Career summary

Details for Hydrologists


Description

Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.

Tasks

  • Prepare written and oral reports describing research results, using illustrations, maps, appendices, and other information.
  • Design and conduct scientific hydrogeological investigations to ensure that accurate and appropriate information is available for use in water resource management decisions.
  • Measure and graph phenomena such as lake levels, stream flows, and changes in water volumes.
  • Conduct research and communicate information to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources.
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants, technologists, and technicians.
  • Study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats.
  • Apply research findings to help minimize the environmental impacts of pollution, waterborne diseases, erosion, and sedimentation.
  • Study and document quantities, distribution, disposition, and development of underground and surface waters.
  • Install, maintain, and calibrate instruments such as those that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments.
  • Develop computer models for hydrologic predictions.
  • Study and analyze the physical aspects of the earth in terms of hydrological components, including atmosphere, hydrosphere, and interior structure.
  • Evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting.
  • Collect and analyze water samples as part of field investigations or to validate data from automatic monitors.
  • Prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of known or suspected hazardous waste sites and land treatment and feedlot facilities.
  • Evaluate data and provide recommendations regarding the feasibility of municipal projects, such as hydroelectric power plants, irrigation systems, flood warning systems, and waste treatment facilities.
  • Develop or modify methods for conducting hydrologic studies.
  • Review applications for site plans and permits and recommend approval, denial, modification, or further investigative action.
  • Monitor the work of well contractors, exploratory borers, and engineers and enforce rules regarding their activities.
  • Answer questions and provide technical assistance and information to contractors or the public regarding issues such as well drilling, code requirements, hydrology, and geology.
  • Investigate properties, origins, and activities of glaciers, ice, snow, and permafrost.
  • Conduct short- and long-term climate assessments and study storm occurrences.
  • Administer programs designed to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.
  • Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters, gathering information, recommending alternatives, informing participants of progress, and preparing draft orders.
  • Design civil works associated with hydrographic activities and supervise their construction, installation, and maintenance.
  • Compile and evaluate hydrologic information to prepare navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Knowledge

  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

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