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Old 03-18-2010, 01:25 AM
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Default Where to go next?

I know I'm pretty new to the forum and fly fishing, but it is safe to say that I am already hooked. What can I say, I have an addictive personality when it comes to my outdooor activities.

So here's the deal, I am finishing my masters in biology and my emphasis is in prairie management. I live in Iowa, the heart of the tallgrass prairie, but I do have some experience with the mixed and shortgrass prairies of the west. This is my last semester of classes and I will be finishing my data collection and thesis this summer, meaning I need to be looking for gainful employment ASAP. Needless to say there are little opportunities for positions in resource management here in cornland, so I am figuring I will have to move to find the type of job I am looking for.

The way I see it, if I have to move somewhere it sure would be nice if it was a place where the fishing was good. I have a sister that lives in Denver, CO and I love it every time I visit. Given my experience with native and reconstructed prairies I'm figuring my best bet at employment will be out west but I am open to suggestions.

Any thoughts on ideal locations?

P.S. I grew up in a town of about 1,200 people and like the small town atmosphere, but I don't think my wife would be too happy if we wound up in BF Egypt, so having the convienence of a reasonably sized city near by would be a huge plus.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Where to go next?

Check out North West MO, I was in wildlife Bio up there (thats where I am from, until I moved to AR) and there was alot of prairie managment and restoring wild grass lands going on up that way.
Bear
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Where to go next?

Congrats and good luck in your job search. I know exactly 0 about prairies, but have some general "searching for a job" type advice that might help a bit.

Finding a great job in natural resources management can be difficult in the best of times, and with this economy in particular you may find yourself in a situation where you need to chase the job first and find something to chase with a fly rod when you get there--- and depending where you end up it may or may not be trout. But if you come up with a job lead in a particular area, post up the general area and I'm sure you'll get folks weighing in on the fishing opportunities since we have folks from all over the place on the forum. For example "prairie stuff jobs" at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center might pop up in Minnesota or the Dakotas near some great fishing --- and on the other hand parts of CO with prairie jobs may resemble Kansas more than CO trout country.

Start networking now with your NREM profs, alumni, and the job board there to generate some job leads. But also expand your contacts through professional associations, speakers at conferences you've attended, authors of scholarly articles or research in professional journals, and scout out the job boards of other Universities with strong Natural Resources programs like Cornell, Michigan, Colorado and whatever others to get leads that may only be posted in a few locations. Here's an example of Montana's NR career site with a lot of links that might be helpful:
http://www.montana.edu/ecology/fwl/careers.htm

Ag schools might be good too if stuff like range management might apply.

Check out non-profits too (like the nature conservancy--- they do prairie restoration work in CO and other places) and the many different Fed agencies that might want someone with your skills--- USDA, BLM, US F&W, NPS, and the military (they might have projects on bases) etc etc -- Even US AID might be a possibility if you're interested in a foreign posting and want to chase taimen in mongolia You can find a consolidated listing of all Fed jobs here and do searches on career location etc: http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/

Many professional organizations (for example the American Fisheries Society) have specific job boards that consolidate jobs from Feds, state, local gov't agencies, tribe/first nations, non profit, and for profit companies in one place for their members. Hopefully there is something like that for folks in your field like Society of Conservation Biologists etc And there are sites like www.biologyjobs.com , http://www.cyber-sierra.com/nrjobs/natres.html that have a broad spectrum of jobs from different types of orgs including fed, state, first nations, private companies, and non-profits

You also have skills that can be applied in other fields, if you chose to consider them. For example if you've done work with GIS, or have crunched a lot of numbers, done computer modeling etc you might find that to be in demand in business, or if you've done erosion control that might be something in demand by construction, mining reclamation, or environmental consulting companies etc.

The goal should be to generate as many possibilities as you can in what is likely to be a tough job market--- and hopefully have a few offers you can compare to each other on whatever factors are most important to you-- (fly fishing opportunities at the top of the list), and then all the less important stuff like salary, how it fits in with your longer term career goals, etc etc.

Good luck, keep us posted on the search.

mark
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Last edited by peregrines; 03-18-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Where to go next?

Don't know of specific jobs, but the Flint Hills of Kansas are tallgrass prairie. I would make contact with K-State as they have a big research area called the Konza Prairie just south of Manhattan. Also the Tallgrass Prairie preserve in Cottonwood Falls might be good. Soil conservation districts in the region might have a need for officers.
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