My background is in computer science and statistics and I’m currently working as a data scientist at a social science-oriented organization (I help with public opinion research, primarily). I’ve always been interested in ecology but for various reasons didn’t end up taking pretty much any relevant courses in undergrad. I’ve always regretted that and am now hesitantly considering moving my career in that direction.
Is there any space in the ecology workforce for people with (only) computational skills? I’m not absolutely opposed to the idea of going back to school, but I don’t feel like I know enough about what ecology actually is to commit to the cost of grad school. Are there other ways I could get involved to try and learn a little more about what this is all like before I commit? volunteer programs? would research labs be interested a little help on the side from an experienced Python & R programmer, or would that be weird? I’m currently in the Washington, DC area, if that makes any difference.