Weed scientists study wild plants growing in competition with cultivated plants. This research might involve investigating the responses of weeds under certain conditions, learning how to manage vegetation, and studying the use of herbicides and alternative methods to manage weed propagation.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?
- Conduct research to diagnose problems in the field or establish weed management systems
- Identify weeds for farmers, golf courses and homeowners
- Conduct research to diagnose problems in the field
- Offer suggestions on weed control methods to landowners
- Establish weed management systems for private crop management or consulting companies
- Recommend or sell weed control products
- Prepare documented proposals and successfully establish research trials
- Explore the molecular mechanisms for chemical resistance
- Work to find chemical formulations that are effective in killing resistant weeds to develop weed control products
- Study environmental and human health impact of chemicals that could be used in fields
- Plant crop trials in fields and greenhouses to use for research
- Oversee lab staff and/or field laborers
- Collect and analyze research data
- Submit research to academic journals and publishers
- Present presentations on research findings and new techniques at conferences and to farmers
- Provide insight to government agencies for policy development
Recommended High School Courses:
- agricultural education
- computer skills
- public speaking
- focus on sciences such as biology, chemistry, plant science and environmental science
A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, crop science, soil science, biology, horticulture, plant physiology, environmental science or a related field is required to become a weed scientist. There are some positions, especially those that are more administrative or research-driven, that require a master’s or doctorate degree.