What does an Ecological Specialist do?

Ecological consultants in charge of implementing a variety of activities in relation to the analysis of the ecological importance of a locality. In general, these evaluations relate to submitted development undertakings such as residential, commercial and mining projects. They may also be to provide info on the ecological values of sites to a range of stakeholders. Assessments are needed simply because there are an array of legal obligations established under state and federal government environmental laws that must be taken into consideration when a task will cause an influence on the natural environment. Generally, ecological consultants do audits to either find statutorily threatened species and/ or specify the biodiversity of a location. The advancement and maintenance of environmental consulting standards depends heavily on the publication of trusted survey techniques.There are a large range of Ecological Survey methods. Consultants and others carrying out environmental reports may have to comply with statutorily required methods, as determined by regulations at either the nationwide or state level. Or in the absence of statutory criteria, either make use of procedures and well established methods to reach required objectives or establish brand-new/ different approaches.

Ecological Consultants may likewise be asked to:

  • Lay out, execute and record the proficiency of environmental management strategies;
  • Produce expert environmental information in court cases, to independent commissions of investigation, parliamentary groups, urban planning groups and at local council meetings;
  • Peer review work carried out by various other ecological consultants; and
  • Train others in college, conferences and workshops or on-the-job.

An ecological professional will be associated with a selection of interesting tasks such as field analyses, use of geographic information systems (GISs), consultation with clients and stakeholders, analysis of environmental legal records and preparation of reports and management plans just to name a few.

There are a variety of customary documents developed by environmental consultants incorporating flora and fauna reports, environmental impact assessments, opportunity and constraint reports, species impact statements, vegetation maps, vegetation management strategies, threatened species management plans, fire management plans and peer review of development applications.

Ecological Consultants work with a Selection of Organizations:

  • Federal and State authorities divisions such as environmental protection agencies, conservation agencies, land management departments and catchment management authorities.
  • Local councils implementing assessments of property in parks and reserves; critique of development applications; application or development zoning.
  • Substantial real estate developers of housing, industrial or mining ventures.
  • Law firms that manage environmental and planning issues.
  • Community groups which call for expert recommendations on ecological merits and management e.g. environmental action associations, wilderness organizations.

Credentials and Experience

The usual minimum requirement is a degree (or equivalent) in a biological science from a recognised (government-accredited) tertiary establishment. Most ecological consultants have at least a B. Sc. (Hons) degree, some with higher degrees (M. Sc. or Ph.D). A few professionals who have a relevant diploma in applied science from a TAFE College (e.g. Dip. Biol. Tech. or Dip. Appl. Sc.), and who have worked for many years as a scientific officer or field assistant in a biological subject field, have also been successful as ecological consultants.

An ecological specialist is expected to deliver professional guidance and effective services to customers and state and federal government authorities. As a result, they need pertinent business and scientific competencies that have not routinely been acquired from a tertiary education. A few of these skills are prerequisites for work as an ecological specialist, others will be obtained during the course of on-the-job training.

An Ecological Advisor must have:

  • Appropriate tertiary credentials;
  • An understanding of environmental planning and assessment practices and the parties involved;
  • Research competencies: fluency in web-based data, information sources and office computer software program;
  • Solid data base management and report-writing abilities;
  • Excellent customer liaison skills and the ability to operate successfully as part of a project crew; and
  • The capacity to meet tight time frames while still maintaining a high standard of work.

Field Ecologists should likewise have:

  • Proven experience in vegetation and/or fauna and habitat survey and recording procedures, including the capacity to distinguish plant and/or animal species and their habitats.
  • Data base managers must excel in the utilization software for records storage and analysis (biostatistical programs) and representation of data (e.g. GIS software application).
  • A good knowledge of endangering processes and the ecological requirements of species and communities is a particularly beneficial asset and the ability to anticipate prospective ecological impacts of development or activity proposals, and recommending ways to lessen or prevent them.