology, and Botany

You won’t have a specific program that you can get into for field biology, but you’ll want to study zoology, biology, and botany to prepare yourself. These three areas of study will give you the knowledge that you need to perform duties as a field biologist.

Step 2. Go to College and Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

There are some field biology jobs available to those who possess at least a bachelor’s degree. To get an entry-level position as a field biologist, you’ll need to at least earn a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Step 3. Go for a Higher Degree

Many types of field biology jobs are only open to those who gain higher degrees, and you might want to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. in biology. This gives you a much better shot at getting a lucrative job in the field.

Step 4. Apply for Jobs

Next, you can apply for field biology jobs at various companies and universities. If you have the necessary credentials, then you should eventually land a job as a field biologist.

Step 5. Network

Networking has the potential to help you land a job as a field biologist, too. It’s advisable to sign up for online networking sites, and you might gain traction by attending networking events if you’re looking for opportunities as well.

Should you become one

To thrive as a field biologist, you need to be someone who loves the outdoors and animals. You should be an inquisitive person who likes to learn, but you also need to be rugged enough to work in harsh environments. You’ll need to possess strong communication skills as well since field biologists often work as part of a team. Patience is important, too, since field biologists need to perform repetitive tasks and experiments pretty often to get things done.

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