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LAND PLANNING / CONSERVATION MANAGER: Helping Protect Natural Land & Open Spaces

About this video 

Crystal describes her work in land conservation on a regional scale. She helps people protect and take care of open spaces, such as ranches, parks, and other agricultural lands. An English degree helped her learn how to write, an important skill for fundraising -- but it was growing up in Idaho and her rancher dad that sparked her love for the outdoors and land conservation.

Degree: English Language and Literature - City and Regional Planning - Environmental Planning
Job Title: Program Manager

Job Summary: Urban and Regional Planners

Job Description

Urban and regional planners identify community needs and develop short- and long-term plans to create, grow, or revitalize a community or area. For example, planners may examine plans for proposed facilities, such as schools, to ensure that these facilities will meet the needs of a changing population.

As an area grows or changes, planners help communities manage the related economic, social, and environmental issues, such as planning a new park, sheltering the homeless, or making the region more attractive to businesses.

Some planners work on broad, community-wide plans, while others focus on specific issues. Ultimately, all planners promote the best use of a community’s land and resources for residential, commercial, or recreational purposes.

When beginning a project, planners work with public officials, community members, and other groups to identify community issues or goals. Using research, data analysis, and collaboration with interest groups, planners formulate strategies to address issues or meet goals.

They also may help carry out community plans, oversee projects, and organize the work of the groups involved. Projects may range from a policy recommendation for a specific initiative to a long-term, comprehensive area plan.

Planners use a variety of tools and technology in their work, including geographic information systems (GIS) tools that analyze and manipulate data. GIS is used to integrate the data with electronic maps. For example, planners may use GIS to overlay a land map with population density indicators. They also use statistical software, visualization and presentation programs, financial spreadsheets, and other database and software programs.

On-the-Job Training

Short-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

As of 2011, New Jersey was the only state that required planners to be licensed, although Michigan required registration to use the title “community planner.”

Certification Requirement
Certification is voluntary but can help you get a job.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$40,000 - $95,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Office, Outdoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Problem solving skills, Teamwork, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Detail oriented, Organizational skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>Hi.</span> <span m='1310'>My</span> <span m='1420'>name</span> <span m='1640'>is</span> <span m='1820'>Crystal</span> <span m='2150'>Simons,</span> <span m='2560'>and</span> <span m='2680'>I am</span> <span m='2890'>a</span> <span m='2980'>program</span> <span m='3320'>manager</span> <span m='3870'>for</span> <span m='4120'>the Bay</span> <span m='4360'>Area</span> <span m='4720'>Open</span> <span m='4990'>Space</span> <span m='5330'>Council.</span> <span m='7730'>My</span> <span m='8080'>organization</span> <span m='8770'>does</span> <span m='9430'>land</span> <span m='9720'>conservation</span> <span m='10390'>from</span> <span m='10600'>a</span> <span m='10660'>regional</span> <span m='11380'>scale,</span> <span m='11705'>and</span> <span m='12030'>so</span> <span m='12190'>that</span> <span m='12410'>means</span> <span m='12780'>that</span> <span m='12920'>we</span> <span m='13090'>look</span> <span m='13360'>at</span> <span m='13600'>multiple</span> <span m='13950'>counties</span> <span m='14560'>and</span> <span m='15210'>all</span> <span m='15570'>of</span> <span m='15680'>the</span> <span m='15770'>different</span> <span m='16020'>park lands,</span> <span m='17100'>open</span> <span m='17440'>spaces,</span> <span m='18520'>ranches,</span> <span m='19450'>agricultural</span> <span m='20190'>land,</span> <span m='20960'>anything</span> <span m='21290'>that's</span> <span m='21500'>not</span> <span m='21790'>paved,</span> <span m='22350'>and</span> <span m='22520'>we</span> <span m='22810'>help</span> <span m='23550'>our</span> <span m='23750'>member</span> <span m='24070'>organizations</span> <span m='24810'>protect</span> <span m='25320'>and</span> <span m='25470'>take</span> <span m='25670'>care</span> <span m='25910'>of</span> <span m='26000'>those</span> <span m='26230'>landscapes.</span> </p><p><span m='27660'>So</span> <span m='28170'>I</span> <span m='28270'>basically</span> <span m='28660'>start my</span> <span m='28960'>day</span> <span m='29390'>by</span> <span m='29560'>going</span> <span m='29830'>into</span> <span m='30010'>the</span> <span m='30120'>office</span> <span m='30400'>and</span> <span m='30530'>checking</span> <span m='30810'>my</span> <span m='30940'>email,</span> <span m='31330'>and</span> <span m='31430'>making</span> <span m='31710'>sure</span> <span m='31850'>my</span> <span m='31990'>calendar's</span> <span m='32659'>all</span> <span m='33710'>up</span> <span m='33910'>to</span> <span m='34100'>square.</span> <span m='35280'>I</span> <span m='35420'>meet</span> <span m='35650'>with</span> <span m='35760'>a</span> <span m='35820'>lot</span> <span m='36060'>of</span> <span m='36180'>people.</span> <span m='36560'>I</span> <span m='36820'>spend</span> <span m='37150'>a</span> <span m='37200'>lot</span> <span m='37360'>of</span> <span m='37410'>time</span> <span m='37660'>in</span> <span m='37750'>meetings</span> <span m='38370'>and</span> <span m='39070'>coordinating</span> <span m='39550'>with</span> <span m='39700'>folks</span> <span m='40020'>from</span> <span m='40190'>places</span> <span m='40720'>like</span> <span m='40900'>The</span> <span m='40970'>Nature</span> <span m='41270'>Conservancy.</span> <span m='41670'>I</span> <span m='42070'>work with</span> <span m='42540'>scientists.</span> <span m='43130'>I</span> <span m='43400'>work</span> <span m='43670'>with</span> <span m='44030'>mayors</span> <span m='44540'>and</span> <span m='44650'>politicians.</span> <span m='46030'>I</span> <span m='46090'>work</span> <span m='46250'>with</span> <span m='46390'>really</span> <span m='46650'>smart</span> <span m='46970'>engineers,</span> <span m='47445'>and</span> <span m='47920'>sometimes,</span> <span m='48290'>I</span> <span m='48430'>just</span> <span m='48600'>work</span> <span m='48750'>with</span> <span m='49230'>volunteers</span> <span m='50190'>cleaning</span> <span m='50570'>up</span> <span m='50670'>creeks,</span> <span m='51000'>like</span> <span m='51320'>on</span> <span m='51450'>Earth</span> <span m='51680'>Day.</span> </p><p><span m='52380'>Well,</span> <span m='52780'>I</span> <span m='52890'>actually</span> <span m='53200'>came</span> <span m='53360'>to</span> <span m='53450'>environmental</span> <span m='53900'>science,</span> <span m='54290'>not</span> <span m='54650'>from</span> <span m='54810'>a</span> <span m='54850'>science</span> <span m='55180'>background.</span> <span m='55640'>I</span> <span m='55800'>studied</span> <span m='56280'>English</span> <span m='56630'>Literature</span> <span m='57300'>and</span> <span m='57470'>Art</span> <span m='57940'>in</span> <span m='58140'>college,</span> <span m='58830'>and</span> <span m='59440'>they</span> <span m='59620'>were</span> <span m='60080'>both</span> <span m='60260'>fairly</span> <span m='61450'>useless</span> <span m='62120'>degrees</span> <span m='62810'>for</span> <span m='62940'>what</span> <span m='63090'>I</span> <span m='63170'>do</span> <span m='63360'>now.</span> <span m='63830'>But</span> <span m='63970'>I</span> <span m='64090'>realized,</span> <span m='65190'>the one</span> <span m='65500'>good</span> <span m='65680'>thing</span> <span m='66140'>that</span> <span m='66290'>I</span> <span m='66340'>got</span> <span m='66640'>out of</span> <span m='66950'>that is now</span> <span m='67100'>I</span> <span m='67180'>can</span> <span m='67360'>write.</span> <span m='67800'>And</span> <span m='67970'>it's</span> <span m='68130'>really</span> <span m='68320'>important</span> <span m='68620'>in</span> <span m='68670'>my</span> <span m='68790'>job</span> <span m='69040'>to</span> <span m='69160'>be</span> <span m='69210'>able</span> <span m='69380'>to</span> <span m='69520'>write</span> <span m='70020'>grant</span> <span m='70290'>applications,</span> <span m='70610'>so</span> <span m='70930'>I</span> <span m='70990'>can</span> <span m='71180'>get</span> <span m='71340'>money</span> <span m='71690'>to</span> <span m='71800'>do</span> <span m='71990'>all</span> <span m='72130'>of</span> <span m='72240'>the</span> <span m='72380'>important</span> <span m='72810'>conservation</span> <span m='73600'>and</span> <span m='73740'>land</span> <span m='74350'>saving</span> <span m='74990'>work</span> <span m='75290'>that</span> <span m='75430'>we</span> <span m='75560'>do.</span> </p><p><span m='76880'>But I</span> <span m='77130'>came</span> <span m='77400'>to</span> <span m='77530'>conservation</span> <span m='78240'>through</span> <span m='78720'>just</span> <span m='78940'>a</span> <span m='79000'>love</span> <span m='79470'>of</span> <span m='79590'>the</span> <span m='79690'>landscape.</span> <span m='79955'>I</span> <span m='80220'>grew up</span> <span m='80570'>in</span> <span m='80750'>Idaho,</span> <span m='80990'>and</span> <span m='81250'>my</span> <span m='81370'>dad</span> <span m='81650'>was</span> <span m='81810'>a</span> <span m='81880'>rancher.</span> <span m='82510'>And</span> <span m='82630'>so I</span> <span m='82950'>really</span> <span m='83240'>understood</span> <span m='84310'>the</span> <span m='84880'>connection</span> <span m='85390'>that</span> <span m='85530'>people</span> <span m='85830'>had</span> <span m='86280'>to</span> <span m='87370'>the</span> <span m='87520'>land</span> <span m='87950'>and</span> <span m='88060'>how</span> <span m='88460'>important</span> <span m='88910'>it</span> <span m='89020'>was</span> <span m='89130'>to</span> <span m='89250'>protect</span> <span m='89720'>that.</span> <span m='90335'>So</span> <span m='90640'>I</span> <span m='90920'>would</span> <span m='91230'>highly</span> <span m='91630'>recommend</span> <span m='92150'>studying</span> <span m='92760'>your</span> <span m='92910'>biology</span> <span m='93205'>and</span> <span m='93880'>your</span> <span m='94720'>hydrology</span> <span m='95740'>and</span> <span m='95910'>sciences</span> <span m='96400'>if</span> <span m='96510'>you</span> <span m='96640'>want</span> <span m='96810'>to</span> <span m='96870'>go</span> <span m='97050'>into</span> <span m='97310'>my</span> <span m='97470'>field.</span> <span m='97980'>But</span> <span m='98260'>you</span> <span m='98400'>can</span> <span m='98550'>get</span> <span m='98680'>around</span> <span m='99040'>it</span> <span m='99150'>if</span> <span m='99270'>you</span> <span m='99740'>don't</span> <span m='100060'>go</span> <span m='100190'>that</span> <span m='100390'>route.</span> </p><p><span m='101770'>So what</span> <span m='102150'>I</span> <span m='102380'>wish</span> <span m='102600'>I</span> <span m='102660'>knew</span> <span m='102870'>in</span> <span m='102970'>high</span> <span m='103130'>school</span> <span m='103550'>was</span> <span m='104100'>to</span> <span m='104470'>listen</span> <span m='104750'>to</span> <span m='104820'>my</span> <span m='104910'>heart</span> <span m='105310'>and</span> <span m='105430'>my</span> <span m='105540'>gut</span> <span m='106020'>and</span> <span m='106240'>really</span> <span m='107520'>dig</span> <span m='107840'>deeply</span> <span m='108270'>and</span> <span m='108400'>ask</span> <span m='108660'>yourself</span> <span m='108960'>hard</span> <span m='109100'>questions</span> <span m='109500'>about</span> <span m='109710'>what</span> <span m='110360'>skill</span> <span m='110610'>sets</span> <span m='110890'>do you</span> <span m='110990'>have</span> <span m='111210'>that</span> <span m='111400'>you're</span> <span m='111460'>good</span> <span m='111660'>at.</span> <span m='111830'>What</span> <span m='111940'>makes</span> <span m='112150'>you</span> <span m='112260'>feel</span> <span m='112500'>good</span> <span m='113060'>doing</span> <span m='113430'>every</span> <span m='113610'>day?</span> </p><p><span m='113800'>Are</span> <span m='113980'>you</span> <span m='114160'>someone</span> <span m='114580'>who has</span> <span m='114790'>to</span> <span m='114890'>do</span> <span m='115010'>something</span> <span m='115310'>creative?</span> <span m='115940'>Are you</span> <span m='116130'>somebody</span> <span m='116560'>who likes</span> <span m='116970'>to</span> <span m='117430'>crunch</span> <span m='117690'>numbers</span> <span m='118050'>and</span> <span m='118210'>really</span> <span m='118450'>dig</span> <span m='118810'>for</span> <span m='119000'>answers?</span> <span m='119305'>Are</span> <span m='119610'>you</span> <span m='119840'>somebody</span> <span m='120210'>who</span> <span m='120320'>really</span> <span m='120550'>likes</span> <span m='120820'>to</span> <span m='120930'>work</span> <span m='121110'>with</span> <span m='121290'>people?</span> <span m='122270'>So once you</span> <span m='122630'>figure</span> <span m='122870'>those</span> <span m='123090'>things</span> <span m='123280'>out,</span> <span m='123500'>you</span> <span m='123560'>can</span> <span m='123860'>start</span> <span m='124130'>to</span> <span m='124260'>look</span> <span m='124460'>at</span> <span m='124980'>career</span> <span m='125520'>options</span> <span m='126020'>and</span> <span m='126110'>different</span> <span m='126340'>types</span> <span m='126560'>of</span> <span m='126640'>jobs</span> <span m='127000'>that</span> <span m='127120'>you</span> <span m='127190'>can</span> <span m='127430'>utilize</span> <span m='128130'>those</span> <span m='128850'>really</span> <span m='129139'>important</span> <span m='129500'>skills</span> <span m='130000'>that</span> <span m='130130'>you</span> <span m='130259'>enjoy</span> <span m='130710'>doing.</span> <span m='131360'>It's</span> <span m='131680'>amazing</span> <span m='132160'>if</span> <span m='132240'>you</span> <span m='132420'>find</span> <span m='132630'>a</span> <span m='132670'>job</span> <span m='132900'>that you</span> <span m='133100'>love.</span> <span m='133510'>Everybody</span> <span m='133910'>has</span> <span m='134070'>to</span> <span m='134160'>find</span> <span m='134380'>a</span> <span m='134440'>job,</span> <span m='134810'>but if</span> <span m='134990'>you</span> <span m='135060'>can</span> <span m='135180'>find</span> <span m='135350'>a</span> <span m='135420'>job</span> <span m='135640'>that</span> <span m='135770'>you</span> <span m='135870'>love,</span> <span m='136490'>you're</span> <span m='136590'>one</span> <span m='136780'>of</span> <span m='136840'>the</span> <span m='136930'>lucky</span> <span m='137230'>ones.</span> </p>","file":{"id":305233,"video_id":"2791229209001","name":"1413-Crystal-ProgMgr1-BayAreaOpenSpace","duration":138833,"thumbnail_url":null}});