Geographic Information Systems (or GIS) is a healthy occupational field in today's conservation occupations. GIS is a strong tool for many areas of forestry, from identifying harvesting locations to urban forestry. Wildlife mapping, ecosystem management and regional planning, all need this type of geographic data assembled.
Today's conservation professional uses digital mapping technology that links a computerized map with a computer database. Often the popular GPS systems are used in the field to locate specific points such as property lines, stream beds, and protected archeological locations. Since the use of GIS and GPS is now so widespread, it can be tricky to find a job in an environmental occupation that doesn't use this tool.
GIS work generally takes a person who is 'linear' in their thinking process and who pays deep attention to details. It often requires dogged determination to get to the exact GIS points in the outdoors and to make sure the data is correctly identified once you've collected it. Anyone who has had to rely of GIS data and found it lacking in certainty can appreciate the attention to detail that is needed in GIS work. Someone's life may depend on the accuracy of your GIS work. Remember that!
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