What Does A Biologist Do?
"Lately I have been really getting into my biology classes, and I switched my major to biology last week thinking it was logical since I’m already on my way to earning the degree. But then my mom called me and asked me what I was going to do with my biology degree, and I didn’t know what to answer. “Become a biologist,” I said, but when I hung up the phone, I realized I had never actually met a biologist before, and have no idea what biologists actually do. What does a biologist do?"
asked by Matt from San Francisco, CA
Congratulations on finding something you enjoy doing so much. The reason you have yet to meet a biologist in real life is probably because biologists and zoologists are quite uncommon in rural areas. So it is smart for you to learn as much as you can about becoming a biologist. That way you can make sure this is really what you want to do before facing all that tough competition.
If you become a biologist, you might find yourself doing any of the following:
- Work with animals in their natural environments or in settings such as zoos to learn more about them. Discover how animals interact with their environments and one another and how they fit into the ecology as a whole.
- Collect samples for analysis.
- Discover what influence human beings are having on the natural world. Come up with plans for conservation and work with the public and policymakers to implement conservation plans.
- Monitor population sizes and track animals and plants.
- Write up reports, papers, and books, put together documentaries and more to communicate findings to other biologists and to the general public. Give presentations.
There are different subsets of biology and zoology depending on what you specifically decide to study.
For example, ecologists specifically study ecosystem interactions, and marine biologists study life under the sea. Botanists learn about plants. Microbiologists study microorganisms. There are also other jobs relating to biology you may want to look into with more demand like biochemist.
Becoming a biologist can be a very rewarding job which allows you to learn all about plants, animals, and other organisms, and to make important steps to increase public awareness of threats to our ecosystem. Biologists are making a real difference in the world.
So if you decide to move forward in biology, do everything you can to cultivate your career options.
Talk to your advisor to chart a course, join professional organizations in your area, and figure out local areas of need where you could find a job after college.
Career Spotlight: Biologist
If you enjoy being around plants and animals and are truly fascinated with their inner workings and the world in which they live in, a career as a biologist would suit you very well. In this professio[...]