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Graduates with a degree in animal science will find that there are many career paths open to them. Some animal scientists work for governmental agencies, and some work for zoos or at research facilities. Often animal scientists conduct investigations in the animal’s natural habitat.
Zoologists study animals in their natural habitat and in laboratories. They research the origin and development of animal species, and study their behavior and interaction. Some zoologists conduct research on animal diseases. Zoologists may be required to endure rigorous physical activity and primitive living conditions while conducting field research in remote areas in harsh climates. Zoologists may be called on to regulate and enforce environmental laws. Zoologists may work as a zookeeper with responsibilities of keeping animal’s health, exercising and training them and monitoring behavior.
A wildlife biologist is a scientist who studies wild animals and their habitats. These scientists take a multidisciplinary approach, and must have a broad educational background in animal science. Coursework in the areas of zoology, chemistry, math and botany as well as wildlife biology coursework is required. Wildlife biologists perform technical investigations and research in the field and in laboratories.
Wildlife educators may reside at a research study location and explore wildlife behavior. They may then write up the information they gather to use in brochures and other print materials and to post on websites. Educators can also use their material to inform the public during educational visits. Other duties of a wildlife educator are to design and prepare displays and purchase and raise animals for exhibits.
Wildlife rehabilitators provide care for sick, injured and orphaned wild animals and birds. Once the animals are rehabilitated, they are often released back into their natural habitat. Duties of a wildlife rehabilitator include obtaining relevant permits for federal and state wildlife agencies.
Animal researchers use the data they obtain from experiments to solve health problems and environmental problems. They perform experiments and record and analyze findings. Researchers must be able to use computers, microscopes and other equipment. They may be called on to give speeches regarding their findings and prepare grand proposals to obtain funds for further research.
Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.