Hydrologists

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Also known as:  Hydrogeologist, Hydrologist, Isotope Hydrologist, Surface Hydrologist

ABOUT HYDROLOGIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Water is one of our most precious resources. Hydrologists help protect that resource. "hydro-" means "water." "-ologist" means "one who studies." So hydrologists are scientists who study the water in our environment. They use sophisticated techniques and equipment to monitor changes in water cycles. ...


They study precipitation, its movements through the earth, and its return to the ocean and the atmosphere. The work of hydrologists is especially important in flood control. As hurricane Katrina showed, flooding is a major hazard in parts of our country.

Environmental preservation is another crucial area. These scientists analyze the ground water that surrounds us, looking for contamination. Many hydrologists advise businesses and government agencies who must comply with environmental policy.

A good part of the job, especially for junior workers, is spent in the field - in all types of weather. Trekking through rough country, climbing embankments, and getting wet is not uncommon. More experienced hydrologists tend to spend much of their time in the lab. Here they conduct tests, run experiments, record results, and compile data.

Knowledge of computers, math, and related sciences is essential. So is being able to present your findings to others, so good people and communication skills are a plus. Entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree. Certification in hydrology is recommended for more advanced employment. If you have a thirst for knowledge about the environment, consider a job as a hydrologist.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; and 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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
MED
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Prepare written and oral reports describing research results, using illustrations, maps, appendices, and other information.
Collect and analyze water samples as part of field investigations or to validate data from automatic monitors.
Conduct short-term and long-term climate assessments and study storm occurrences.
Compile and evaluate hydrologic information to prepare navigational charts and maps and to predict atmospheric conditions.
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 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.
Prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of known or suspected hazardous waste sites and land treatment and feedlot facilities.
Develop or modify methods of conducting hydrologic studies.
Conduct research and communicate information to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources.
Monitor the work of well contractors, exploratory borers, and engineers and enforce rules regarding their activities.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
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.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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