The Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources department has the largest collection of forestry and natural resources experts in Indiana. We conduct leading research on all issues facing the natural world. In Indiana, you will find us working between the agricultural fields where our valued forests, wildlife, and aquatic ecosystems can be found.

Our primary mission is to educate the next generation of natural resources managers. Research conducted in our department helps ensure that natural resources regulations and policy are informed by the best available science. And our Extension programming helps provide the public with the latest information about Indiana’s amazing natural resources.

The work done by our faculty, staff, students, alumni and industry partners supports:

  • The emerging field of digital natural resources where remote sensing, big data, and artificial intelligence are all coming together to create major advancements in the way natural resources are monitored and managed
  • The state’s $10 billion dollar per year hardwood products sector
  • Research on the Great Lakes ecosystem that contributes $5 trillion to the regional economy
  • The thousands of Hoosiers who participate in sustainable hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching by producing the latest wildlife management research and techniques

Purdue FNR Career Profiles

Aquatic Sciences
Aquatic research scientists in river with nets.

Aquatic Ecosystems Manager protect and
manage streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands.

Aquatic Ecosystem Managers protect and manage aquatic ecosystems such as streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands to protect fish and wildlife, as well as water quality, by monitoring and managing pollution, diseases, invasive organisms, erosion, and other factors that threaten aquatic ecosystems.

Scientists looking at tadpoles in swimming in glass container, checking the healthy ecosystem.
Environmental Technician monitor air, water
and soil samples to help protect the environment.

Environmental Technicians conduct tests and field investigations to obtain air, water and soil samples, and other data used to help clean up, monitor, control or prevent pollution.

Fisheries Biologist: protect and manage fish populations in a sustainable manner.
Fisheries Biologists protect and manage
fish populations in a sustainable manner.

Fisheries Biologists protect and manage wild fish populations in lakes, rivers, and streams to provide sustainable fishing. They also raise young fish in hatcheries for release into lakes and streams, and protect fish from diseases, invasive organisms, and other threats.

Outdoor Recreation Manager: design and manage outdoor activities for people.
Outdoor Recreation Manager design
and manage outdoor activities for people.

Outdoor Recreation Managers develop and implement programs that engage visitors and community partners in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, bike riding, boating, canoeing, and kayaking to explore and discover forests and other natural areas.

Forester measuring tree circumference.
Forester protect and manage forests sustainably.

Foresters survey and assess the health and growth of woodlands and develop conservation, management and rehabilitation strategies, while protecting forest ecosystems and the benefits produced by forests, and addressing problems such as soil erosion, invasive species, and pests that threaten forest health.

Forest Fire Fighter / Manager protect
forests and people from damaging wildfires or use
controlled fire to improve forest health.

Forest Fire Fighters prevent and suppress wildfires in forests to protect people, houses, wildlife, and the environment. Forest Fire Managers use low-intensity prescribed fires to improve forest health, reduce wildfire danger, improve wildlife habitat, reduced invasive plants and insects, and improve ecosystem health.

Forest Researcher measuring in a lab.
Forest Researcher seek to better
understand how forest ecosystems work.

Forest researchers are scientists that seek new understanding about how forest ecosystems work and to develop better approaches for managing forests. They design experiments, and collect and analyze data, to answer important questions about sustaining forests.

Forest products manufacturer drilling into wood.
Forest Products Manufacturer produce
useful wood products such as furniture and cabinets.

Forest Products Manufacturers design and manage facilities that use logs, lumber, and veneer to produce a wide variety of wood products such as furniture, cabinets, flooring, paper, and building materials.

Natural resources educator teaching a group of students.
Natural Resources Educator help
people understand and enjoy nature.

Also known as an interpretative naturalists or extension specialists, natural resources educators design, plan, and deliver educational programs to the public about plants, animals, and natural areas.

A tree care specialist inspecting a tree.
Tree Care Specialist protect and manage
the health of individual trees.

Tree Care Specialists or Professional Arborists manage individual trees in urban and suburban communities by performing hazard inspections, tree pruning and planting, removing dead or dying trees, and working with individual landowners to promote safe and healthy trees.

Foresters in an urban area inspecting a tree.
Urban Forester manage and protect
trees and forests in urban areas.

Urban Foresters manage and protect forests in public parks as well as street trees in urban and suburban areas. They oversee the planting of new trees and protect the health of trees from diseases and insect pests.

Wood product designers conversing on how to build their idea.
Wood Products Designer Design and
create beautiful products from wood.

Wood Products Designers use knowledge of wood, technology, tools, and design principles to create a wide variety of wood products from furniture to interior designs to framing systems for buildings.

A wildlife manager with a bird.
Wildlife Manager protect and manage
wildlife in a sustainable manner.

Wildlife Managers protect and manage wildlife populations and habitats to produce benefits for wildlife and the general public using wildlife science.

Career Resources

Learn more about the positions listed below by using the job search on website. Place any of the position titles in the keyword field for list of available positions.

  • Aquacultural Manager​​
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Environmental Attorney
  • Environmental Compliance Inspector
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Scientists And Specialists
  • Fish and Game Warden​
  • Natural Resource Supervisors
  • Natural Resource Technician
  • Natural Resource Workers
  • Natural Science Manager
  • Naturalist
  • Remote Sensing Technician
  • Social Science Research Assistant
  • Soil And Plant Scientist
  • Soil And Water Conservationist​
  • Wildlife Biologist/Field Biologist​

Related Skills opens opportunities as employers are seeking candidates with the attributes listed.

With over 50 employers at the FNR Career Fair, student opportunities abound with internships, summer positions and graduation career positions.

FNR Career Fair

Personal Assessment can help as you narrow down your skills and interests. Take a look at these resources that help you find the career that fits you.

If you are finding that none of the career options or job postings you have reviewed are interesting maybe it is time for some personal assessment of your skills and interests. The Center for Career Opportunities​​ can assist with further career counseling. Below are a few sites that may be helpful as you assess where your interests and skills align with career options.

The FNR Student Services is a hub of support at Purdue for FNR students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the public.

Woods on Wheels travel exhibit with alumna Sara High standing in front of trailer.

Alumnus Hits the Road With Woods on Wheels Exhibit

There are nearly 5 million acres of woodlands in Indiana and the state’s hardwood industry has an economic impact of more than $10 billion and supports 70,000 jobs.

Alumna shares her role as she travels the state
Woods on Wheels travel exhibit, inside with hardwood information.

Woods on Wheels is For All Ages

Request the Wood on Wheels exhibit to come to your area sharing hardwood resources and career opportunities.

Find out more information and how to request the exhibit