What does this career entail?
As an environmental statistician, you would generally be working in a team of quantitative specialists from different scientific disciplines. The special expertise you bring to the team is in acceptance, understanding and assessment of variability in a system. You will use a wide spectrum of statistical techniques, and you will frequently find that standard methods are not directly applicable to your current data. One of your most important roles is to present results of a study with a clear and defensible indication of the level of confidence attributable to the outcome.
You are likely to be supporting a scientific research programme in a research organisation or university department. This may involve contributing to a single research project over several months or years or supporting a range of projects. In the latter case, much of your work may involve short-term consultancy, giving advice to scientists on the design, analysis, interpretation or presentation of studies. Other work may be more long-term and lead to joint publication of research findings in the form of academic papers or technical reports.
Environmental problems may require the development of innovative statistical methodology which is suitable for publication in statistics journals, and may also lead to publications in the appropriate environmental journals. There will be opportunities for attending national and international conferences to present your work and to learn from the work of fellow statisticians.
As you grow in experience, you are likely to play a greater role in setting objectives and designing projects. You will contribute to research grant proposals and may help coordinate multidisciplinary projects. Your expertise in a particular area of methodology can bring you into contact with many different fields of application, and open up new opportunities in your career.