This Green Careers page highlights local "Green Careers" which includes a video, vocabulary list, and a Google Form that serves as an interactive WebQuest for students to complete. We want to empower our local students to start investigating their passions, widen their perspectives on future career endeavors, and get connected to local professionals in the area. This program can be implemented in the classroom weekly: maybe a weekly green career highlight as an assignment, watch video, fill out the WebQuest and then have a classroom science talk on the career topic. Teachers can help clarify any vocabulary terms with students as well using the provided vocabulary list for each career video.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch appreciates any feedback you may provide, as we strive to make this a program teachers can incorporate into their lesson plans seamlessly. Thank you for being open to incorporating these career lessons for your middle school students. Enjoy!
For any questions or more information, feel free to reach out to: Stephanie Rios at
The restoration profession restores the environment and is becoming an important career that helps to help repair environments like forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other critical habitats. This green career faces issues in natural disturbances but also anthropogenic (created by humans) disturbances like urban development. Someone who works in Ecological Restoration is a person who loves to work outdoors, assessing site conditions. and monitoring the success of the work for some time.
Daniel Casella is a Restoration Specialist for the non-profit Watsonville Wetlands Watch. The minimum education requirement for this type of career field would be a college bachelor's degree in forestry, biology, conservation, wildlife, or natural resources management. If you dream of doing your part for the planet and don't mind getting your hands dirty, then this job is for you!
1. READ the definitions for key words you will hear in the restoration specialist career video (PDF)
2. WATCH Watsonville Wetlands Watch - Restoration Specialist video (9 minutes)
3. COMPLETE the Restoration Specialist webquest (Google Form)
Going green may seem obvious when talking about agriculture, but issues regarding sustainability are huge in the agriculture industry. Luckily, green agriculture jobs can be found throughout the Central Coast in both farming and food production.
Alejandro Rios is a Research Technician for Sakata Seed America Inc. in Salinas, CA. A research technician plays an important role in any scientific lab, participating in high-tech, high-profile research in both agriculture and even medicine. Technicians can work in a lab or outdoors. Many work in labs that specialize in DNA research. They set up, operate, and maintain lab equipment. Research technicians are exposed to dangerous and toxic chemicals on a daily basis. It takes a clear mind and a steady hand to work in a lab.
1. READ the definitions for key words you will hear in the research technician career video (PDF)
2. WATCH Sakata Seed America Inc - Research Technician video (8 minutes)
3. COMPLETE the Research Technician webquest (Google Form)
Are you someone who is passionate about protecting animals and their habitats? You might find a career path towards becoming a wildlife biologist one that does just that! You can work outdoors, study animal characteristics, and assist with research work. Internships opportunities and volunteering are key to getting experience in the field and figuring out what kind of opportunities are out there in wildlife conservation.
Zeka Glucs, director of the Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz, is a wildlife biologist working with UCSC and Cabrillo College undergraduate students working to conserve wild birds of prey.
1. READ the definitions for key words you will hear in the wildlife biologist career video (PDF)
2. WATCH UCSC Predatory Bird Research Group - Wildlife Biologist video (10 minutes)
3. COMPLETE the Wildlife Biologist webquest (Google Form)
Recycling and Waste Reduction
Yes, recycling and waste reduction does involve taking out the trash, but we can take it a step further by finding new ways to recycle and reuse waste in new ways. Occupations (jobs) in this category include solid waste and wastewater management, waste treatment, and the processing of recyclable materials.
Ray Martin is the Integrated Waste Supervisor for the City of Watsonville. An integrated Waste Supervisor performs a variety of operational, planning, research, coordination and management tasks to support the City's Solid Waste Division. This position requires a working knowledge of solid waste collection, disposal, and recycling methods and procedures. One of the responsibilities in this position, includes operating heavy equipment and collection vehicles!
1. READ the definitions for key words you will hear in the solid waste career video (PDF)
2. WATCH City of Watsonville - Solid Waste Careers video (5 minutes)
3. COMPLETE the Solid Waste Career webquest (Google Form)
Ecological Reserve Manager
Avoiding the destruction of the natural world, which is essential to all living things, is a central goal for anyone in the environmental science field. This industry covers a variety of professions like law enforcement, planning, and management careers.
Joe Miller is the field manager for the UC Santa Cruz Fort Ord Natural Reserve in Marina, CA. The UC Natural Reserve System is a network 39 reserves all across California, preserved for students and faculty to do research. One of the UC reserve sites is located in Marina, CA on the former Fort Ord.
A Reserve Manager position is all about stewardship (taking care of something). Tasks under your role could be things such as maintaining research and teaching areas and assisting with vegetation management to reduce fire risks. Job qualifications include experiences with GPS, knowledge of local natural history (geology, soils, plants, animals), and experiences with carpentry, plumbing, and auto repairs.
1. READ the definition for key words you will hear in the reserve manager career video (PDF)
2. WATCH the UCSC Fort Ord Natural Reserve - Reserve Manager video (14 minutes)
3. COMPLETE the Reserve Manager webquest (Google Form)
Careers dealing with the ocean don't have to be all about the currents, pollution, or deep-sea exploration. Why not consider opportunities working with marine life, marine science education in non profit work, or even fisheries? Professionals in this field must have a curious mind and a passion for the environment.
Rachel Kippen was the Executive Director of the non-profit organization O'Neil Sea Odyssey from 2019 to 2021. Non-profit organizations do not earn money for profits. Any money given to an organization goes right back to funding the organization's work and outreach benefiting the public. In an Executive Director position, you are most likely overseeing administration, program planning, fundraising, and doing tons of community outreach! Since the filming of this video, Rachel has pursued her passion for education by working with alt ed kids under the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.
1. READ the definitions for key words you will hear in the executive director career video (PDF)
2. WATCH O'Neil Sea Odyssey - Executive Director video (11 minutes)
3. COMPLETE the Non-Profit Executive Director webquest (Google Form)
We Want Your Feedback!
Drop us your comments or feedback so we can make this page better.
1. Thoughts/ comments on your overall experience learning more about the various careers we highlighted here.
2. Any wants you may have - Is there a Green Career you would like to learn more about that we have not highlighted on here?
3. Anything else?