Monday, 20 February 2012

Make a living with Hydrology

Hydrologists examine the physical characteristics, distribution, and circulation of water above and below the earth's surface. They study rainfall and other precipitation, the paths precipitation takes through the soil and rocks underground, and its return to the oceans and air. The government and private industry use this information about water properties and movement patterns for a variety of purposes.

To make it as an Hydrologist, one should be able to do the following:

Apply research findings to help minimize the environmental impacts of pollution, water-borne diseases, erosion, and sedimentation.

Compile and evaluate hydrologic information in order to prepare navigational charts and maps, and to predict atmospheric conditions.

Conduct research and communicate information to promote the conservation and preservation of water resources.

Conduct short-term and long-term climate assessments, and study storm occurrences.

Design and conduct scientific hydrogeological investigations to ensure that accurate and appropriate information is available for use in water resource management decisions.

Evaluate research data in terms of its impact on issues such as soil and water conservation, flood control planning, and water supply forecasting.

Investigate properties, origins, and activities of glaciers, ice, snow, and permafrost.

Measure and graph phenomena such as lake levels, stream flows, and changes in water volumes.

Study and analyze the physical aspects of the Earth in terms of the hydrological components, including atmosphere, hydrosphere, and interior structure.

Study and document quantities, distribution, disposition, and development of underground and surface waters.

Study public water supply issues, including flood and drought risks, water quality, wastewater, and impacts on wetland habitats.

Answer questions and provide technical assistance and information to contractors and/or the public regarding issues such as well drilling, code requirements, hydrology, and geology.

Collect and analyze water samples as part of field investigations and/or to validate data from automatic monitors.

Coordinate and supervise the work of professional and technical staff, including research assistants, technologists, and technicians.

Design civil works associated with hydrographic activities, and supervise their construction, installation, and maintenance.

Develop or modify methods of conducting hydrologic studies.

Draft final reports describing research results, including illustrations, appendices, maps, and other attachments.

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.

Install, maintain, and calibrate instruments such as those that monitor water levels, rainfall, and sediments.

Investigate complaints or conflicts related to the alteration of public waters, gathering information, recommending alternatives, informing participants of progress, and preparing draft orders.

Prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of known or suspected hazardous waste sites and land treatment and feedlot facilities.

Administer programs designed to ensure the proper sealing of abandoned wells.

Monitor the work of well contractors, exploratory borers, and engineers, in order to enforce rules regarding their activities.

Review applications for site plans and permits, and recommend approval, denial, modification, or further investigative action.


The minimum educational requirement to become a hydrogeologist is a bachelor's degree in hydrogeology or a major that deals with hydrology, plus additional coursework in geology or soil science. Courses should also include math up through calculus, as well as physics and chemistry. Many professional hydrogeologists earn master's degrees or even doctorate degrees.

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