Home Forums Miscellaneous Food Plot/Habitat Management Careers in land management/conservation

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  • AvatarRedbull96
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    Post count: 8

    Hey folks-

    Got a few questions regarding conservation, land/habitat management as a career path.

    I am 27 and have a four-year degree in a relevant field- Environmental Science- and am looking to start my path towards conservation and land management as an occupation.

    That said, the job search has been a bit futile. I’ve had a single interview at a local Nature Center two years ago and havent had much luck finding opportunities since.

    Do any Iowa sportsmen have any advice or recommendations on starting a career in conservation?

    Thanks!

    Avatarpheasant1
    Participant
    Post count: 1502

    Pheasants Forever Habitat Biologist. Send your resume to headquarters in St. Paul. They usually have a few openings

    Avatarnmac54
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    Post count: 205

    If your not willing to relocate then your options are slim. I’m in the same field and it is tough to get started. I worked for my local conservation board for 4 summers in college and worked for pf as a habitat technician for 6 months and I have only had one full time interview offer with the DNR. It all boils down to gaining experience or getting your masters if you want to start with the DNR. What alot if guys do is try to get in with a county conservation board and then move over to the DNR or feds. Currently the DNR is accepting applications for fisheries techs. I basically check the state job site, mycountyparks.com and usa jobs a few times every week. If your looking for non government check the career pages on pf, du, wu ect. What part of the state are you located in?

    Avatarprestonc
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    Post count: 705

    Could you start your own business with it?

    AvatarRedbull96
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    Post count: 8

    Quote by: nmac54

    If your not willing to relocate then your options are slim. I’m in the same field and it is tough to get started. I worked for my local conservation board for 4 summers in college and worked for pf as a habitat technician for 6 months and I have only had one full time interview offer with the DNR. It all boils down to gaining experience or getting your masters if you want to start with the DNR. What alot if guys do is try to get in with a county conservation board and then move over to the DNR or feds. Currently the DNR is accepting applications for fisheries techs. I basically check the state job site, mycountyparks.com and usa jobs a few times every week. If your looking for non government check the career pages on pf, du, wu ect. What part of the state are you located in?

    I am totally willing to relocate and am very centrally located in Des Moines. I’m hoping to avoid going back to school (love school, hate debt) so I can simply get my career going. I frequently check the State job boards, and USA Jobs, but will definitely look into Mycountyparks as well. I’ll be living in Ankeny come February and I intend on volunteering at Saylorville in some capacity to garner some experience working with the conservation board in a naturalist/educational/park maintenance type of capacity.

    Avatarbaccusboy
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    Post count: 404

    You have the right attitude about moving.

    If there is one thing I would have changed — I would have moved out of the state, and into the world, from a younger age.

    An Iowa education, and work ethic is just not something you find in many parts of the US (or the world). It’s an asset that few young people realize they have.

    Get out and experience the world. I look back at spending ten years in Iowa after graduating university, and just shake my head. Not a bad place to end up, but it’s far too slow of a place to start.

    AvatarRedbull96
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Quote by: baccusboy

    You have the right attitude about moving.

    If there is one thing I would have changed — I would have moved out of the state, and into the world, from a younger age.

    An Iowa education, and work ethic is just not something you find in many parts of the US (or the world). It’s an asset that few young people realize they have.

    Get out and experience the world. I look back at spending ten years in Iowa after graduating university, and just shake my head. Not a bad place to end up, but it’s far too slow of a place to start.

    Hey thanks I appreciate that. Always nice hearing advice from those with a few more years of life experiences.

    Avatarpheasant1
    Participant
    Post count: 1502

    GO WEST YOUNG MAN! There is a lot more opportunity in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Vast woods with huge expanses of lands to manage.

    Avatarnmac54
    Participant
    Post count: 205

    Pheasants forever does have a farm bill Biologist opening in Montana.

    AvatarNW89
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    Post count: 41

    Quote by: pheasant1

    GO WEST YOUNG MAN! There is a lot more opportunity in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Vast woods with huge expanses of lands to manage.

    X2

    Graduated the University of Iowa with an environmental degree in 2011. Ran in to a similar problem, moved west (Idaho) after a year and haven’t looked back.
    As with many states out west, a huge portion of the state is composed of public lands and therefore many jobs in management and conservation. Idaho itself has 33 million acres of public land. USA Jobs is a good place to start. Send me a PM if you’d like any more info or tips.

    Ps. Iowa and the Midwest will always be ‘home’ for me. That said, it’s hard to beat public land as far as the eye can see and a duck season that runs till the end of January 😆

    AvatarIhuntcurs
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    Post count: 830

    I know a guy that got hired full time a year ago with the local county conservation with the same degree. He graduated from the U of I. Well that’s great he got the job and is a great guy. I personally thought it may be tough sledding when most people in those jobs who may do the hiring are ISU grads.

    Avatarstevenoak
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    Post count: 1172

    Quote by: pheasant1

    Pheasants Forever Habitat Biologist. Send your resume to headquarters in St. Paul. They usually have a few openings

    A friend’s son had this job in Illinois for four years. His position just got unfunded a couple years ago. Nice word for cut. Making contacts on projects with P.F. WTF etc. could help. Even if it is a volunteer at first. Put yourself in as many situations as possible to make the right contact. Also mentioned going to a state at looks at conservation more as a asset, than a liability. Before mentioned son had offers out west. Ended up in Wisc. As governments cut services. The private sector is growing to serve those that can afford their services. The number of good jobs is getting more limited. When you find what you want. Prove you want it more than anyone else. I have hired lots of people over 40 years. Someone wanting the job goes a long way.

    AvatarRedbull96
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Quote by: stevenoak

    Quote by: pheasant1

    Pheasants Forever Habitat Biologist. Send your resume to headquarters in St. Paul. They usually have a few openings

    A friend’s son had this job in Illinois for four years. His position just got unfunded a couple years ago. Nice word for cut. Making contacts on projects with P.F. WTF etc. could help. Even if it is a volunteer at first. Put yourself in as many situations as possible to make the right contact. Also mentioned going to a state at looks at conservation more as a asset, than a liability. Before mentioned son had offers out west. Ended up in Wisc. As governments cut services. The private sector is growing to serve those that can afford their services. The number of good jobs is getting more limited. When you find what you want. Prove you want it more than anyone else. I have hired lots of people over 40 years. Someone wanting the job goes a long way.

    Good advice, thank you for the response.

    Avatarlivetofish
    Participant
    Post count: 105

    This may sound silly, but for experience try to work in with any land management company(crp, trees, landscaping). Often times, these guys are looking for hard working young guys who can run a tractor and do quality work. This really would expose you to crp seed mixes, soil types, maintenance, and such. It may not be exactly the job you are looking for, but experience and expertise go a long ways.

    If you get really good you can go on your own… With your degree and already sound base – the sky is the limit for you – just need to think different(imo)

    Good Luck!!!

    Avatar1luckyguy
    Participant
    Post count: 819

    Look into the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service). I believe each county in Iowa has an office and they help landowners with projects such as CRP, building ponds, terracing, timber stand improvement, soil & water conservation, etc. There are probably openings and internships in many counties in Iowa and its a good way to get your foot in the door. Like my dad always said, “there may not be a lot of jobs in what you want to do, but if you work harder and are are willing to do more than the average guy there’s always a job waiting for you.”

    Go online and find out who works in your NRCS office and where it’s located, then give them a call or better yet stop by and introduce yourself and let them know you want to work in conservation and they would probably be willing to help. Good luck.

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