This post is the first in a brand new series on our blog about careers in natural resources. Within this field, careers are incredibly diverse and can range from a focus on genetics and biotechnology to parks and recreation.
The Snapshot Wisconsin research team itself is diverse. It is made up of scientists at various stages in their careers including university faculty, agency scientists, and students. We specialize in outreach, wildlife management, remote sensing, quantitative analysis, social science, and more. You can learn more about the team members here.
Today’s blog is on careers in human dimensions of natural resources. Individuals who work in human dimensions focus on the political, social, or economic components of conservation or management challenges. Their work may focus on understanding the perspectives of natural resources stakeholders, collaborating with communities to achieve solutions to environmental issues, or examining the social impacts of natural resource decisions.
Positions they hold might include: outreach coordinator, environmental educator, sustainability coordinator, research scientist, professor, or consultant. Skills important to this career include communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to collaborate with diverse groups, and a background in natural resources policy, environmental economics, or the social sciences (such as psychology or sociology).
Citizen science projects live and die by their volunteers, so for projects like Snapshot Wisconsin, understanding the “human dimensions” is vital. For example, knowing volunteers’ motivations can help a project to better meet volunteer interests and needs. Some members of our Snapshot Wisconsin research team are social scientists that conduct research which may help to improve our project and understand the outcomes of the project, like what volunteer learn and take away from participating.