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Forest Ecologist



Maintain the natural balance of forests.

What does a Forest Ecologist do?

Forests are like washing machines for air. They clean up the air we breathe by converting carbon dioxide into the oxygen that we need. Without trees we wouldn’t be able to breathe. That makes them a pretty valuable resource. And that means forest ecologists have a pretty valuable job too.

As a forest ecologist, you maintain forests in the most natural, economically sound, and balanced way possible. That’s no easy task when you have humans consuming wood-based products at a rate many times faster than the growth rate of the trees providing them. So you do your part in protecting those trees.

Your concern as a forest ecologist is identifying forests that you can place under the protective arm of the government, park systems, or universities. After that you work to evaluate which trees should be thinned, harvested, or planted. If the forest is used for public recreation, you recommend trail locations that minimize impact on the forest. And since forests not only benefit the environment and us humans, but are also home to thousands of animals, you incorporate that into your long-term planning as well.

In order to fulfill your protective responsibilities, you watch and plan for diseases, limit the invasion of non-native plants, learn fire management techniques, thin trees and underbrush as necessary, study the adaptability of the trees, and conserve the forest for future generations. If that doesn’t keep you busy enough, you also keep track of the size, number, and types of trees in the area and create reports that outline your findings.

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