What Jobs are there? BA in botany and then MS

Judy - 8/9Sunset 11September 4, 1999

my daughter is graduating in May with a BA in botany (minor in environmental science) from Univ. Of Hawaii. She's applying to graduate school for 2 yr masters program in botany and environmental science/business. She loves research and has done some research work on the Big Island dealing with endangered plants.

What kind of jobs are out there for this kind of background?

Any ideas on pay scales? Any suggestions?

I'm totally clueless as to what kind of careers there are in this field.

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> DearSir,
> > I am kandakumar,Junior research scholar,Department Of
> Biotechnology,Bharathidasan University,Tiruchirappalli,INDIA.
> I got a Visiting scholarship Washington State University.I came here J1
> Staus visa.kindly let me know if any kind job available in your university.
> I need any kind of basic job also enough for me.I hope you will be surely
> help me in this regard.
> > sincerely
> Kandakumar

    Bookmark   September 13, 2001 at 3:20PM
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jekyll(New Zealand)

I can't comment on pay scales or about the US employment situation, but I did a botany degree in New Zealand (MSc) so I feel I have some idea about career opportunities (and I'm still under 30 but only just).

When you say your daughter has a botany degree and is in Hawaii, I think of invasive weeds. Hawaii is the US centre for invasive weeds, there are huge problems which you are probably aware of already, but if you don't know the website below, check it out.

The field of invasive weed management (and invasive species generally) is a growing one. There are a lot of opportunities out there from quantifying the threats that weeds pose to native species, to developing control techniques, to educating people about how they can make a difference.

There are other opportunities in plant conservation too, it's just that I know weeds better. But there are definitely options, and plant conservation and invasive weed management can be quite international jobs too.

I can't speak for the US, but in NZ you would not be heading towards a highly paid career, generally any job caring for the environment won't make you rich. SO far, I would have been better off financially if I had become a schoolteacher, but then you don't become a teacher for the money, nor do you go into caring for the environment. My job (as a weed ecologist) is interesting and challenging, and I get to see some fantastic places. Who would ask for more?

Okay, I'm biased since I like what I do, but four years ago I had no idea that I could get a job like this and despaired of being anything more than a basic lab technician. I came out of university totally clueless, nobody in my family had ever done science and I had no idea about jobs. Now I know people with botany degrees from NZ working in Mauritius and the Galapagos and all sorts of weird and wonderful places.

I hope this information is vaguely useful. Send me an email if I can be of any further help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2001 at 6:44AM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

Jekyll's comments are right on even for the US.
I work for the US Fish & Wildlife out of an office located on an army post working with other departments in the environmental fields assessing noxious weeds, finding and recording threatened, endangered and sensitive plant species locations, t,E & S habitat (plants and animals), rangeland issues, biological control of weeds, and forestry issues. We work with many other agencies/orgs/schools such as the USDA, Forest service, Nature Conservancy, Heritage programs, Native Plant societies, USGS, Space Command and the neighboring Air Force base, Air Force Academy, and MIT on various research projects including forest pests, satillite imagery and watershed issues. Very rewarding work but not gonna get rich by any means. I look at it this way-I get PAID to be outside nearly every day to find, look at, collect plants and assess the environment. Sometimes I get to assess the land from a heliocoptor (the only way to fly)!!

You daughter will undoubtedly be better paid than I am-I have a BA in Anthropology with lots of botany and environmental sciences. Also, people on the ground (field workers-such as myself) get paid much less than program managers (which I am not, but do not want to sit in an office all day either). Government pay scales vary widely between agencies but her Masters will help alot. The private sector may may be a better bet but again pay varies widely. The real money seems to be in Environmental Compliance issues whether that be T, E & S species, noxious weeds, or clean water (point source pollution and sedimentation coming off public lands and polluting watersheds).

I would recommend that your daughter do as much work with GPS (global positioning systems, GIS (geographic information systems) equiptment/mapping software whenever she can. It's essential these days to be able to accurately record and map your work, and having a working knowledge of the hardware and software that produce these kind of maps will make her much more valuable to any organization.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2001 at 9:59AM
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Interesting post!!!!

I am dealing with a 16 year old female relative with a 160 IQ who has nothing on her mind except a degree in botany

She swings now from paleo-botany to some form of forensic science and possible employment with law enforcement.

I don't know what pay scales are. I think it could range from near Wal-Mart employment to multi-million, depending on her skills, degree (Ph.D preferred), and type of employment-whether it be in the private, public or government sector.

This is a hard guess but I'd suggest if this is what he/she wants for you and whoever to follow thru with some typer of support.

My advice is let the kid do her thing and give all the support u can. period

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 6:06PM
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