Soil and Water Conservationists

Description

Plan or develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil or water conservation, or sound land use.

Tasks

  • Calculate or compare efficiencies associated with changing from low-precision irrigation technologies, such as furrow irrigation, to high-precision technologies, such as computer-controlled systems.
  • Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
  • Initiate, schedule, or conduct annual audits or compliance checks of program implementation by local government.
  • Enter local soil, water, or other environmental data into adaptive or web-based decision tools to identify appropriate analyses or techniques.
  • Evaluate or recommend geographic information systems (GIS) applications to address issues such as surface water quality, groundwater quality, ecological risk assessments, air quality, or environmental contamination.
  • Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information technical guides or engineering manuals.
  • Compile or interpret biodata to determine extent or type of wetlands or to aid in program formulation.
  • Respond to complaints or questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information or clarification.
  • Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
  • Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
  • Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
  • Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
  • 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.
  • Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.
  • Plan soil management or conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil or conserve water.
  • Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
  • Review proposed wetland restoration easements or provide technical recommendations.
  • Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
  • 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.
  • Manage field offices or involve staff in cooperative ventures.
  • Develop, conduct, or participate in surveys, studies, or investigations of various land uses to inform corrective action plans.
  • Develop water conservation or harvest plans, using weather information systems, irrigation information management systems, or other sources of daily evapotranspiration (ET) data.
  • Survey property to mark locations or measurements, using surveying instruments.
  • Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices or plans.
  • Review or approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans or conservation district plans.
  • Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
  • Develop or conduct environmental studies, such as plant material field trials or wildlife habitat impact studies.
  • Provide access to programs or training to assist in completion of government groundwater protection plans.
  • 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.
  • Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
  • Review annual reports of counties, conservation districts, or watershed management organizations, certifying compliance with mandated reporting requirements.
  • Review grant applications or make funding recommendations.

Knowledge

Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Agriculture Consultant
Aquatic Ecologist
Aquatic/Terrestrial Habitat Restoration Technician
Biologist
Botany Technician
Conservation Agent
Conservation Specialist
Conservationist
Department of Natural Resources Officer (DNR Officer)
Ecologist Technician
Environmental Analyst
Environmental Consultant
Erosion Control Specialist
Farm Planner
Land Manager
Land Reclamation Specialist
Land Resource Specialist
Range Conservationist
Research Soil Scientist
Resource Conservation Specialist
Resource Conservationist
Soil Conservation Technician
Soil Conservationist
Soil Scientist
Soil Surveyor
Terrestrial Ecologist
Watershed Program Manager
Wetlands Technician

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$29.38 hourly, $61,100 annual.
Employment (2008):
18,460 employees