(Careers profile courtesy of the Hydrogeological Group)
Having done my BSc (Hons) Environmental Geoscience at St Andrews and MSc in Applied Environmental Geology at Cardiff in quick succession, I needed to find a three month industrial placement in order to complete the Masters degree. I was lucky enough to get a placement with the Environment Agency, in one of their several area Groundwater and Contaminated Land Technical Teams. Shortly after completing this placement and my Masters dissertation, I was even more fortunate to get a permanent position in an area Groundwater and Contaminated Land Team in October 2010.
The Groundwater and Contaminated Land team that I work in covers an extensive geographic area from Leicester through Nottingham and Derby all the way up to Doncaster and Scunthorpe.
As a Technical Officer I provide technical support and guidance to internal and external customers on groundwater protection and land contamination issues on a daily basis. I am involved in determining abstraction license applications including analysis and interpretation of pump tests and groundwater level monitoring.
I also look at other groundwater protection issues including reviewing and providing technical advice on contaminated land planning consultations, assessing applications for discharges of substances including sewage to ground.
Overall, the work is highly varied and technically challenging. The role requires strong organisational skills with being able to prioritise workloads, as I can be working on a number of jobs at any given time. Strong communication skills are also essential, as you can be liaising with members of the public, environmental and hydro-geological consultants, and other regulators on a daily basis.
One of the great aspects about working for the Environment Agency in the area Groundwater and Contaminated Land Team is that the work varies on a day to day basis, keeping you on your toes. I am still at an early stage in my hydrogeology career, however there are always opportunities to shadow colleagues within the Environment Agency and there is always a challenge to take on.