Environmental statisticians are responsible for the analysis and interpretation of environmental data, for the design of environmental studies, and for the dissemination of statistical methods and concepts to staff working within the environmental sector.
The role of an environmental statistician is typically highly interdisciplinary, and will often involve working with scientists or technical staff from a wide range of different backgrounds (environmental scientists, ecologists, chemists, physicists). It may also involve working with policy makers, managers or other decision makers. Key areas of expertise that the environmental statistician contributes are:
- an ability to synthesise and analyse data in appropriate ways, and to effectively and accurately communicate the results of these analyses to non-specialists; and
- an understanding of the importance of variability and uncertainty, and of the way in which these may be quantified?
Environmental statisticians will typically use a wide spectrum of statistical techniques, since standard statistical methods are often inappropriate for environmental data. One of the most important roles of the job is to give a clear and defensible description of the level of uncertainty that is associated with the results of an analysis.