Soil Conservationist & Technician
I. JOB SUMMARY
Main Topic: Physical Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society
Overview: A soil conservation technicians support the professional soil conservationist's efforts to market the concept of conserving soil to achieve optimum land use consistent with conservation objectives. Some of the tasks required by Soil Conservation Technicians are to gather preliminary data for conservation plans, develop a plan to implement conservation actions and supervise work done. The purpose of the job is to survey, implement and supervise soil conservation work implemented as part of a development or land maintenance project. On a day-to-day basis a soil conservation technician gathers preliminary data for use in developing physical resource plans and papers on the history of land use. After this, the technician then surveys, plots, lays out, and stakes selected sites and assists landowners in selecting, installing, and maintaining a variety of measures that conserve and improve the soil, plant, water, marsh, wildlife and recreational resources of a land area. Examples of single conservation measures that may be installed on a land site include contour cultivation, grass waterways, terracing, tree planting, field windbreaks, irrigation ditches, grass and legume seeding, and farm drains. Soil conservation technicians are important for the ongoing health of agriculture and more, globally. Soil is the foundation of all food that we and all other animals eat. By preserving soil health, we ensure that food production continues to feed the world.
Soil conservationists are responsible for ensuring a health state of the soil. They spend a large proportion of their time working in the field, alongside farmers and other land users, offering conservation planning and technical help. Aims include conserving the soil, improving water quality, managing nutrients, and protecting and improving wildlife habitats. Apply conservation principles in specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture; Advise land users on conservation plans, problems and alternative solutions; Provide technical and planning assistance; Plan soil management and conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour ploughing, or terracing, to maintain soil and conserve water; Visit areas affected by erosion problems to seek sources and solutions; Work on assistance programs for local governments; Collect and analyze soil samples; Analyze and present results; Develop studies to investigate various types of land use; Provide information, knowledge, expertise, and training to government agencies at all levels; Design and oversee the construction of soil conservation structures; Monitor land use to evaluate the effectiveness of land-use practices and plans; Generate cost estimates for different conservation practices; Participate in environmental impact assessments; Manage projects and supervise technical and professional staff. Conservationists work is spread between offices, laboratories and outdoors. Fieldwork can be in remote locations. The areas of fieldwork will vary depending on the employer and their remit.
Geographers at work: Physical Geographers, Environmental Geographers
Recommended College Courses: Physical Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Environmental Management, Quantitative Methods
Skills: Land-use Planning, Resource Planning, Sustainability/Conservation, Surveying/Field Methods, Quantitative Methods, Physical Geography, Agricultural Science, Environmental Management
Occupation Group: Life, Physical, and Social Science
Learn more about Soil Conservation Technician from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/conservation-scientists.htm
Written by Christopher Hinojosa
II. POWERFUL GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE