Last edited 17 Mar 2015

Ecologist for building design and construction


[edit] Overview

An ecologist studies the relationship between animals, plants and their environment. Ecologists often design and conduct surveys, identifying, recording and monitoring habitats and species. Key tasks often include analysis and interpretation of data and samples, and the use ecological data to help assess and understand the state of the environment. The work of an ecologist is often in support of European and UK environmental legislation.

[edit] Typical activities

The role of an ecologist can be wide ranging and varied and may include:

  • Undertaking site surveys e.g. Extended Phase I Habitat surveys, badger, otter, water vole, bat, bird, dormouse, great crested newt, reptiles and so on.
  • Communicating with site managers, engineers, planners and others associated with a survey.
  • Carrying out ecological impact assessments as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
  • Taxonomy - classifying organisms and understanding their relationships.
  • Analysing and interpreting data, using specialist software programs.
  • Habitat management and creation.
  • Writing reports and issuing recommendations.
  • Undertaking data analysis.
  • Advising engineering firms, road planners, construction firms and other stakeholders.
  • Carrying out research and development and applied science.
  • Undertaking teaching in schools, field centres, academic institutes etc.
  • Keeping abreast of new environmental policies and legislation.
  • Developing changes to policy and/or legislation, based on ecological findings.

Ref Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, 2009.

[edit] Typical work areas

Ecologists may be employed by a variety of organisations including:

[edit] Qualifications

Generally, a degree in biological science or an environmental subject (e.g. ecology, environmental management, earth sciences) is required for entry into the profession.

Many employers now require further postgraduate qualification such as a Masters degree or PhD and pre-entry experience (paid or voluntary) is typically essential. There are various options for gaining practical voluntary experience including:

Various organisations offer specialist skills-based short courses including:

The Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is the leading professional body that represent ecologists and there are a variety of membership options available. With the appropriate qualifications and experience, it is possible to become a chartered environmentalist (CEnv) with the Society for the Environment (SocEnv) or a chartered ecologist (CEcol) with Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management.

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