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SOIL SCIENTIST: Happily Digging In The Dirt & Showing The Community What He Found

About this video 

Soil Scientist Craig loves the variety and excitement of his job: from researching and writing, to teaching the community and digging his hands into the soil. You can start this career with a bachelor's degree, but if this work excites you, advancing in your studies will open up more opportunities.

Degree: Chemistry - Soil Sciences
Job Title: Soil Scientist
Employer: University of California, Davis

Job Summary: Soil and Plant Scientists

Job Description

Soil and Plant Scientists conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

On-the-Job Training

Minimal

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$35,000 - $95,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 14 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Outdoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Likes working with hands, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Mathematical skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='1365'>OK,</span> <span m='1820'>my</span> <span m='1950'>name</span> <span m='2190'>is</span> <span m='2360'>Craig</span> <span m='2690'>and</span> <span m='3115'>I'm a soil</span> <span m='3540'>scientist.</span> <span m='5240'>And</span> <span m='5620'>in</span> <span m='5900'>my</span> <span m='6180'>job</span> <span m='6870'>I</span> <span m='7030'>get</span> <span m='7260'>to do</span> <span m='7890'>research</span> <span m='8700'>on</span> <span m='9175'>soils</span> <span m='9650'>and agriculture,</span> <span m='11075'>work with</span> <span m='11550'>organic</span> <span m='12025'>farming</span> <span m='12500'>systems.</span> <span m='13510'>A</span> <span m='13600'>lot</span> <span m='13940'>of the</span> <span m='14040'>work</span> <span m='14280'>that I</span> <span m='14730'>do</span> <span m='14850'>is</span> <span m='15100'>involved</span> <span m='15580'>with</span> <span m='15820'>recycling</span> <span m='16760'>organic</span> <span m='17380'>wastes</span> <span m='17850'>onto</span> <span m='18070'>land.</span> <span m='18720'>And</span> <span m='19230'>organic</span> <span m='19730'>wastes</span> <span m='20195'>is</span> <span m='20660'>all</span> <span m='20840'>the</span> <span m='20940'>stuff</span> <span m='21260'>you</span> <span m='21360'>might</span> <span m='21580'>imagine.</span> <span m='22270'>Animal</span> <span m='22762'>manures,</span> <span m='23254'>composts,</span> <span m='24730'>also</span> <span m='25222'>biosolids,</span> <span m='26206'>which</span> <span m='26698'>is</span> <span m='27190'>stuff</span> <span m='27465'>we</span> <span m='27740'>flush</span> <span m='28190'>down</span> <span m='28400'>our</span> <span m='28530'>toilets.</span> <span m='29100'>It</span> <span m='29210'>goes</span> <span m='29460'>to</span> <span m='29580'>the</span> <span m='29670'>wastewater</span> <span m='30280'>treatment</span> <span m='30700'>plant</span> <span m='31500'>and when</span> <span m='31720'>the</span> <span m='31810'>treatment</span> <span m='32290'>is</span> <span m='32660'>done,</span> <span m='33400'>we</span> <span m='33450'>have</span> <span m='33680'>a</span> <span m='33740'>nutrient</span> <span m='34290'>rich</span> <span m='34590'>material.</span> </p><p><span m='35595'>But</span> <span m='35930'>all</span> <span m='36260'>of</span> <span m='36300'>these</span> <span m='36530'>materials</span> <span m='37190'>also have</span> <span m='37570'>some</span> <span m='37960'>risks,</span> <span m='38393'>so we</span> <span m='38826'>have to learn</span> <span m='39259'>what's the</span> <span m='39692'>best way</span> <span m='40125'>to apply</span> <span m='40560'>them to</span> <span m='41060'>land.</span> <span m='42020'>And</span> <span m='42190'>we</span> <span m='42340'>do</span> <span m='42470'>field</span> <span m='42900'>research</span> <span m='43480'>on that,</span> <span m='43680'>so I</span> <span m='44090'>get</span> <span m='44260'>to</span> <span m='44340'>go</span> <span m='44560'>out</span> <span m='44710'>in the</span> <span m='44820'>field,</span> <span m='45120'>I get</span> <span m='45290'>to</span> <span m='45690'>get</span> <span m='46000'>dirty,</span> <span m='46800'>but</span> <span m='47040'>I</span> <span m='47140'>also</span> <span m='47500'>spend</span> <span m='47850'>a</span> <span m='47900'>lot</span> <span m='48140'>of</span> <span m='48220'>time</span> <span m='48550'>in</span> <span m='48630'>the</span> <span m='48800'>office</span> <span m='49450'>where</span> <span m='49810'>I'm</span> <span m='50250'>doing</span> <span m='51030'>math.</span> <span m='51750'>I'm</span> <span m='52180'>figuring</span> <span m='52640'>out</span> <span m='52820'>what the</span> <span m='53130'>results</span> <span m='53720'>say</span> <span m='54500'>and then</span> <span m='54720'>writing</span> <span m='55140'>up</span> <span m='55270'>the</span> <span m='55410'>results.</span> <span m='56140'>And</span> <span m='56230'>then</span> <span m='56350'>I</span> <span m='56400'>get to</span> <span m='56740'>go out</span> <span m='57120'>and speak</span> <span m='57601'>to the public</span> <span m='58082'>about</span> <span m='58563'>what</span> <span m='59044'>we've learned.</span> <span m='60006'>I</span> <span m='60487'>talk to</span> <span m='60968'>groups</span> <span m='61449'>of</span> <span m='61930'>composters,</span> <span m='62892'>of</span> <span m='63373'>farmers,</span> <span m='64335'>of</span> <span m='64816'>environmentalists,</span> <span m='65778'>of</span> <span m='66260'>regulators,</span> <span m='67440'>so</span> <span m='68170'>every day</span> <span m='68640'>of</span> <span m='68730'>the</span> <span m='68820'>week</span> <span m='69030'>my</span> <span m='69528'>job is a little</span> <span m='70026'>bit different</span> <span m='70524'>and I</span> <span m='71022'>find it</span> <span m='71520'>really</span> <span m='71860'>exciting</span> <span m='72370'>that</span> <span m='72620'>way.</span> </p><p><span m='75420'>As</span> <span m='75580'>far</span> <span m='75830'>as</span> <span m='75970'>how</span> <span m='76170'>I</span> <span m='76260'>got</span> <span m='76620'>to</span> <span m='76720'>where</span> <span m='76980'>I'm going,</span> <span m='77830'>for</span> <span m='78298'>me it was</span> <span m='78766'>very</span> <span m='79234'>serendipitous.</span> <span m='80638'>From the time</span> <span m='81106'>I was</span> <span m='81574'>a kid</span> <span m='82042'>I knew</span> <span m='82510'>I</span> <span m='82530'>was</span> <span m='82670'>interested</span> <span m='83180'>in</span> <span m='83400'>science</span> <span m='84470'>and</span> <span m='84670'>I</span> <span m='84730'>was</span> <span m='84920'>also</span> <span m='85260'>very</span> <span m='85670'>interested</span> <span m='85970'>in nature.</span> <span m='86456'>One of</span> <span m='86942'>favorite</span> <span m='87430'>things</span> <span m='87770'>is</span> <span m='88110'>going</span> <span m='88470'>out in</span> <span m='88820'>the woods,</span> <span m='89280'>going</span> <span m='89570'>down to</span> <span m='90040'>the</span> <span m='90780'>ponds</span> <span m='91140'>nearby</span> <span m='91800'>and</span> <span m='91920'>watching the</span> <span m='92340'>water</span> <span m='92780'>snakes</span> <span m='93070'>and</span> <span m='93360'>the insects</span> <span m='93795'>and</span> <span m='94230'>stuff.</span> </p><p><span m='94665'>But</span> <span m='95100'>when</span> <span m='95400'>I</span> <span m='95740'>went</span> <span m='95980'>to</span> <span m='96120'>college,</span> <span m='97050'>I wound up</span> <span m='97531'>majoring</span> <span m='98012'>in Chemistry.</span> <span m='99455'>I got</span> <span m='100898'>through</span> <span m='101379'>a chemistry</span> <span m='101860'>degree</span> <span m='102341'>in college</span> <span m='102822'>and decided</span> <span m='103303'>I wanted</span> <span m='103784'>more education,</span> <span m='104746'>went to</span> <span m='105227'>graduate</span> <span m='105708'>school,</span> <span m='106670'>and found</span> <span m='107151'>that the</span> <span m='107650'>research</span> <span m='108190'>career in</span> <span m='108690'>chemistry</span> <span m='109180'>was not</span> <span m='109670'>for me.</span> <span m='110160'>I</span> <span m='110650'>started</span> <span m='111140'>talking</span> <span m='111630'>to folks</span> <span m='112120'>who had</span> <span m='113100'>careers</span> <span m='113590'>that</span> <span m='114080'>were more</span> <span m='114570'>involved</span> <span m='115060'>with nature.</span> <span m='116040'>I met a</span> <span m='116530'>soil</span> <span m='117020'>scientist,</span> <span m='118000'>I got</span> <span m='118490'>excited,</span> <span m='119470'>I</span> <span m='119960'>continued</span> <span m='120450'>my education,</span> <span m='120940'>and</span> <span m='121430'>I never</span> <span m='121920'>looked back</span> <span m='122410'>from</span> <span m='122900'>that</span> <span m='123390'>point.</span> </p><p><span m='127070'>I</span> <span m='127430'>guess</span> <span m='127830'>maybe</span> <span m='128410'>talk</span> <span m='128639'>a</span> <span m='128680'>little</span> <span m='128840'>bit</span> <span m='129009'>about</span> <span m='129320'>my</span> <span m='129850'>job</span> <span m='130190'>now.</span> <span m='130350'>And</span> <span m='130511'>what</span> <span m='130672'>motivated</span> <span m='131154'>me to get</span> <span m='131636'>my</span> <span m='132118'>current</span> <span m='132600'>job</span> <span m='133564'>is</span> <span m='135010'>when I finished</span> <span m='135492'>up my</span> <span m='136550'>work--</span> <span m='136960'>and I</span> <span m='137150'>went all the</span> <span m='137530'>way to</span> <span m='137710'>a</span> <span m='137780'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='138165'>You</span> <span m='138550'>don't have to</span> <span m='138820'>do that.</span> <span m='139736'>But that's what</span> <span m='140194'>I did.</span> <span m='140652'>And</span> <span m='140804'>that</span> <span m='140957'>opened</span> <span m='141110'>me up</span> <span m='141568'>to college</span> <span m='142026'>facility</span> <span m='142484'>positions.</span> <span m='143860'>So</span> <span m='144010'>I'm</span> <span m='144150'>kind</span> <span m='144440'>of</span> <span m='144500'>like a</span> <span m='144785'>professor,</span> <span m='145605'>except</span> <span m='145920'>I</span> <span m='146160'>don't</span> <span m='146410'>teach</span> <span m='146680'>in</span> <span m='146760'>the</span> <span m='146850'>classroom.</span> <span m='147910'>I</span> <span m='148060'>teach</span> <span m='148440'>in the</span> <span m='148540'>community--</span> <span m='149039'>you know,</span> <span m='149538'>farmers</span> <span m='150536'>and other</span> <span m='151035'>various</span> <span m='151534'>groups.</span> </p><p><span m='152532'>And</span> <span m='153031'>there was a</span> <span m='153530'>job</span> <span m='154029'>opening</span> <span m='154530'>that</span> <span m='154680'>was</span> <span m='154990'>3,000</span> <span m='155750'>miles</span> <span m='156120'>away</span> <span m='156400'>from</span> <span m='156610'>my</span> <span m='156780'>home</span> <span m='157120'>that</span> <span m='157512'>looked</span> <span m='157904'>exciting.</span> <span m='158690'>I</span> <span m='159170'>was</span> <span m='159620'>born on</span> <span m='159710'>the</span> <span m='159790'>east</span> <span m='160100'>coast.</span> <span m='160620'>I</span> <span m='160740'>wound</span> <span m='161120'>up on the</span> <span m='161520'>west coast</span> <span m='162480'>and</span> <span m='163440'>I think</span> <span m='164400'>it was a</span> <span m='164880'>great</span> <span m='165360'>move,</span> <span m='165840'>great</span> <span m='166320'>job</span> <span m='166800'>opportunity</span> <span m='167280'>for me.</span> <span m='168720'>What</span> <span m='168820'>else</span> <span m='169360'>is</span> <span m='169540'>something</span> <span m='169950'>you're</span> <span m='170070'>interested</span> <span m='170700'>in,</span> <span m='171370'>you</span> <span m='171530'>definitely</span> <span m='172140'>want</span> <span m='172430'>to</span> <span m='172510'>be</span> <span m='172940'>studying</span> <span m='173500'>science.</span> <span m='174630'>You</span> <span m='174740'>don't</span> <span m='174960'>need</span> <span m='175110'>a</span> <span m='175160'>lot of math,</span> <span m='175530'>but you</span> <span m='176026'>need enough</span> <span m='176522'>math</span> <span m='177018'>to get</span> <span m='177514'>by.</span> <span m='178506'>And what</span> <span m='179002'>I've found</span> <span m='179498'>in a lot of</span> <span m='179994'>these jobs</span> <span m='180490'>is you have to</span> <span m='180986'>be able</span> <span m='181482'>to write.</span> <span m='181978'>You have to be able</span> <span m='182474'>to write up</span> <span m='182970'>results,</span> <span m='183480'>so</span> <span m='183700'>don't</span> <span m='183960'>neglect</span> <span m='184440'>those</span> <span m='184710'>English</span> <span m='185120'>classes</span> <span m='185810'>either.</span> </p><p><span m='186768'>You really</span> <span m='187247'>need to be</span> <span m='187726'>fairly well</span> <span m='188205'>balanced.</span> <span m='189642'>At a</span> <span m='190121'>minimum,</span> <span m='190600'>you'll need</span> <span m='191079'>to get</span> <span m='191558'>a bachelors</span> <span m='192516'>degree.</span> <span m='193480'>As</span> <span m='193690'>you</span> <span m='193800'>get</span> <span m='194060'>more</span> <span m='194450'>degrees,</span> <span m='194755'>the</span> <span m='195060'>opportunities</span> <span m='195560'>open</span> <span m='196060'>up.</span> <span m='196560'>A lot of people</span> <span m='197060'>don't want to</span> <span m='197560'>spend that much</span> <span m='198060'>that much</span> <span m='198560'>time</span> <span m='199060'>in school.</span> <span m='200060'>But if you</span> <span m='200560'>get excited</span> <span m='201060'>in a</span> <span m='201560'>bachelors</span> <span m='202060'>degree,</span> <span m='203060'>move</span> <span m='203560'>on.</span> <span m='204560'>You</span> <span m='204680'>don't</span> <span m='204850'>even</span> <span m='205060'>have to</span> <span m='205440'>major</span> <span m='205640'>in soils.</span> <span m='206220'>You can major</span> <span m='206708'>in</span> <span m='207196'>another</span> <span m='208172'>science</span> <span m='209148'>at a</span> <span m='209636'>bachelors</span> <span m='210124'>degree level</span> <span m='211100'>and if you</span> <span m='211588'>have the idea</span> <span m='212076'>you want to</span> <span m='212564'>move</span> <span m='213052'>in,</span> <span m='213540'>then</span> <span m='213770'>go</span> <span m='214020'>into</span> <span m='214250'>soils</span> <span m='214790'>at that</span> <span m='215190'>point</span> <span m='215615'>and there's</span> <span m='216040'>going to be</span> <span m='216465'>I think a</span> <span m='216890'>growing</span> <span m='217260'>number</span> <span m='217630'>of</span> <span m='217925'>career</span> <span m='218220'>opportunities</span> <span m='219120'>for</span> <span m='219420'>you.</span> </p>","file":{"id":227241,"video_id":"2701297295001","name":"65583655","duration":220480,"thumbnail_url":null}});