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FIELD ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGIST: Our Future Depends On Knowing How The World Operates

About this video 

David is a Field Environmental Microbiologist who helps repair and lessen the damage done to our environment by companies and industries who contaminate and pollute it. He says that it's absolutely critical to understand why we have clean water and air, and plentiful food, so that we can understand how to keep them.

Degree: English Language and Literature
Job Title: Field Environmental Microbiologist

Job Summary: Microbiologists

Job Description

Microbiologists study the growth, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi. Most microbiologists work in research and development. Many conduct basic research with the aim of increasing scientific knowledge. Others conduct applied research, using knowledge from basic research to develop new products or solve particular problems.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A Ph.D. is needed to carry out independent research and to work in colleges and universities.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$40,000 - $115,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Mathematical skills, Problem solving skills, Strength/stamina, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Detail oriented, Technical skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='570'>My</span> <span m='790'>name</span> <span m='1000'>is</span> <span m='1150'>David</span> <span m='1450'>Hill,</span> <span m='1940'>and</span> <span m='2280'>I</span> <span m='2360'>would</span> <span m='2980'>call</span> <span m='3340'>myself</span> <span m='4770'>a</span> <span m='4850'>Field</span> <span m='6000'>Environmental</span> <span m='6730'>Microbiologist.</span> <span m='9530'>I</span> <span m='10430'>certainly</span> <span m='10880'>spend</span> <span m='11180'>some</span> <span m='11390'>time</span> <span m='11640'>in</span> <span m='11700'>a</span> <span m='11760'>laboratory,</span> <span m='12470'>and</span> <span m='13200'>probably</span> <span m='13580'>should</span> <span m='13840'>spend</span> <span m='14200'>more.</span> <span m='14460'>But</span> <span m='14650'>most</span> <span m='14970'>of</span> <span m='15040'>the</span> <span m='15120'>time</span> <span m='15540'>I'm</span> <span m='15750'>actually</span> <span m='16190'>out</span> <span m='16550'>in</span> <span m='16730'>the</span> <span m='16820'>field</span> <span m='17740'>trying</span> <span m='18190'>to</span> <span m='18250'>solve</span> <span m='18610'>problems</span> <span m='19382'>that</span> <span m='19770'>are</span> <span m='20090'>caused</span> <span m='21590'>either</span> <span m='21920'>by</span> <span m='22630'>a</span> <span m='22730'>lack</span> <span m='23170'>of</span> <span m='24310'>microbes,</span> <span m='25685'>or</span> <span m='26150'>by</span> <span m='26410'>the</span> <span m='26530'>wrong</span> <span m='26900'>microbes,</span> <span m='27770'>or</span> <span m='28250'>by</span> <span m='28410'>too</span> <span m='28630'>many</span> <span m='28840'>microbes.</span> <span m='30770'>And</span> <span m='31240'>typically,</span> <span m='32670'>these</span> <span m='33110'>are</span> <span m='33320'>not</span> <span m='34080'>microbes</span> <span m='34430'>that</span> <span m='34780'>are</span> <span m='35070'>pathogenic</span> <span m='35680'>to</span> <span m='35780'>people,</span> <span m='36160'>although</span> <span m='36400'>sometimes</span> <span m='37170'>they</span> <span m='37390'>are.</span> </p><p><span m='38280'>So</span> <span m='38820'>we</span> <span m='39110'>do</span> <span m='40610'>things</span> <span m='41270'>that</span> <span m='41420'>include</span> <span m='42200'>making</span> <span m='42990'>materials</span> <span m='43690'>decompose</span> <span m='44310'>faster,</span> <span m='45960'>making</span> <span m='46390'>materials</span> <span m='47170'>decompose</span> <span m='48470'>more</span> <span m='48740'>thoroughly.</span> <span m='50470'>That</span> <span m='50710'>includes</span> <span m='52060'>what</span> <span m='52370'>are</span> <span m='52450'>typically</span> <span m='52920'>called</span> <span m='53440'>bioremediation</span> <span m='54410'>projects</span> <span m='55280'>where</span> <span m='55550'>we</span> <span m='56090'>are</span> <span m='56810'>using</span> <span m='57250'>microbes</span> <span m='57890'>to</span> <span m='58010'>clean</span> <span m='58430'>up</span> <span m='58620'>things</span> <span m='59060'>that</span> <span m='59210'>people</span> <span m='59530'>want</span> <span m='59740'>to</span> <span m='59830'>get</span> <span m='60090'>out</span> <span m='60290'>of</span> <span m='60340'>the</span> <span m='60430'>soil</span> <span m='60920'>and</span> <span m='60980'>out of</span> <span m='61190'>the</span> <span m='61280'>water,</span> <span m='61770'>such</span> <span m='62060'>as</span> <span m='62150'>hydrocarbons</span> <span m='62545'>and</span> <span m='62940'>petroleum</span> <span m='63440'>hydrocarbons,</span> <span m='64750'>other</span> <span m='65310'>types</span> <span m='65630'>of</span> <span m='65700'>compounds.</span> <span m='67640'>And</span> <span m='67940'>we</span> <span m='68070'>do</span> <span m='68300'>things</span> <span m='68600'>as</span> <span m='68900'>simple</span> <span m='69410'>as</span> <span m='69610'>try</span> <span m='69850'>to</span> <span m='69940'>help</span> <span m='70190'>composters</span> <span m='71200'>decompose</span> <span m='71820'>material</span> <span m='72380'>without</span> <span m='72750'>odor.</span> </p><p><span m='75780'>Our</span> <span m='75990'>customers</span> <span m='76650'>would</span> <span m='76800'>include</span> <span m='77880'>bioremediation</span> <span m='78950'>companies,</span> <span m='79560'>landfills,</span> <span m='80470'>compost</span> <span m='81050'>plants,</span> <span m='81390'>wastewater</span> <span m='81950'>treatment</span> <span m='82360'>plants,</span> <span m='83150'>food</span> <span m='83570'>processing</span> <span m='84250'>plants.</span> <span m='85710'>They've</span> <span m='86130'>included</span> <span m='86740'>people</span> <span m='87160'>who</span> <span m='87580'>were</span> <span m='87800'>car</span> <span m='88140'>manufacturers,</span> <span m='89380'>anybody</span> <span m='89930'>who</span> <span m='90080'>might</span> <span m='90400'>potentially</span> <span m='91010'>cause</span> <span m='93290'>a</span> <span m='93760'>contamination</span> <span m='94770'>of</span> <span m='94910'>land</span> <span m='95180'>or</span> <span m='95280'>water</span> <span m='95610'>that</span> <span m='95940'>has</span> <span m='96170'>to</span> <span m='96270'>be</span> <span m='96400'>cleaned</span> <span m='96710'>up.</span> </p><p><span m='97930'>Actually,</span> <span m='99100'>my</span> <span m='99290'>formal</span> <span m='99720'>study</span> <span m='100390'>was</span> <span m='100780'>in</span> <span m='101770'>English</span> <span m='102200'>literature,</span> <span m='103340'>and</span> <span m='104930'>primarily</span> <span m='105570'>in</span> <span m='105690'>Shakespeare.</span> <span m='106180'>I</span> <span m='106670'>was</span> <span m='106850'>studying</span> <span m='107250'>to</span> <span m='107320'>be</span> <span m='107460'>a</span> <span m='107510'>Shakespearean</span> <span m='108180'>scholar</span> <span m='108485'>and critic.</span> <span m='109970'>And</span> <span m='111050'>one</span> <span m='111340'>of</span> <span m='111480'>my</span> <span m='112140'>counselors</span> <span m='112970'>said</span> <span m='113350'>that</span> <span m='113510'>there</span> <span m='113680'>was</span> <span m='114050'>room</span> <span m='114430'>in</span> <span m='114500'>the</span> <span m='114580'>world</span> <span m='114920'>for</span> <span m='115040'>three</span> <span m='115640'>really</span> <span m='116080'>good,</span> <span m='117600'>and</span> <span m='117810'>I</span> <span m='117900'>was</span> <span m='118130'>fourth</span> <span m='118430'>or</span> <span m='118490'>fifth,</span> <span m='119000'>so</span> <span m='119210'>I</span> <span m='119270'>might</span> <span m='119560'>want</span> <span m='119710'>to</span> <span m='119770'>take</span> <span m='120020'>up</span> <span m='120160'>another</span> <span m='120460'>field.</span> </p><p><span m='122260'>So</span> <span m='123000'>I</span> <span m='123160'>went</span> <span m='123380'>into</span> <span m='123570'>business</span> <span m='124240'>and</span> <span m='124970'>invested,</span> <span m='125680'>actually,</span> <span m='126080'>in a</span> <span m='126480'>compost</span> <span m='127030'>facility</span> <span m='128139'>that</span> <span m='128560'>cost</span> <span m='128990'>several</span> <span m='129360'>million</span> <span m='129730'>dollars</span> <span m='130100'>and</span> <span m='130300'>had</span> <span m='130520'>a</span> <span m='130590'>lot</span> <span m='130780'>of</span> <span m='130870'>investors</span> <span m='131225'>in it.</span> <span m='132576'>And</span> <span m='134570'>when</span> <span m='134820'>we</span> <span m='134970'>turned</span> <span m='135220'>it</span> <span m='135310'>on,</span> <span m='135900'>so</span> <span m='136130'>to</span> <span m='136200'>speak,</span> <span m='136530'>or</span> <span m='136670'>when</span> <span m='136780'>we</span> <span m='136910'>started,</span> <span m='137400'>it</span> <span m='137620'>didn't</span> <span m='137850'>work.</span> <span m='138940'>So</span> <span m='139630'>basically</span> <span m='140440'>to</span> <span m='140720'>save</span> <span m='141050'>myself</span> <span m='141500'>and</span> <span m='141620'>my</span> <span m='141780'>investors,</span> <span m='144570'>I</span> <span m='144740'>very</span> <span m='145030'>quickly</span> <span m='145620'>started</span> <span m='146010'>learning</span> <span m='146250'>a</span> <span m='146300'>lot</span> <span m='146480'>of</span> <span m='146530'>science</span> <span m='147060'>that</span> <span m='147200'>I</span> <span m='147280'>hadn't</span> <span m='147580'>done</span> <span m='147750'>before.</span> <span m='148350'>I</span> <span m='148710'>actually</span> <span m='149130'>monitored</span> <span m='149455'>a</span> <span m='149780'>lot</span> <span m='149960'>of</span> <span m='150020'>classes</span> <span m='151260'>at</span> <span m='152000'>three</span> <span m='152220'>different</span> <span m='152490'>universities,</span> <span m='153980'>used</span> <span m='154610'>a</span> <span m='154670'>lot</span> <span m='154860'>of</span> <span m='154930'>people</span> <span m='155390'>who</span> <span m='155610'>were</span> <span m='155900'>willing</span> <span m='156200'>to</span> <span m='156280'>help</span> <span m='156490'>me</span> <span m='156680'>on</span> <span m='156800'>faculties.</span> <span m='158370'>And</span> <span m='158710'>probably</span> <span m='159340'>in</span> <span m='159450'>the</span> <span m='159530'>space</span> <span m='159990'>of</span> <span m='160080'>about</span> <span m='160490'>two</span> <span m='160650'>years,</span> <span m='163540'>learned</span> <span m='164020'>as</span> <span m='164170'>much</span> <span m='164650'>at</span> <span m='165095'>an</span> <span m='165540'>older</span> <span m='165970'>age</span> <span m='166590'>as</span> <span m='166790'>I</span> <span m='166850'>would</span> <span m='167070'>have</span> <span m='167160'>in</span> <span m='167330'>seven</span> <span m='167690'>or</span> <span m='167820'>eight</span> <span m='168110'>at a younger</span> <span m='168530'>age</span> <span m='168950'>because</span> <span m='169370'>I</span> <span m='169790'>had</span> <span m='170210'>to.</span> <span m='170630'>I</span> <span m='170960'>had</span> <span m='171130'>no</span> <span m='171290'>options.</span> </p><p><span m='172680'>And</span> <span m='173300'>we</span> <span m='173590'>were</span> <span m='173730'>fortunate</span> <span m='174300'>because</span> <span m='174690'>we</span> <span m='174870'>had</span> <span m='175760'>a</span> <span m='175840'>facility</span> <span m='177040'>to</span> <span m='177570'>field</span> <span m='177870'>test</span> <span m='178190'>everything.</span> <span m='179150'>We</span> <span m='179290'>weren't</span> <span m='179620'>doing</span> <span m='179920'>things</span> <span m='180260'>in</span> <span m='180330'>a</span> <span m='180400'>laboratory</span> <span m='181050'>level,</span> <span m='181330'>we</span> <span m='181430'>were</span> <span m='181520'>doing</span> <span m='181770'>things</span> <span m='182010'>on</span> <span m='182090'>the</span> <span m='182160'>level</span> <span m='182470'>of</span> <span m='182590'>60,000</span> <span m='183300'>tons,</span> <span m='184370'>and</span> <span m='184610'>200-300</span> <span m='185340'>tons</span> <span m='185620'>a</span> <span m='185670'>day.</span> <span m='188920'>After</span> <span m='189290'>that</span> <span m='190170'>we</span> <span m='190280'>sold</span> <span m='190530'>that</span> <span m='190720'>facility</span> <span m='191210'>successfully,</span> <span m='192660'>started</span> <span m='193020'>another</span> <span m='193400'>company,</span> <span m='194780'>and</span> <span m='195440'>began</span> <span m='195750'>to</span> <span m='195830'>incorporate</span> <span m='196480'>lab</span> <span m='196800'>work</span> <span m='197130'>on</span> <span m='197240'>other</span> <span m='197390'>people.</span> <span m='197940'>And</span> <span m='198910'>now</span> <span m='199190'>we</span> <span m='199650'>develop</span> <span m='200010'>products</span> <span m='200470'>to</span> <span m='200590'>solve</span> <span m='201000'>the</span> <span m='202120'>problems</span> <span m='202620'>that</span> <span m='202710'>we</span> <span m='202870'>had</span> <span m='203110'>in</span> <span m='203200'>that</span> <span m='203390'>situation.</span> </p><p><span m='205080'>What</span> <span m='205350'>I</span> <span m='205620'>wish</span> <span m='205710'>I</span> <span m='206060'>had</span> <span m='206290'>known</span> <span m='206490'>when</span> <span m='206690'>I</span> <span m='206780'>was</span> <span m='206980'>in</span> <span m='207100'>school</span> <span m='208360'>was</span> <span m='208620'>that,</span> <span m='208820'>while</span> <span m='209370'>it</span> <span m='209550'>was</span> <span m='209770'>naturally</span> <span m='210860'>easier</span> <span m='211400'>for</span> <span m='211580'>me</span> <span m='212050'>to</span> <span m='212190'>do</span> <span m='212390'>literature</span> <span m='212920'>and</span> <span m='213040'>composition,</span> <span m='214720'>in</span> <span m='214910'>the</span> <span m='215000'>long</span> <span m='215430'>run</span> <span m='216280'>being</span> <span m='216750'>aware</span> <span m='217830'>of</span> <span m='217940'>what</span> <span m='218180'>makes</span> <span m='218570'>the</span> <span m='218660'>world</span> <span m='219090'>around</span> <span m='219440'>you</span> <span m='219600'>operate</span> <span m='220560'>and</span> <span m='220710'>what</span> <span m='220950'>keeps</span> <span m='221290'>it</span> <span m='221400'>operating</span> <span m='222000'>in</span> <span m='222080'>a</span> <span m='222170'>way</span> <span m='222520'>that</span> <span m='222720'>is</span> <span m='223370'>good</span> <span m='223650'>and</span> <span m='223930'>sustains</span> <span m='224500'>our</span> <span m='224630'>lifestyle</span> <span m='226350'>is</span> <span m='226510'>extremely</span> <span m='227300'>important.</span> <span m='228010'>We</span> <span m='228570'>take</span> <span m='228910'>for</span> <span m='229090'>granted</span> <span m='229730'>that</span> <span m='229900'>things</span> <span m='230260'>are</span> <span m='230340'>just</span> <span m='230580'>going</span> <span m='230850'>to</span> <span m='230910'>be</span> <span m='231200'>there,</span> <span m='231650'>and</span> <span m='231830'>that</span> <span m='232070'>is</span> <span m='232320'>not</span> <span m='232690'>the</span> <span m='232810'>case.</span> <span m='233670'>We</span> <span m='234320'>owe</span> <span m='234560'>it</span> <span m='234690'>to</span> <span m='234850'>ourselves</span> <span m='235630'>and</span> <span m='235760'>our</span> <span m='235880'>children</span> <span m='236430'>to</span> <span m='236570'>be</span> <span m='236790'>aware</span> <span m='238110'>of</span> <span m='238460'>why</span> <span m='238980'>we</span> <span m='239170'>have</span> <span m='239450'>clean</span> <span m='239720'>water,</span> <span m='240320'>why</span> <span m='240600'>we</span> <span m='240780'>have</span> <span m='241060'>enough</span> <span m='241340'>food,</span> <span m='242050'>why</span> <span m='242360'>we</span> <span m='242560'>have</span> <span m='242860'>good</span> <span m='243030'>air,</span> <span m='243870'>and</span> <span m='244030'>what</span> <span m='244270'>we</span> <span m='244450'>have</span> <span m='244710'>to do to</span> <span m='245050'>keep</span> <span m='245330'>it.</span> <span m='246170'>And</span> <span m='246680'>no</span> <span m='246840'>matter</span> <span m='247390'>what</span> <span m='247710'>you</span> <span m='247850'>study,</span> <span m='249440'>if</span> <span m='249590'>you</span> <span m='249790'>ignore</span> <span m='250590'>those</span> <span m='250890'>things,</span> <span m='251540'>eventually</span> <span m='252200'>they're</span> <span m='252380'>going</span> <span m='252660'>to</span> <span m='252740'>pop</span> <span m='253060'>up</span> <span m='253200'>in</span> <span m='253310'>your</span> <span m='253460'>life</span> <span m='254600'>in</span> <span m='254760'>ways</span> <span m='255150'>that you</span> <span m='255300'>won't</span> <span m='255700'>like.</span> <span m='257600'>So</span> <span m='257860'>what</span> <span m='258250'>I</span> <span m='258380'>would</span> <span m='258660'>do</span> <span m='258920'>differently</span> <span m='260320'>is</span> <span m='260560'>devote</span> <span m='261630'>more</span> <span m='262070'>effort</span> <span m='262930'>to</span> <span m='263120'>the</span> <span m='263220'>sciences,</span> <span m='264320'>and</span> <span m='264640'>not</span> <span m='264920'>study</span> <span m='265460'>what</span> <span m='265690'>was</span> <span m='265870'>the</span> <span m='266080'>easiest</span> <span m='266790'>for</span> <span m='266990'>me</span> <span m='267240'>to</span> <span m='267350'>get</span> <span m='267600'>through</span> <span m='268130'>with</span> <span m='268360'>the</span> <span m='268420'>least</span> <span m='268710'>amount</span> <span m='268950'>of</span> <span m='269020'>time.</span> </p>","file":{"id":345503,"video_id":"3122903197001","name":"1847-David-FieldEnvMicrobiologist1","duration":270258,"thumbnail_url":null}});