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Also known as:  Conservation Science Officer, Conservation Scientist, Grassland Conservationist, Land Reclamation Specialist, Land Resource Specialist, Range Conservationist, Range Ecologist, Range Scientist, Resource Conservationist, Soil Conservationist


Soil doesn't just lie there on the ground. With its combination of minerals and living matter, soil plays a vital role in our planets ecosystem. Soil can support agriculture, herds of cattle, and all kinds of structures - but only if it's healthy.

Soil conservationists help tend this importan ...
t resource. They work with property owners and governments to determine how to use the land without damaging it. For example, a farmer might consult a county soil conservationist to find out if his crops are depleting the soil of nutrients. Or a soil conservationist might help a community reclaim land lost to fire or flood. They look for the source of an erosion problem and develop management practices to combat it.

These experts often work for the government, from local agencies to federal departments. Most have college degrees, in subjects like environmental science. Generally, a bachelor's degree is required, with a masters or PhD needed for teaching or research. It also helps to enjoy working outdoors. There can be a lot of ground to cover gathering samples and surveying sites.

Communication skills are helpful too, because often the conservationist is a teacher, educating landowners and government officials about taking care of a precious resource.

Manage, improve, and protect natural resources to maximize their use without damaging the environment. May conduct soil surveys and develop plans to eliminate soil erosion or to protect rangelands. May instruct farmers, agricultural production managers, or ranchers in best ways to use crop rotation, contour plowing, or terracing to conserve soil and water; in the number and kind of livestock and forage plants best suited to particular ranges; and in range and farm improvements, such as fencing and reservoirs for stock watering.
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