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

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for natural resource managers in the Columbia, Missouri area. The national trend for natural resource managers sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. In general, natural resource managers research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.

Income for natural resource managers is about $22 per hour or $47,000 yearly on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $28 hourly or $58,720 annually. Earnings for natural resource managers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Life Sciences in Missouri and not quite as good as general Life Sciences category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: range ecologist, uplands division director, and range conservationist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a natural resource manager, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Natural resource managers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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.
  • 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 Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Natural Resource Manager. They are:

  • Natural Resources/Conservation, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-nine, five, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Forestry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-one, three, and two students respectively 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, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.