Monday, February 16, 2009

Professional Naturalist

Posted by Kirk
There's a lot of great things about being a professional naturalist. I get to do for a job what a lot of people do for a hobby, only with more paperwork.

The term "naturalist" in the past often referred to a person who studies natural history. These were the "Gentlemen Naturalists" who were often wealthy individuals who studied nature as a way to pass the time. This is not to say they didn't make important discoveries , take Darwin for example, but there were many a wealthy gentlemen who went about collecting natural curiosities for their wonder rooms with little attention paid to that thing we call Science.

Professional Naturalists these days usually make their way by teaching about natural history. Which is another way of pointing out an additional difference between naturalists of the past and the modern naturalist. We're not wealthy. The joke in the field is , "What's the difference between a professional naturalist and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four."

The funny thing is that I first heard this joke as "What's the difference between and airline pilot and a large pizza?" The starting salary of an airline pilot is DOUBLE the starting salary of a naturalist and the salary of a 10 year Captain pilot is 6 times that of a naturalist. Snow me a naturalist who makes a six figure salary.

The benefits are great though, fresh air and job satisfaction. There are of course odd things. The photo below is the actual reason I started this post. How may work places have a trash can with a sign on it like this? It can be strange being a professional naturalist.



Unknown said...

Huzzah! Huzzah!
Nice post Kirk! It had me laughing. The joke is perfect and the photo does say it all. There is absolutely no better nor more important profession.
I look forward to reading more.
Now get to work on the Dangerous Projects!
Tom Anderson