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Career and Education Opportunities for Natural Resource Managers in Columbia, Maryland

Natural resource manager career and educational opportunities abound in Columbia, Maryland. There are currently 430 jobs for natural resource managers in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 4% to 440 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for natural resource managers are expected to grow by about 11.9%. Natural resource managers generally research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

A person working as a natural resource manager can expect to earn about $27 hourly or $58,150 per year on average in Maryland and about $28 hourly or $58,720 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as natural resource managers in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Natural resource managers work in a variety of jobs, including: range technician, refuge manager, and range scientist.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a natural resource manager. The most common level of education for natural resource managers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a natural resource manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Natural Resource Manager

In general, natural resource managers research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

Natural resource managers study rangeland management practices and research range problems to furnish sustained production of forage and wildlife. They also measure and assess vegetation resources for biological assessment companies, environmental impact statements, and rangeland monitoring programs. Equally important, natural resource managers have to formulate and direct construction and maintenance of range improvements such as fencing, corrals, stock-watering reservoirs and soil-erosion control structures. They are often called upon to maintain soil stability and vegetation for non-grazing uses. They are expected to oversee forage resources through fire or revegetation to maintain a sustainable yield from the land. Finally, natural resource managers design methods for protecting a range from fire and rodent damage and for controlling poisonous plants.

Every day, natural resource managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for natural resource managers to design new and improved instruments and techniques for efforts such as range reseeding. Somewhat less frequently, natural resource managers are also expected to design new and improved instruments and techniques for efforts such as range reseeding.

Natural resource managers sometimes are asked to formulate and implement revegetation of disturbed sites. They also have to be able to study grazing patterns to establish the number and kind of livestock that can be most profitably grazed and to establish the best grazing seasons and tailor conservation plans to landowners' goals, such as livestock support or recreation. And finally, they sometimes have to design methods for protecting a range from fire and rodent damage and for controlling poisonous plants.

Like many other jobs, natural resource managers must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Natural Resource Manager Training

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has 2 areas of study related to Natural Resource Manager. They are:

  • Natural Resources/Conservation, bachelor's degree which graduated 44 students in 2008.
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 2 students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Natural Resources/Conservation which graduated four students in 2008.


Accredited Agricultural Consultant: The Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation was developed and first offered by the ASFMRA in 1997.

For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.

For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.

Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in all phases of erosion and sediment control work.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.