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Green Occupation:
19-1031.01 - Soil and Water Conservationists

Green occupations will likely change as a result of the green economy. Green economy activities and technologies are increasing the demand for occupations, shaping the work and worker requirements needed for occupational performance, or generating new and emerging occupations.

This is a Green Enhanced Skills occupation — green economy activities and technologies are likely to cause significant change to the work and worker requirements. New tasks, skills, knowledge, credentials may be needed. Employment demand remains the same, but there is potential for an increase.

Soil and water conservationists work in the following green economy sectors:

  • Environment Protection — This sector covers activities related to environmental remediation, climate change adaptation, and ensuring or enhancing air quality.
  • Governmental and Regulatory Administration — This sector covers activities by public and private organizations associated with conservation and pollution prevention, regulation enforcement, and policy analysis and advocacy.

They perform these tasks important to the green economy:

  • Advise land users, such as farmers or ranchers, on plans, problems, or alternative conservation solutions.
  • Analyze results of investigations to determine measures needed to maintain or restore proper soil management.
  • Apply principles of specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agriculture, to achieve conservation objectives.
  • Calculate or compare efficiencies associated with changing from low-precision irrigation technologies, such as furrow irrigation, to high-precision technologies, such as computer-controlled systems.
  • Compile or interpret biodata to determine extent or type of wetlands or to aid in program formulation.
  • Compute cost estimates of different conservation practices, based on needs of land users, maintenance requirements, or life expectancy of practices.
  • Compute design specifications for implementation of conservation practices, using survey or field information technical guides or engineering manuals.
  • Conduct fact-finding or mediation sessions among government units, landowners, or other agencies to resolve disputes.
  • Coordinate or implement technical, financial, or administrative assistance programs for local government units to ensure efficient program implementation or timely responses to requests for assistance.
  • Develop or conduct environmental studies, such as plant material field trials or wildlife habitat impact studies.
  • Develop or maintain working relationships with local government staff or board members.
  • Develop water conservation or harvest plans, using weather information systems, irrigation information management systems, or other sources of daily evapotranspiration (ET) data.
  • Develop, conduct, or participate in surveys, studies, or investigations of various land uses to inform corrective action plans.
  • Enter local soil, water, or other environmental data into adaptive or web-based decision tools to identify appropriate analyses or techniques.
  • Evaluate or recommend geographic information systems (GIS) applications to address issues such as surface water quality, groundwater quality, ecological risk assessments, air quality, or environmental contamination.
  • Gather information from geographic information systems (GIS) databases or applications to formulate land use recommendations.
  • Identify or recommend integrated weed and pest management (IPM) strategies, such as resistant plants, cultural or behavioral controls, soil amendments, insects, natural enemies, barriers, or pesticides.
  • Implement soil or water management techniques, such as nutrient management, erosion control, buffers, or filter strips, in accordance with conservation plans.
  • Initiate, schedule, or conduct annual audits or compliance checks of program implementation by local government.
  • Manage field offices or involve staff in cooperative ventures.
  • Monitor projects during or after construction to ensure projects conform to design specifications.
  • Participate on work teams to plan, develop, or implement programs or policies for improving environmental habitats, wetlands, or groundwater or soil resources.
  • Plan soil management or conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour plowing, or terracing, to maintain soil or conserve water.
  • Provide access to programs or training to assist in completion of government groundwater protection plans.
  • Provide information, knowledge, expertise, or training to government agencies at all levels to solve water or soil management problems or to assure coordination of resource protection activities.
  • Respond to complaints or questions on wetland jurisdiction, providing information or clarification.
  • Review annual reports of counties, conservation districts, or watershed management organizations, certifying compliance with mandated reporting requirements.
  • Review grant applications or make funding recommendations.
  • Review or approve amendments to comprehensive local water plans or conservation district plans.
  • Review proposed wetland restoration easements or provide technical recommendations.
  • Revisit land users to view implemented land use practices or plans.
  • Survey property to mark locations or measurements, using surveying instruments.
  • Visit areas affected by erosion problems to identify causes or determine solutions.