For some, a "career in ecology" can evoke the image of fieldwork in the great outdoors. But the field is becoming more diversified and moving beyond its traditional academic boundaries, say many ecologists. Consulting firms, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and advocacy groups are creating new demand. In fact, graduate students are clamoring for more information on careers inside and outside of academia, so much so that the Ecological Society of America (ESA) held its first workshop devoted to careers at its annual meeting last month.

Kay Gross (at left) packs seeds in a greenhouse with Heather Reynolds
Kay Gross, a professor of botany and plant pathology at the Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University and past president of ESA, says that most ESA members are academics, with the rest working in federal government, in the private sector at nongovernmental organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, and in private consulting....

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