What Does A Botanist Do: Learn About Careers In Plant Science

What Does A Botanist Do: Learn About Careers In Plant Science

Whether you’re a high school student, a displaced homemaker,
or looking for a career change, you might consider the field of botany.
Opportunities for careers in plant science are rising and many botanists make
an above average income.

What is a Botanist?

Botany is the scientific study of plants and a botanist is a
person who studies plants. Plant life can vary from the smallest one celled
life forms to the tallest redwood
trees
. Thus, the field is widely varied and the job possibilities are
endless.

What Does a Botanist Do?

The majority of botanists specialize in a particular area of
botany. Examples of various areas include the study of marine phytoplanktons,
agricultural crops, or the specialized plants of the Amazon rainforest.
Botanists can have many job titles and work in many industries. Here is a small
sampling:

  • Mycologist – studies fungi
  • Wetland conservationist – works to preserve swamps, marshes, and bogs
  • Agronomist – conduct tests to determine the best practices for soil management
  • Forest ecologist – studies the ecosystems in forests

Botanist vs. Horticulturist

You may be wondering how a botanist differs from a
horticulturist. Botany is a pure science in which botanists study plant life.
They do research and may perform tests, derive theories, and make predictions.
They are often employed by universities, arboretums, or work for industrial
manufacturers like biological supply houses, pharmaceutical companies, or
petrochemical plants.

Horticulture is a branch or field of botany that deals with
edible and ornamental plants. It’s an applied science. Horticulturalists don’t
do research; instead, they use or “apply” the scientific research performed by
botanists. 

Why is Plant Science Important?

Plants are all around us. They provide many of the raw
materials that are used in manufacturing industries. Without plants we wouldn’t
have food to eat, fabric for clothing, wood for buildings, or medicines to keep
us healthy.

Botanical research not only helps industries provide these
necessities, but the field also focuses on how to obtain plant-based raw
materials economically and in environmentally-friendly ways. Without botanists,
the quality of our air, water, and natural resources would be compromised.

We may not realize it or even appreciate their efforts, but
botanists play an essential role in our daily lives. Becoming a botanist
requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the field of botany. Many
botanists further their education and go on to receive their masters or
doctorate degrees.

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