Ecosystems and Biodiversity» open the printable major» search for more Areas of Study
The Ecosystems and Biodiversity major is about the ecology and conservation and management of flora and fauna with a particular focus on understanding ecosystems and ecological processes. Students learn how to apply scientific principles to understand natural systems. This understanding is applied to current questions regarding the past, current and future impacts of human activities on organisms, ecosystems and the environment. Students will concentrate on aquatic ecology and fisheries consulting, forestry and agricultural management, park and recreation planning and management, resource conservation, toxic soil and water pollution research. Graduates will be well prepared to make appropriate and informed decisions about the management and/or conservation of our environment, its ecosystems and the plants and animals that they support.
Graduates have the prospects of working in all levels of government, non-governmental organisations with involvement in environmental resource management, academic institutions and research organisations.
Some jobs require additional qualifications at Honours level. Honours is a one year stand-alone program, completed after successfully fulfilling the requirements of the undergraduate degree. View Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours).
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the postgraduate study options following the Bachelor of Science include:
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs for Ecosystems and Biodiversity graduates. Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
- Animal Biologist
- Animal Research Scientist
- Biological Oceanographer
- Biological Sciences Technician
- Bushland Assessment Officer
- Conservationist / Ecologist
- Education Officer
- Environmental/Ecological Biologist
- Environmental Scientist
- Food Technologist
- Forensic scientist
- Genetic Counsellor
- Generalist Programs
- Laboratory Manager
- Laboratory/Research Assistant
- Marine Biologist
- Medical Scientist
- Multimedia Designer / Web Designer
- National Parks Ranger / Field Officer
- Patent Attorney / Technical Advisor
- Pharmaceutical Sales
- Policy Officer/Analyst
- Reproductive Medicine / IVF Chemist
- Research Fellow
- Research Scientist
- Sciences Technician
- Scientific Policy Officer
- Scientific Writer
- Science Teacher
- University Lecturer / Academic
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large oranisations for Ecisystems and Biodiversity graduates. Below is an example of some major organisations which formally target graduates with qualifications in Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
- Alphapharm (Australia)
- Australian Antarctic Division (Australia)
- Australian Genome Research Facility (Australia)
- Australian Museum (Australia)
- CSIRO Plant Industry (Australia)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Defence - Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Environmental Protection Agency (Australia)
- ERM Environment Resources and Management (Australia)
- Hunter Medical Research Institute (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Hunter Water (Australia)
- IP Australia (Australia)
- National Parks and Wildlife Service (Australia)
- Natural History or History Museums (Australia)
- New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation (Australia)
- Questacon (Australia)
- Sydney IVF (Australia)
- Sydney South West Area Health Service (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- APESMA (Australia)
- AusBiotech (Australia)
- Australian Academy of Science (Australia)
- Australian Association for Environmental Education (Australia)
- Australian Conservation Foundation (Australia)
- Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
On completion of the Bachelor of Environmental Science & Management degree, a graduate will be able to demonstrate:
- Comprehensive theoretical and applied knowledge of environmental science and its application in environmental management within an interdisciplinary natural and social sciences base.
- Capacity for incisive, ethical and independent thinking on issues of environmental management and sustainability at all scales & the ability to apply knowledge in these diverse contexts.
- Capacity for analysis of environmental processes and problems, coupled with the ability to develop management strategies for environmental protection, remediation or restoration.
- Experience and skills in working as part of interdisciplinary teams and with diverse stakeholders.
- Advanced written, oral and other communication and negotiation skills.