I am new to the forum and to this field in general. I am in the last year of my PhD program and starting to look around at what options might be coming up next for me. I am in an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program that is very much focused on fundamentals and theory. While I was able to seek out and work with an advisor who does conservation and at least does not poo-poo applied work the only career advise folks around here can really offer is: get a post-doc or 2 or 3 and apply for faculty positions. The problem is that while I like doing research, I really want to see my work manifested in the physical world in some form other than in peer-reviewed journal articles. Anyhow, recently we had a speaker come to our department and give a talk about some landscape architecture projects that include ecological restoration that he is involved with and it was like a gigantic bell going off in my head. What if I could put my skills and knowledge of ecology to work for these kinds of projects? The kind of stuff I have been doing for the last 6 years in graduate school includes modeling suitable habitat and populations for different kinds of species. I feel like I could really contribute to restoration projects that want to go beyond just 'what should we plant?' to 'How can we restore a healthy ecosystem that includes whole communities of organisms at different trophic levels?'
I would love any advice or feedback for how I can get involved and lend some of my expertise in this field?