What does a natural resource manager do?

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What is a Natural Resource Manager?

Natural resource management is about finding ways to sustain the Earth’s resources in the face of the growing human population. Natural resource managers are responsible for overseeing and implementing sustainability and conservation strategies.

Their overriding objective is to protect wildlife, fisheries, trees, plants, soil, air, and water. Their work is focused on striking a balance that maintains healthy ecosystems, adapts to climate change, and also allows for human interaction such as habitation, recreation, and economic resource extraction.

What does a Natural Resource Manager do?

A natural resource manager sitting at his desk and developing plans to reduce our carbon footprint.

Natural resource managers develop conservation plans for nature reserves, land, and other natural resources, so that individuals and businesses can decrease their carbon footprint and use these resources in an ecologically sustainable way.

Here is an overview of the work carried out by these environmentalists:

  • Assess techniques for flora and fauna conservation
  • Monitor components of the environment, such as soil, water, and air
  • Develop practical solutions for environmental management and rehabilitation
  • Develop techniques to ensure the development and use of vital land and water resources is ecologically sustainable
  • Undertake plant and animal pest management
  • Undertake bush regeneration activities
  • Work with land managers to improve biodiversity on private lands
  • Organize geological, plant, and animal research
  • Undertake laboratory work
  • Develop resource management policy
  • Work with government and environmental groups
  • Run community education programs

Here is a more detailed look at some possible areas of focus in the field of natural resource management:

  • Study Wildlife Populations
    How does the population of one species relate to another?
    Is that species expanding or slowly shrinking?
    Does that species migrate and if so, when and how?
    What is that species’ birth rate?
  • Assist Commercial Fisheries
    Work closely with managers of local fisheries
    Monitor the amount of fish caught and collaborate with fishery managers to increase the population when necessary
  • Monitor Mining and Drilling
    Determine or help determine where mining operations can take place and where companies can drill for oil and gas
    Provide input on the mining or drilling operation and its impact on the environment
  • Prepare Assessments
    Pay close attention to what various government entities and private businesses propose to do
    Research and assess how these activities will affect the natural resources of an area, knowing that plans are commonly adjusted or abandoned based on these assessments
  • Recommend Changes to Recreational Hunting Practices
    Offer recommendations to individuals and agencies involved in setting catch limits or regulating hunting seasons
  • Restore and Maintain Natural Areas
    Work in the field, restoring and maintaining various natural areas
  • Regulate Land / Resource Use
    Regulate the use of certain resources or areas for such things as recreational activities, transportation projects, agricultural initiatives, residential builds, and commercial builds
  • Oversee Forestry Programs
    Work for or with logging companies to set limits to the number of trees that may be felled in a year
    Work with loggers to plant new trees in the area

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What is the workplace of a Natural Resource Manager like?

Natural resource managers spend their time in offices in front of computer, in meetings, and outdoors. Depending on their position they may be required to travel often, especially if they hold a supervisory or advisory position, or work for the federal government. The work of the natural resource manager involves collaborating with clients and project teams, defining project scopes and ensuring that contractual obligations, as well as government guidelines and regulations, are met.

The sectors of industry in which natural resource managers typically work are:

  • Public Administration
  • Conservation
  • Forestry and Logging
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Their most common employers are:

  • Companies that produce products from natural resources (such as lumber)
  • Conservation groups
  • Consulting companies
  • Educational institutions
  • Government departments and agencies (all levels)
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Utility companies
  • Oil, gas, and mining companies

In addition, some natural resource managers are self-employed as consultants.

Natural Resource Managers are also known as:
Conservation Scientist Conservation Manager Natural Resource Scientist