There’s More Behind Conservation Than Just Recycling And Clean Energy


Jul 25, 2019

*This is part of a summer blog series written by an anonymous member of our alumni community. The opinions expressed here are independent of GREEN Program and do not necessary represent the views of our organization.*

Peeling Back the Curtain

I recently started a job at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and it has been a really great experience. (Yes, I am still staying anonymous, but these detail is important) I recently was at a company event and got the breakdown of the ins and outs of the conservation department of Missouri. I’m not sure if it was my own ignorance, but I never really knew the breakdown of what a conservation department does. If I didn’t know, then I assume some other people also don’t know.

Do you want to help the planet?

Coming out of college as the eco-nerd I was, I had no clue what to do for a job. What was out there for me to do that had the word ‘sustainable’ in the job title. I undoubtedly wanted to save the planet but didn’t know which way to turn. There was an App Development position that opened up for MDC and I was like, okay this will work. Thus began my happy little year here with MDC.

However, in that process I burned through all of my searches with the keywords “energy”, “sustainability”, “renewables”, “power”, etc. etc. etc. The common misconception I had with sustainability is that the job you work needs to have sustainable in the title. Boy was my dumb brain mistaken. If you are looking for a job or internship in sustainability, look towards your states department of conservation. Here are just some of the jobs available that AMAZING people are working at for MDC.

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The breakdown of MDC goes like this (with possible majors interested in italics):

Administration – Administrative services handles all of the departments support services.

  • Administration Services
    • Information Tech (this me)
      IT does all of the back end and front end web app management for MDC. Think of all the software and applications that go into analyzing and maintaining databases for conservation magazines, wildlife population, field agent information, hunting records, permit management and so forth.
      (comp sci, engineering, etc majors)
    • Design and DevelopmentMaintains and administers the departments construction and development all throughout Missouri.
      (engineering, business, construction majors)
    • Business and SupportThey maintain and keep track of all of the financess (gotta get that money), fleet management, aircraft, marine, and other mechanical equipment.
      (Business, finance, accounting majors)
  • Human ResourcesThe HR department isn’t just a bunch of Tobys… They recruit employees, maintain programs for personnel records, benefits, compensation, workers’ compensation and safety programs.
    (Communication, social relations, business, marketing majors)
  • Outreach and EducationO and E handles going around and informing people about wildlife, reaching out to areas, and teaching the youngsters about the earth and wildlife.
    (Education, social relations, communication majors)

Field Service Agents

  • Fisheries
    Fishery agents manages lakes, reservoirs and streams for public fishing. They conduct water pollution impact investigations and an ongoing research program to measure fish populations and trends. In short they make sure the fishies have a good home to swim in and keep the ponds stocked for fishing.
  • Forestry
    Forestry agents controls forest fires, conducts fire training and controlled burns, create forest insect and disease surveys, and provides low cost tree planting stock to Missouri residents. Only you can prevent forest fires, but the forestry division can help.
  • Private Land Services
    PLS provides technical assistance and resource training to private landowners and provides wildlife damage control assistance.
  • Protection
    Protection agents carry out the department’s wildlife law enforcement program. They also provide training in the safe and responsible use of firearms, with emphasis on ethics and property rights of others, and develops and operates recreational shooting ranges.
  • Science
    Science agents work with all the other departments to maintain the biodiversity of all of the different divisions of wildlife.
  • Wildlife
    Handles the different hunting seasons and assists private landowners with wildlife habitat efforts. The also conduct research to provide current information on the status of wildlife population.

There are so many more jobs out there to be active in the environment. Everyone of these jobs are essential. Do some research when you are looking for a job, sustainable jobs are everywhere around us!

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