What is an ecologist, exactly?
Ecologists contribute significantly to the understanding and preservation of the natural world and all its habitats and ecosystems, and the processes and critical conditions driving the structure of the natural world. They generate new knowledge concerning how the living and non-living (i.e., nutrients, water, etc.) components of all ecosystems interact together to create the conditions within all different global habitats, using this knowledge to solve environmental problems through ecological scientific investigations. They study the differences in all these components between different heathy, diseased or damaged habitats, ecosystems, and landscapes, while sharing this information with appropriate users to help them design better, more sustainable strategies for maintaining or restoring all ecosystems. They often serve as educators of students from high school to colleges and universities, and in museums and nature centers. Many Ecologists work in governmental natural resource agencies and scientific laboratories, non-profit organizations, governmental planning offices, where they study natural and modified environments, such as in forestry, agriculture, land development, and areas damaged by natural disasters. As scientists, Ecologists also write reports, journal articles, and environmental impact statements providing the information to help all levels of governmental policy makers, and managers of natural resources through their activities of monitoring, managing, or restoring populations and ecosystems.
Individuals trained at this level can pursue careers in the public and private sector at local, regional, national, and international levels as ecological scientists, foresters, conservation scientists, natural resource and wildlife managers, recreation managers, environmental assessment scientists, sustainability scientists, and public school and college science educators.