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Conservation Scientists - 19-1031.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Conservationist
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Environmental Quality Scientist
  • Erosion Control Specialist
  • Land Reclamation Specialist
  • Land Resource Specialist
  • Research Soil Scientist
  • Resource Conservation Specialist
  • Resource Conservationist
  • Soil Conservationist

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
  • Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
  • Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
  • Compile or interpret biodata to determine extent or type of wetlands or to aid in program formulation.
  • Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
  • Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information, technical guides or engineering manuals.
  • Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
  • Coordinate or implement technical, financial, or administrative assistance programs for local government units to ensure efficient program implementation or timely responses to requests for assistance.
  • Develop or conduct environmental studies, such as plant material field trials or wildlife habitat impact studies.
  • Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
  • Develop soil maps.
  • Develop water conservation or harvest plans, using weather information systems, irrigation information management systems, or other sources of daily evapotranspiration (ET) data.
  • Develop, conduct, or participate in surveys, studies, or investigations of various land uses to inform corrective action plans.
  • Enter local soil, water, or other environmental data into adaptive or Web-based decision tools to identify appropriate analyses or techniques.
  • Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
  • Identify or recommend integrated weed and pest management (IPM) strategies, such as resistant plants, cultural or behavioral controls, soil amendments, insects, natural enemies, barriers, or pesticides.
  • Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
  • Initiate, schedule, or conduct annual audits or compliance checks of program implementation by local government.
  • Manage field offices or involve staff in cooperative ventures.
  • Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
  • Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
  • Plan soil management or conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil or conserve water.
  • Provide information, knowledge, expertise, or training to government agencies at all levels to solve water or soil management problems or to assure coordination of resource protection activities.
  • Respond to complaints or questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information or clarification.
  • Review annual reports of counties, conservation districts, or watershed management organizations, certifying compliance with mandated reporting requirements.
  • Review grant applications or make funding recommendations.
  • Review or approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans or conservation district plans.
  • Review proposed wetland restoration easements or provide technical recommendations.
  • Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices or plans.
  • Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Advise others about environmental management or conservation.
  • Advise others about land management or conservation.
  • Analyze environmental data.
  • Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.
  • Assess compliance with environmental laws.
  • Collect geographical or geological field data.
  • Communicate with the public on environmental issues.
  • Compile environmental or climatological data.
  • Create maps.
  • Determine design criteria or specifications.
  • Develop collaborative relationships between departments or with external organizations.
  • Develop plans to manage natural or renewable resources.
  • Direct natural resources management or conservation programs.
  • Estimate green project costs.
  • Inspect condition of natural environments.
  • Mediate disputes.
  • Monitor operational procedures in technical environments to ensure conformance to standards.
  • Plan environmental research.
  • Plan natural resources conservation or restoration programs.
  • Record research or operational data.
  • Research sustainable agricultural processes or practices.
  • Review environmental permits, plans, or reports.
  • Review plans or proposals for environmental conservation.
  • Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Environmental Engineering Management Officer (Marine Corps - Commissioned Officer only)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Soil Conservation Technician

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Soil Conservationist