Soil and Water Conservationist
Overview and Key Facts
(Above US Average)
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?A soil and water conservationist could...
Advise farmers on how to rotate different crops to avoid depleting the soil of nutrients and to conserve water.
Travel to areas that are experiencing erosion and develop plans to control it.
Advise landowners on ways in which they can safely use their land for recreation, without degrading its quality.
Help ranchers determine the number and kinds of animals to graze, and during what seasons to graze them.
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Soil and water are two of Earth's most important natural resources. Earth would not be able to sustain life without nutritive soil to grow food and clean water to drink. Soil and water conservationists foster the science and art of natural resource conservation. The scientists work to discover, develop, implement, and constantly improve ways to use land that sustains its productive capacity, and enhances the environment at the same time. Soil and water conservationists are involved in improving conservation policy by bringing science and professional judgment to bear in shaping local, state, and federal policy.
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Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Soil and Water Conservationist?
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring: ? Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Science: ? Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Service Orientation: ? Actively looking for ways to help people.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Soil and Water Conservationist might do:
- Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
- Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
- Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
- Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.
- Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
- Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
- Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
- Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information, technical guides or engineering manuals.
- Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
- Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
- Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices or plans.
- Respond to complaints or questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information or clarification.
- Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
- Provide information, knowledge, expertise, or training to government agencies at all levels to solve water or soil management problems or to assure coordination of resource protection activities.
- Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
- Coordinate or implement technical, financial, or administrative assistance programs for local government units to ensure efficient program implementation or timely responses to requests for assistance.
- Identify or recommend integrated weed and pest management (IPM) strategies, such as resistant plants, cultural or behavioral controls, soil amendments, insects, natural enemies, barriers, or pesticides.
- Review proposed wetland restoration easements or provide technical recommendations.
- Develop, conduct, or participate in surveys, studies, or investigations of various land uses to inform corrective action plans.
- Develop soil maps.
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