Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers conduct research, prepare reports, provide consultation and advice, and administer programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences. Science policy researchers focus on areas related to transportation, communications, natural resources, agriculture, the environment, energy, land use and other scientific fields.
A Day in the Life
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Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers perform some or all of the following duties:
Conduct research, prepare reports, provide consultation and advice, and administer programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences.
Develop or administer programs related to wildlife, natural resources, agriculture, the environment, transportation, communications, energy, land use, recycling and other scientific fields
Promote public awareness and education on issues such as natural resource use, the environment, and reprocessing and reducing waste
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in High demand.
Most of the work in this job is in Whitehorse (81.5% of jobs). Earnings in this type of job are higher than the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $70,400 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
First Nations are very involved in managing their own natural resources and government programs, and so need staff and consultants who have expertise in natural and applied science policy development and research. Land use, environmental issues, energy and natural resources such as forests, fisheries and wildlife are particularly important to Yukon First Nations.
Natural and applied science policy professionals and consultants work on matters in the Yukon that encompass or are affected by Yukon First Nations concerns. As a result, workers need in-depth knowledge of Yukon First Nations culture and history. They should have a good understanding of land claims and self-government agreements and the land claims implementation process as these issues have broad-ranging effects at all levels of government, in the economy, on the land, and in the social reality of Yukon and its residents.
Science policy consultants and professionals find that their work is often directly with or for First Nations. In many cases, they are operating on lands owned or managed by First Nations. Their work needs cultural sensitivity and exceptional cross-cultural or intercultural skills, especially if they have the opportunity to work with First Nations people on the land.
Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers are employed by governments, educational institutions, environmental and conservation organizations, advisory and consulting firms, or they may be self-employed. In Yukon, the federal, territorial, municipal and First Nations governments employ most of these workers.
They do most of their work in offices and have regular working hours with occasional overtime. Travel may be necessary in order to gather information or to attend meetings, workshops or conferences. They may work alone or as part of a research team as they gather information, write reports, prepare charts or use computers. Most of these workers must deal with the pressure of deadlines.
Generally, people working in this field possess at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline. Some positions require completion of a master's or doctoral degree. Sometimes business experience is helpful. Several years' experience is usually also necessary.
Specialists and content experts require education in their particular discipline. Program officers require an education in an area such as educational administration, business administration, public administration, sociology or psychology, as well as some experience as a researcher, consultant or program administrator or coordinator. Sometimes a degree in political science or political economy is useful.
All major universities offer programs relevant to these fields. Yukon College offers degree programs and also has university-level science courses that can be transferred to a number of universities. In partnership with the University of Alberta, Yukon College offers a B.Sc. degree in environmental and conservation sciences. Yukon College also offers a master's degree in public administration through the University of Alaska Southeast.
Although they must work well with others, people in these fields must also be able to spend long hours involved in independent study, analysis and problem solving. They must be able to work with detail and express themselves effectively both orally and in writing. Knowledge of computers, mathematics, statistics and science is important. Adaptability to change is also important. To be successful, a willingness to continue learning is vital.