Questions for a Natural Science Manager

Answered by Doug Halford, Program Manager, GSS ESER Program (
What is your favorite part about your job?
Interacting with other scientists
What made you interested to be a Natural Science Manager? I have liked science/nature since I was a child
Where do you go to college? Colorado State University
What is your bachelor’s degree in? Wildlife Biology
What is your favorite type of science? Field biology
Had you know anyone that was a Natural Science Manager until you became one? Yes, several colleagues and mentors
What is your work schedule like?
Come in early and leave late most of the time. Read and review scientific documents staff has prepared, develop schedules and budgets, interact with staff and clients regularly, attend technical meeting, give technical presentations. at meetings and schools (colleges), deal with a variety of issues.

What Does an Ecologist Do? What is ecology? If you break the word ecology down to “eco” and “logos”, “eco” means house and “logos” means study. Then ecology means studying our house–Planet Earth!
Ecology is the study of how living organisms (biotic) and non-living parts (abiotic) of the environment interact with and depend on each other.
Anyone who loves the nature can be an ecologist. Ecologists are concerned with how organisms interact with their environment. Some ecologists focus on specific organisms and the place they live in while some ecologists are curious about many different species that either depend on each other, or compete with each other for food and space.

Let’s do an ecology experiment.
Does Crowding Affect Plants?
Materials: 6 medium-sized pots, 10 bean seeds, potting soil, water, ruler, measuring cup, desk lamp, pencil

    1. Fill all the pots with an equal amount of potting soil. Dampen the soil with water.
    2. Use a pencil to make five holes about an inch deep in the soil of one pot. Place a seed in each hole, making sure that they are spaced relatively close, but equal distance from each other within the pot.
    3. Place the remaining five seeds, one in each of the remaining five pots, about 1 inch deep.
    4. Cover the seeds with soil.
    5. Place all the pots underneath a large desk lamp so that each pot receives full light. Be sure to water each plant as needed.
    6. The seeds will germinate in about seven days. When they do, note the stem length for each plant and write down your observations. Take measurements for 14 days. Which set of plants had the longest stem length, the beans in the crowded pot or the beans with more room? How does crowding affect plants?

Most living things need food, water, shelter and space to survive in their habitat. As organisms seek out the resources they need, they compete with each other. If a habitat becomes overcrowded, no one plant gets everything it needs. Any plant that can get more water, nutrients and sunlight than its neighbors will grow and reproduce more successfully.

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