Biologists

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Also known as:
Biologist, Bryologist, Embryologist, Osteologist, Paleobotanist, Phytopathologist, Plant Etiologist

ABOUT CAREERS
Video transcript

From the smallest microorganism to the giant blue whale, every living thing is of interest to biologists, who study the basic principles of plant and animal life. Biologists use the scientific method, testing their ideas or hypotheses through experimentation, to investigate questions about the origin of life, its development, and the relationships between living things, as well as a creature's anatomy and how it functions in its environment. Whether they're working in a lab, out in the field, or at a university, biologists collect and analyze biological data, although the specifics of their research are as varied as the creatures in nature. For example, some biologists may work almost exclusively with computer models, while others may spend months collecting and studying specimens at sea. Many specialize in working with plants, animals, or the environment. Biologists need strong communication skills. Their work is often as much about interacting with people and institutions as it is focusing on DNA or anatomy. A career in biology generally requires a bachelor's degree in the field. Many biologists attend graduate school to earn more advanced research positions or professorships.

SNAPSHOT
Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Represent employer in a technical capacity at conferences.

Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work.

Study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and function.

Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples.

Review reports and proposals, such as those relating to land use classifications and recreational development, for accuracy, adequacy, or adherence to policies, regulations, or scientific standards.

Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant and animal species.

Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.

Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.

Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.

Supervise biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.

Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
TOP SKILLS
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.