What is Research?
Research is a broad category, and looks different depending on your field. You may conduct research in a lab, studying samples that someone else collected. Or you may be the one out in the field collecting the samples or recording observations. Once the research is done, it then has to be communicated to an audience. Whatever your role is in research, It always starts with a question. Thankfully, the only question you need to worry about answering right now is what to study! The following careers are natural resource research focused:
- Wildlife Biologist
- Field Researcher
- Field Technician
- Populations Biologist
- Restoration Ecologist
Which Major and Option should you choose?
To obtain a career in one of these fields we recommend pursuing a degree in
You can do research with either of our degrees, but your area of study will be different depending on which one you choose. Do you want to conduct research more focused on wildlife (Animal Ecology) or the environment (Forestry)?
Each of our majors requires you to select a specialization, known as an Option. Each major has four different options. The ones we recommend for each degree are listed below.
Animal Ecology Options
- Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
- Forest Ecosystem Management
- Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration
Still not sure which is the best option for you? Come for a campus visit! Talking out your interests with an advisor might provide you with some direction.
Tips for pursuing these careers:
- Hone your writing skills!
If you don't write it down, did the research really get done? Reports and proposals make research possible. Take communication courses that are geared toward science-based writing.
- Learn the field techniques!
Internships and summer jobs with researchers will likely consist of data collection. Knowing the proper methods and techniques will help you design research methods of your own in the future.
- Ask questions!
Figure out what species interest you, and what else you want to learn about the natural world. This can help you figure out future educational programs after completing your degree.
Looking for something to complement your major?
Certificates and Training
- American Fisheries Society
- The Wildlife Society
- Chemical Immobilization
- GIS Certificate Institute
- Science Communication
- Wilderness First Aid
- REI co-op
- Wilderness Medical Associates International
- American Red Cross (Local events sometimes offered through ISU Rec. Services)