You've brought nature into your child's life on a regular basis. Your nature baby became a nature toddler, then a nature preschooler, and finally a young naturalist.
If you have a child in your life who seems destined to live their best life outdoors, you may have thought about an ideal nature career for them. Fortunately, there are plenty of careers out there that are perfect for nature-loving kids. Here are just a few that come to mind!:
Spending time in nature, while protecting it and educating the public. Sounds like a nice gig? We're talking about a park ranger of course. Park rangers get to work in some of the most beautiful places on Earth, from national parks to wildlife reserves. Rangers are responsible for maintaining the parks and making sure that visitors follow the rules, but also get to explore the wilderness and learn about all the creatures that call it home. Whether helping hikers find their way or tracking down elusive animals, being a park ranger is likely to be a fun and rewarding career for nature lovers.
When it comes to the benefits of nature, green may be what comes to mind. But blue nature is just as necessary for us. If your young naturalist is more interested in the world beneath the waves, then they might want to consider becoming a marine biologist. Marine biologists study all kinds of sea creatures, from whales to sea turtles to tiny plankton. Marine biologists get to explore the ocean, conduct experiments, and learn about the ways that marine life interacts with its environment. Whether working on a research vessel or scuba diving in coral reefs, being a marine biologist is a thrilling way to explore the natural world.
We adore plant-loving kids. They really "get" nature if they're interested in the non-fuzzy, non-cute but absolutely fascinating world of plants, flowers, and trees. For those kids who are more interested in the plant world, there's the option of becoming a botanist. Botanists study all kinds of plants, from towering trees to delicate flowers. Botanists get to explore the natural world, collect samples, and conduct experiments to learn more about how plants grow and interact with their environment. Whether working in a lab or out in the field, being a botanist is a fun and rewarding career for anyone who loves plants.
Children who love animals may be interested in a career as a zoologist. Zoologists are scientists who study animals and their behavior. They may study a specific species, either in the wild or in captivity. Young naturalist skills of patience and observation are useful for this career as zoologists study the physical characteristics, diets, behaviors, and the impacts humans have on animals. Zoologists help us understand the health of species or groups of animals. The information they gather in the field can tell us how healthy the population is, identify threats, help control disease, manage hunting programs, and develop conservation plans.
To get really up close and personal with nature, then a young naturalist might want to consider becoming a wildlife rehabilitator. Wildlife rehabilitators work with injured or sick animals, nursing them back to health and helping them get back into the wild. Whether you're working with birds of prey or cuddly mammals, being a wildlife rehabilitator is a hands-on way to help protect the natural world.
Creative kids may be interested in training to become nature photographers, filmmakers, or writers. All most often get to travel the world, capturing beautiful images of all kinds of natural landscapes and creatures. Whether taking pictures of mountain ranges, rainforests, or desert plains, making a film about an endangered species, or writing a book for young naturalists, documenting nature is a way to share a love of the natural world with others. Plus, nature photography makes kids (and adults) calmer and happier.
No matter what career path your young naturalist chooses, there are plenty of ways to stay connected to nature and help protect the environment. The best way to start is to get out there and explore the world together. They might just discover your dream career in the process.