A frequent and important question is where does one find employment with a background in exploration science? This field prepares you for a wide range of potential job opportunities. Some of the core elements of exploration science are being competent at observation and documentation. These skills can be applied broadly to organizations, institutions, projects and grants that require outreach, informal education, informing policy makers, managing field operations and research, or helping competently lead groups in the field that seek to break new ground and answer new questions and challenges we see in the world. Potential job opportunities include:
Biological Field Stations
There are hundreds of field stations around the world, many in remote and beautiful settings. These usually require the management and direction by competent, graduate trained staff. Students in Exploration Science would be well positioned to work at field stations around the world. Jobs are frequently posted at the Organization of Biological Field Stations website.
A November 2013 article in Nature highlights the unique and important role of biological field stations and as opportunities for jobs.
Non-govermental Organizations (NGOs)
Many NGOs have significant field operations related to environmental causes and conservation. Having a background in exploration science will enable students to graduate and work competently in the field managing projects. Organizations with a strong field presence include The Nature Conservancy, The World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Conservation International, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Many other smaller organizations also have field operations such as EarthWatch.
Environmental Education and Outreach
There are many small organizations that focus on environmental education and outreach. In addition many larger organizations are also focusing more and more on this area. Large granting agencies such as the NSF also require significant greater impacts it be written into the grants. These require people with a broad knowledge of how to collect information in the field and then translate this into meaningful data and media for the grant. Examples of positions in this field can be found here.
Adventure Travel and Commercial Expeditions
Increasingly, people don’t just want to travel for the sake of it. Instead, they want a purpose, a mission or a goal for their travels. Commercial outdoor adventure and expedition companies welcome graduate educated employees who can confidently lead people in the field and also enhance their experience by adding knowledgeable information related to their travels. Examples include Mountain Travel Sobek, National Geographic Expeditions and Backroads.
These are just broad examples of where someone with an Exploration Science Masters degree could land after graduation. A key element to keep in mind is that this degree is tailored to your interests and can be as broad or specific as you would like. Employment can come in unexpected ways or places.
Companies engaged in surveying have a need for students who have the types of backgrounds and skill sets related to exploration science. This field has seen many changes driven by the evolution innovative technology related to mapping and documentation. These companies offer very immersive field experience and opportunities. Exploration Science students have been hired by this Land and Sea Surveying Concepts, Inc. on Merritt Island, FL.
Adventure Industry Pro
Adventure Industry Pro is a clearing house “for professionals working in the adventure, travel, expedition and extreme environment industries” It is connected to the Explorers Connect website, which is focused on the UK, but posts expeditions and opportunities.
This site also offers some career advice in a couple of areas related to adventure and exploration here.
Related to the jobs site, Adventure Industry Pro, Explorers Connect offers information about global expeditions and how to join them. It is focused on a UK audience, but anyone can volunteer get more information about organized expeditions. Or you can post your own expedition here as well if you are recruiting fellow adventurers and explorers.