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The Hydrogeologist would examine the distribution, circulation and physical characteristics of water below and above the earth’s surface. Hydrologists are able to apply scientific knowledge and mathematical principles to solve water related issues in mining.

Typical Duties

• Responsible for identifying and assessing the location, quantity and quality of underground water in the earth
• Conducting studies to determine the location, size and movement of underground water systems
• Solve water related problems using mathematical and physical principles
• Develop plans for water drainage
• Analysing water, rock and other elements
• Testing of water and soil for contamination
• Through research and their expertise determining the most cost effective, safest and environmentally friendly ways to gain access to groundwater
• Prepare technical reports for use by mining, engineering and management personnel
• Collecting and recording of samples and data from test sites
• Devising solutions around issues related to water pollution

Educational Requirements

• Whilst many schools do not offer dedicated Hydrogeology courses, subjects such as Earth Science or Environmental Science are offered and would be good choices for those interested in a career in Hydrogeology
• Additional subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, life Sciences, Computers and Physics would be advantageous
• A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for entry, although many regions and employers will expect a relevant post graduate qualification such as a masters or doctoral degree
• In many regions there are few undergraduate programs in hydrology specifically, therefore students interested in becoming a Hydrogeologist should consider hydrology concentrations within geosciences or engineering programs
• Should you be interested in a Research or Academic position, it will require a doctorate or master’s degree
• Specialised onsite training is often required
• Depending on the region, passing a Licensing exam is often required

Working Conditions

• Hydrogeologists may work in laboratories or offices for some of their time where they would be involved in in areas such as interpreting hydrologic data and performing analyses
• Hydrologists will be required to travel to mine sites and remote sites on a regular basis
• Typically will spend long periods of time away from home often in remote and rugged terrain
• The fieldwork can be strenuous, uncomfortable and even risky, they will work outdoors exposed to the weather conditions and are often based in remote locations
• Hydrologists must be prepared to travel and will often stay away from home for extended periods. They may be required to live on site away from home, or to work on a fly in fly out basis
• Hydrogeologists will often get to see the world as if working for large international companies, their job will often involve international travel

Personal Attributes

• Have an interest in chemistry, math and physics
• Have an interest in the environment and earth sciences
• Have an interest and aptitude with computer modelling, data analysis and digital mapping
• Be able to analyse numerical and graphical data
• Identify, analyse and solve problems
• Be able to embrace new techniques and technologies, and be interested in keeping up to date on industry requirements and advancements
• Be able to work under pressure
• Have a good work ethic and be goal oriented
• Have an ability to work with multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists
• Must be interested in working in remote locations and on mites sites
• Need to be physically fit and comfortable working in the outdoors

 

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