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Old Sep 18, 11, 12:58 am   #1
 
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Question Jobs That Are In Animal Field And Require Travel

I have been searching for a while now and I have gone through 2 years of what I feel like were needless college. I want to major in animals (no animal sciences, I'm too squeamish) management, or zoology. What is there, where you can travel internationally. (live in the US) And what university?
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Old Sep 18, 11, 1:26 am   #2
 
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All I can think of is working in a zoo and sometimes they manage to travel when they are trading animals with other zoos in different countries and you have to go and make sure the animals get settled in ok. Other than that there is quarantine but you would mostly stay at the airport to do your job or research which would require you to travel to research bases depending on the animal you are studying. Hope this helped a bit and goodluck.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 6:51 am   #3
 
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How about sheep dagging? Travel to Wales, New Zealand, Australia included.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 10:22 am   #4
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I would say polar bear tagging.

How do you "major in animals" BTW? Can I earn a BA in polar bears and a minor in housecats?
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Old Sep 18, 11, 10:23 am   #5
 
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That is a very broad field. Do you have a specific species in mind?

For example, there are many different jobs I can think of in the equestrian fields which could require extensive travel. But they also required some specialised skills, which are not always learned in a post-secondary environment.

That leads to the somewhat related field of transporting certain animals.

I've never really bothered to post on these types of 'suggest a job where I can travel' as I believe that you have to find a job which is your passion first, and then find the niche which includes travel.

For instance, if you had said that your passion was horses, I would have sugested a role in air cargo or air charter (assuming that you don't have the talent to be an international level competitor or to work in a barn which supports them).
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Old Sep 18, 11, 1:34 pm   #6
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If you are talking zoology, then there are opportunities for travel, but be aware the jobs are not about travelling - travelling is a means to get to the research sites. So head for research/conservation research, specialise in tropical species/species found outside the US and you'll travel - but you'll be travelling in economy and living in field camps. It's tough. You either enjoy that kind of thing, or you don't. Select a university with lecturers with a good background in animal behaviour and learn - those types of jobs are much sought after, and it will be a long hard slog - you need to have a good background, and you need to have good contacts who are willing to champion you with their contacts - it's a competitive field, most biologists want to do field based research overseas. I'm UK based, and your first degree wouldn't be so important (except to get a good solid base, and build up your contacts), it's your PhD/Doctorate you would be really looking to do outside of the US - but you would end up living wherever your subject was (an example, I applied for a PhD in Mongolia, researching antelopes, which would have meant living in tents in Mongolia for a a lot of the time). Volunteer for stuff outside the US - one of my students wanted to get into marine research, and ended up in Australia and Oregon, volunteering with projects which gave her experience in the field which made her CV delectable, but which she had to self fund. But that experience got her her PhD on grey seals so she's now set for the field she wanted to work in.

Another option would be to aim for one of the major international conservation organisations - but be aware a lot of them are based in Europe (I'm thinking bodies like the IUCN, Birdlife International etc), and so you might not be eligible to work for them. As an international body, there would be opportunities for travel, but likely in economy, since most of them run their budgets on a shoestring. As someone who flew a lot in longhaul Y for work - it's overrated

Your final option is the one I ended up in accidentally. Consultancy. However, international travel can be unusual, most environmental consultants are limited to travel within their own country - unless they have skills which are so rare and so unusual that people will pay them to fly in. By definition, it's hard to find a specialism like that, and the downside of that is that it can also leave you too specialised as well.

In the US, you could also end up going for a wildlife biologist role, which may involve some national travel, but with the possibility of international conferences.

Ultimately, as a zoologist from the US, looking for the job in which you fly in from the US and then fly out again, be aware that it will nearly always be cheaper to employ a local scientist, who is likely just as skilled as you are, and has more awareness of the local species and/or laws, than to fly you in from the US, unless you become specialised and/or a recognised expert. There are opportunities for travel, if you go into field research, but you have to be aware that they (typically) won't involve much in the way of comfort or mod cons. And if you are squeamish - you should be aware that all field biology involves getting your hands dirty at some point. Whether it be destroying injured animals, gathering up pooh samples, spending two weeks on a boat with a dozen men and no onboard toilet (as one of my female lecturers did!), you just can't be squeamish as a field biologist.

Sorry to be a bit negative, but it seems like your expectations may be a bit unrealistic. However, there are jobs in the field which do involve travel, you might just have to adjust your expectations. OTOH - if any of this is what floats your boat, then I know a lot of my colleagues get a lot of fulfilment out of living in basic conditions but really getting to know the subjects they are working on, or working hard to conserve species which are on the brink of extinction. For many biologists that kind of thing is the dream job (and so, lots of competition!).

If you have any questions, then feel free to drop me a PM.

Oh yes, and if you don't speak any other languages, start learning. Being able to get by in non-English speaking countries will be a real plus.

Last edited by Jenbel; Sep 18, 11 at 1:44 pm.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 3:43 pm   #7
 
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Second thought is "nature photography." Get the skills and background for a job with National Geographic or some such org. Maybe try for a spot on a TV nature show (not necessary to be the host). Visit strange lands, see strange animals, eat them. Sort of Zimmern (whose show I hate) meets NatGeo.

First thought: smuggling endangered animals. But that depends on how you feel about having a few dozen rare lizards taped to your body! ;-)

Last edited by uszkanni; Sep 18, 11 at 3:45 pm. Reason: added smiley
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Old Sep 18, 11, 4:29 pm   #8
 
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I think Jenbel summed it up perfectly (and I would love to hear more about the PhD in Mongolia surveying antelope!)
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Old Sep 19, 11, 6:36 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalenam View Post
I have been searching for a while now and I have gone through 2 years of what I feel like were needless college. I want to major in animals (no animal sciences, I'm too squeamish) management, or zoology. What is there, where you can travel internationally. (live in the US) And what university?
I agree with the other poster who said there is a lot of work travelling with horses - either as a groom for competition horses, transport company for pets and competition animals, etc. but not really the sort of job you want if you are squemish (as horses do need to be put down sometimes - not by you, obviously, but someone has to hold the horse, and it isn't a fun experience).

In fact, as animals go, I am not sure how you get around being squemish - there is always blood, guts, poop etc. with animals. Perhaps you would be better off doing a non-animal related degree (such as a general business degree) and then working with an animal based not-for-profit? Some of the volunteers with those groups travel to very interesting places, and someone from the organization has to coordinate.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 7:52 am   #10
 
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Join a circus?
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:15 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uszkanni View Post
Second thought is "nature photography." Get the skills and background for a job with National Geographic or some such org. Maybe try for a spot on a TV nature show (not necessary to be the host). Visit strange lands, see strange animals, eat them. Sort of Zimmern (whose show I hate) meets NatGeo.

First thought: smuggling endangered animals. But that depends on how you feel about having a few dozen rare lizards taped to your body! ;-)
Oddly, your first and second thoughts were also my own! Of course, to be a nature photog, you have to be a great photog in the first place and have an incredible passion for it. And incredible patience for sitting around for days to try to get a shot that may never come. And the fortitude to be in some pretty harsh conditions. And great creativity and perseverence to deal with challenging situations. And no fear.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 10:36 am   #12
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One of the people on my first degree wanted to become a wildlife cameraman - he was already a terrific photographer, had won competitions as a teenager (BBC Wildlife Junior section, which is probably about the best nature photography comptition in the UK), got the most amazing kingfisher photographs by building a hide, a perch and then staking them out for four weeks one summer

In his third year, he was offered an apprenticeship at the BBC Wildlife Unit, working with a well known cameraman. Walked away from his degree without a second thought (although he did get an ordinary). Now works in Africa, filming several of the programmes based in East Africa (Big Cat Diary and the like), and usually turns up on any of the big amazing BBC series involving David Attenborough.

But his entire life was focussed on getting into that field - and I'm very pleased for him he made it, he was an amazing photographer. I cheer him every time I see his name on the credits
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:27 am   #13
 
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Fisheries Observer. Google it. Plenty of work available and any science degree will do.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:15 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdtumbleweed View Post
Join a circus?
Yes..

funny, but definitely an alternative..
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Old Sep 20, 11, 3:17 am   #15
 
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OP, I don't know if you are coming back to comment or read the responses but I have a question for you.

Is your interest in animals or your interest in travel stronger?

Do you have a passion for either?

As many noted here, neither parts are especially glamourous, and the animal part especially involves often a lot of hard work, manual labour, uncomfortable situations, and/or muck. (Often lots of muck)

And then there is the dark side of the animal world - animals in captivity are often kept under cruel conditions. While the circus comment may or may not have been tongue in cheek (it somewhat fits your criteria), I suspect that most animal lovers would be put off by actually working for a circus which still uses animals.
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