Environmental education officer

An environmental education officer

Description

Environmental education officers are responsible for promoting environmental conservation and development. They visit schools and businesses to give talks, they produce educational resources and websites, they lead guided nature walks, they provide relevant training courses, and they help with volunteer activities and conservation projects. Many gardens employ an environmental education officer to offer guidance during school visits.

The duties of an environmental education officer include, but are not limited to:

  • research and develop educational programmes and resources for schools, adults, families, community groups or visitors to sites of special environmental interest
  • promote educational programmes and resources to the target audience through leaflets, newsletters, websites and social media
  • liaise with colleagues, teachers and community groups on the design and delivery of educational programmes
  • give talks in schools or to community groups on environmental issues
  • teach groups and interpret the natural environment for them on-site by leading guided walks and answering questions
  • organise events and activities to raise awareness of environmental issues
  • train others, such as teachers, in the use of resources and in delivering educational sessions
  • research and collate scientific data
  • recruit, supervise and work with volunteers
  • manage other members of staff, depending on the organisation’s size and structure
  • act as a point of contact for teachers, educationalists and colleagues and respond to requests for information on educational issues
  • generate income for projects through fundraising activities and investigate and bid for external funding
  • evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and write reports for your organisation or funding bodies
  • manage budgets for projects and educational programmes
  • carry out risk assessments, particularly for outdoor activities
  • advise on and draft environmental education policies and strategies – this is usually done at a more senior level.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to environmental education officer:

environment education trainer
environment education teacher
enviromental promotions officer
environmental education specialist
ecotourism guide
environment education officer
environmental trainer
environmental education trainer
environmental educator
environment educator
environmental public relations specialist
environmental education teacher
environmental communications officer
environmental teacher

Working conditions

Environmental education officer typically work in schools, parks, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, and museums. They also work for environmental organizations, government agencies, and businesses. Many environmental educators travel to give presentations or lead field trips. Some environmental education officers work outdoors, while others work indoors.

Many environmental education officers work full time, but some work part time. Some environmental educators work during the day, but some work in the evening or on weekends. Many environmental educators work in a variety of settings during the course of a week.

Minimum qualifications

Environmental education officers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, ecology or a similar field. Some workers choose to pursue a master’s degree in environmental education or a related field.

Environmental education officer typically receive on-the-job training in their new positions. This training may include shadowing current environmental educators or working with a supervisor to complete tasks. Environmental educators may also receive training in the classroom as part of their bachelor’s or master’s degree programs.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Environmental education officer is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Environmental education officer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to environmental education officer.

zoo educator
zookeeper
dewatering technician
forest ranger
hunter

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of environmental education officer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of environmental education officer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

assistant outdoor animator
outdoor activities coordinator
outdoor animator
specialised outdoor animator
mountain guide

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of environmental education officer.

  • Biology: Tissues, cells, and functions of plant and animal organisms and their interdependencies and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Ecology: The study of how organisms interact and their relation to the ambient environment.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of environmental education officer.

  • Manage volunteers: Manage volunteers’ tasks, recruitment, programmes and budgets.
  • Identify plants characteristics: Identify and classify crop characteristics. Be able to recognise different types of bulbs by name, graded sizes, field markings and stock markings.
  • Animate in the outdoors: Independently animate groups in the outdoors, adapting your practice to keep the group animated and motivated.
  • Educate people about nature: Speak to a variety of audiences about e.g. information, concepts, theories and/or activities related to nature and its conservation. Produce written information. This information may be presented in a range of formats e.g. display signs, information sheets, posters, website text etc.
  • Develop educational activities: Develop speeches, activities and workshops in order to foster access and comprehension to the artistic creation processes. It can address a particular cultural and artistic event such as a show or an exhibition, or it can be related to a specific discipline (theatre, dance, drawing, music, photography etc.). Liaise with storytellers, craftspeople and artists.
  • Advise on nature conservation: Provide information and suggested actions relating to the conservation of nature.
  • Manage outdoor resources: Recognise and relate meteorology to topography; apply the principal of ‘Leave no trace’.
  • Educate the public about wildlife: Speak with groups of adults and children to teach them how to enjoy the forest without harming it or themselves. Speak in schools or with specific youth groups if called upon. Develop and teach programs related to nature conservation.
  • Implement risk management for outdoors: Devise and demonstrate the application of responsible and safe practices for the outdoor sector.
  • Educate public on fire safety: Develop and execute educational and promotional plans to educate the public on fire prevention knowledge and methods, fire safety such as the ability to identify hazards and the use of fire safety equipment, and to raise awareness on fire prevention issues.
  • Monitor interventions in the outdoors: Monitor, demonstrate and explain the use of equipment according to the operational guidelines issued by manufacturers.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental education officer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Botany: The taxonomy or classification of plant life, phylogeny and evolution, anatomy and morphology, and physiology.
  • Aquatic ecology: Aquatic ecology is the study of aquatic organisms, how they interact, where they live, and what they do.
  • Ecological principles: The understanding of how an ecosystem functions and its relationship to environmental planning and design.
  • Fish biology: The study of fish, shellfish or crustacean organisms, categorized into many specialised fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origins and distribution.
  • Molecular biology: The interactions between the various systems of a cell, the interactions between the different types of genetic material and how these interactions are regulated.
  • Animal biology: The structure, evolution and classification of animals and how they interact with their ecosystems.
  • Forest ecology: The ecosystems existing in a forest, starting from bacteria to trees and soil types.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental education officer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Analyse ecological data: Analyse and interpret ecological and biological data, using specialist software programs.
  • Conduct ecological research: Conduct ecological and biological research in the field and in controlled conditions, using scientific methods and equipment.
  • Conduct ecological surveys: Conduct field surveys to collect information about the number and distribution of organisms.

ISCO group and title

5113 – Travel guides


References
  1. Environmental education officer – ESCO
  2. Environmental education officer job profile | Prospects.ac.uk
  3. Environmental Educator Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  4. Environmental education officer job description – Targetjobs
  5. Featured image: By U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region – https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsnortheast/13873454083/, Public Domain
Last updated on November 9, 2022

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