In 2007, a study titled 'Living in the landscapes of the 21st century' was conducted in 11 high schools in metropolitan and rural Victoria. The research team investigated Year 10 students' conceptions of landscapes in order to explore their understandings of natural resource management (NRM), including agriculture, food, land and water management. The aim of the project was to consider how students' career and future aspirations connected with their understandings of landscape futures. There was no discernible difference in the results for metropolitan and rural students with the majority of students expressing a generalised concern for the environment; however, this concern did not translate into career insights associated with NRM. The researchers concluded that there is a need for a stronger emphasis on NRM education as it relates to essential life-sustaining services for all citizens. In addition, it is suggested that university recruitment strategies utilise word selection/description and visual imagery associated with landscapes in order to engage future managers of our natural resources.