The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Learning Curve -

Name: Dr Fiona Young Po­si­tion: Se­nior lec­turer, Biotech­nol­ogy, Flin­ders Univer­sity Skill tips: En­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists need many skills and at­tributes, with an un­der­ly­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the com­plex in­ter­play be­tween the shift­ing fac­tors that com­bine to form our en­vi­ron­ment.

They need to be cre­ative to form hy­pothe­ses and to de­sign ex­per­i­ments and also able to col­lect re­li­able, re­pro­ducible and ac­cu­rate data in a highly dis­ci­plined way, of­ten in un­pre­dictable and un­com­fort­able con­di­tions.

Ex­tended time in the field may be re­quired to ob­serve an­i­mal be­hav­iours or to record pat­terns of dis­tri­bu­tion or abun­dance. En­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists need nu­mer­i­cal and sta­tis­ti­cal know-how for com­puter col­la­tion and anal­y­sis of data and ex­cel­lent writ­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills for pre­sent­ing find­ings.

En­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists can find work af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a three-year Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence de­gree, which teaches the ba­sic sci­en­tific process.

All three SA uni­ver­si­ties of­fer a wide range of sub­jects from agri­cul­tural sci­ence, botany and biotech­nol­ogy to ecol­ogy, ma­rine sci­ence and zo­ol­ogy.

There are a broad range of em­ploy­ers: state and federal gov­ern­ments, the util­i­ties, and in­dus­tries such as agri­cul­ture, min­ing and fish­eries.

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