Biologist Career

Job Description: Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.


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What Biologists do:

  • Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings.
  • Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.
  • Supervise biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.
  • Represent employer in a technical capacity at conferences.
  • Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
  • Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.
  • Study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and function.
  • Review reports and proposals, such as those relating to land use classifications and recreational development, for accuracy, adequacy, or adherence to policies, regulations, or scientific standards.
  • Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant and animal species.
  • Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples.
  • Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work.
  • Communicate test results to state and federal representatives and general public.
  • Write grant proposals to obtain funding for biological research.
  • Prepare plans for management of renewable resources.
  • Plan and administer biological research programs for government, research firms, medical industries, or manufacturing firms.
  • Study and manage wild animal populations.
  • Develop pest management and control measures, and conduct risk assessments related to pest exclusion, using scientific methods.
  • Research environmental effects of present and potential uses of land and water areas, determining methods of improving environmental conditions or such outputs as crop yields.
  • Study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them, such as radioactivity or pollution.
  • Teach or supervise students and perform research at universities and colleges.
  • Measure salinity, acidity, light, oxygen content, and other physical conditions of water to determine their relationship to aquatic life.
  • Study reactions of plants, animals, and marine species to parasites.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Holland Code Chart for a Biologist