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Old 04-29-2014, 06:46 PM   #1
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So, as a soon to be college graduate looking to pursue a career in stream ecology or lotic ecosystem health, I would love to hear from any of you who have careers in this field.
Both my parents went into business/accounting, and I'm the oldest child in my family, so I don't have much of an example to follow and am a little lost and intimidated! I'm receiving my degree from a small private university, so there aren't really any immediate job connections I can make, forcing me to reach out to people in the field.
Tell me about your occupations and how you came about making connections to finding them!
Or is it foolish to think I could make a living from this passion for fish and ecology? I'd love to hear your thoughts
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:27 PM   #2
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I don't work in the field, but do wish I had pursued it. Do what matters to you if at all possible. I have to do what I am best at, but not what I love, I do wish I'd tried to follow a career path along the lines of something critter related though. I do wish you the best in whatever you so choose

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Old 04-30-2014, 12:13 PM   #3
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In most science (biology and chemistry oriented at least), a B.S. degree can get you on with different environmental companies as an assistant of some sort…or you can go the local, state, or federal route and get a job that won’t pay as well, but will be easier to get without a graduate degree and you probably wouldn’t be some form of assistant your entire career…
There’s also consulting work…I don’t know what the demand for consultants is in that field, nor do I know the licensing requirements (if any)…but it’s another option…
Then there are the graduate degrees…M.S. and Ph.D….these would give you the options of doing research (independent, with a company, university, extension, government etc. or any combination of these and others), and also the option to teach at a university…(community college with M.S.)…
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:06 AM   #4
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You could look into a job with your municipal water department or sewerage treatment. Generally, they will compensate you tuition money for any related courses taken that apply to your work, and/or any required for a degree pursued. Get your masters or doctorate while being paid by your municipality. Sometimes, you're locked in for 3-5 years after the degree.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:27 PM   #5
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https://www.aza.org/joblistings/
I look at this page sometimes and think "dang I would love that job," maybe this will help give you some ideas. I do hvac installs and property management so I can't help with the career experience
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the encouragement and guidance everyone
I know there are jobs available at water treatment plants, but that would probably be my last resort because I know there's mostly chemistry involved and not a lot of working out in the field collecting and studying organisms like I enjoy.
I have a few connections with research teams studying local endangered fish species or effects of pollution on macro invertebrates so I'm really trying to pursue that route.
I'm planning on going to grad school eventually but id like to get a little experience with what I think I want to do first, before I have a degree in it and figure out I don't like it!
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:51 PM   #7
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Khuli, just saw this in my own search... Part time but definitely a foot in the door!

Company:SEALIFE
Location:Kansas City, MO
Employee Type:Part-Time
Industry:Entertainment, Travel, Other Great Industries
Job Type:Customer Service, Facilities, Other
Education:High School
Manages Others:Unknown
Post Date:5/9/2014
Ref ID:2465
DESCRIPTION:

Husbandry Assistant
Job Description

Description:

Working alongside the Displays Team to maintain all aspects of the daily care, feeding and life support system maintenance of a diverse collection of freshwater and marine animals including elasmobranches, fish, reptiles and invertebrates. Ensure smooth running of daily operation, highlighting any issues to manager on duty.

This is an hourly, part time position with the hours 7am - 12pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Responsibilities:

KEY OBJECTIVES

Ensure the highest possible standards of animal husbandry, exhibit presentation, technical operation and Safety in all operational areas of SEA LIFE Kansas City.
To monitor all public display areas to achieve the objective of delivering a World Class guest experience.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

Daily animal diet preparation of over 5,000 animals
Daily animal feeding, observation and record keeping
Detailed record keeping of animal health treatments, exhibit maintenance and feeding logs
Water quality analysis of exhibits
Interact with guests during public animal feeds
Other duties and responsibilities as assigned

HEALTH & SAFETY

Responsibility to ensure compliance of Health, Safety & Security within the workplace.
Ensure that risk assessments have been carried out for area or responsibility and are reviewed regularly.
Understand risk assessments within own workplace and ensure reporting of any new risks to appropriate line manager.
Responsible for ensuring that team members follow safe working practices.
Ensure own compliance of safe working procedures in place for work activities within job role.
In cases of incidents or accidents ensure appropriate reporting is completed in a timely manner and if necessary the corrective action has been taken to avoid repeat of such incidents and accidents.

REQUIREMENTS:

Husbandry Assistant
Requirements/Qualifications:

Qualified candidates will possess at minimum a high school diploma/GED
A B.A. or B.S. or 2-year technical degree, preferably in the Life Science is strongly desired
Experience in a public aquarium or zoo as a volunteer and/or intern preferred Proven ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously and multi task as necessary to meet a deadline.
Great organization skills, detail oriented and self-starter.
Ability to work with people from all levels of discipline.
Excellent solving problems and analytical skills to develop appropriate solutions.
Open to new learningís and quickly adapts to change.
Candidates must also be able to frequently lift up to 50 lbs
Must have or be able to obtain a KS or MO driverís license
First Aid and CPR certifications preferred
Open Water SCUBA certification preferred, candidates with higher certification will be given preference
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #8
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Thank you
What I'm really looking for is something that will utilize my college degree. Stream ecology research is what I'm thinking.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:50 PM   #9
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What you may want to do is look into the forestry divisions that deal with fish hatcheries for restocking programs. This will use your knowledge of the stream ecology for best placement of the fish along with your love of fish with the production aspect.
I can tell you, I enjoyed making a career out of my love of fish keeping. I was in every aspect of the tropical fish industry for over 40 years. I will advise however, following this career path was not as rewarding financially as it was emotionally. The "perks" of the jobs however, more than compensated me for lack of salary. I was to many areas of the world either looking for fish to collect or building systems for fish collecting or as a buyer, etc. and being part of the pet industry during the upstart of the marine fish keeping "era" was an education for sure. A lot of this was "on the job" learning which helped enable us to keep up with new technologies and ways of fish keeping.
But the bottom line unfortunately, will usually always come down to money. If you can afford to live on the salary of a person using your degree(s), that's great, go for it!!! If money will be an issue, this may need to be a secondary position for you. I don't believe the pay scale for a newbie in this field is very high. Do your research on it before committing to it. I could be wrong

Hope this helps
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khuligirl93 View Post
Thank you
What I'm really looking for is something that will utilize my college degree. Stream ecology research is what I'm thinking.

NP! Saw it and recalled reading through this thread, and thought I'd post it. Certainly didn't think it would be an actual career for you but certainly wouldn't look bad as resume padding!!!
I'm curious how many Kansans/Missourians( is that right? Missourinites maybe...?) have Scuba Certifications...?

I was also hoping Andy chimed in here after reading this thread the first time and knowing of his vast experience in the field from some of his previous posts! As to his advice here, you have the benefit of having both KS and MO Dept. of Wildlife Parks and Tourism, and also even JoCo parks and recreation(they only operate Heritage, Shawnee Mission, and Kill Creek lakes but have a ridiculously large operating budget!!!!) all fairly close by!!
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