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Yukon WorkFutures

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers

NOC 4161 / RANK 53

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ARCHBOULD.COM

What They Do

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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Main Duties

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

Working Conditions

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.

How Do I Get There

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.