posted 21/10/2013 by Nicole
We cannot see groundwater, hence not many people care about it. Yet 98% of the freshwater on the planet is groundwater. Its importance is even more pronounced in Australia, as it is the driest inhabited continent on earth and surface-water resources are limited over vast areas. In South Australia, groundwater is important for many purposes, such as water supply, agriculture and mining.
My role involves managing groundwater. To be more specific, I use computer models to predict what will happen to our groundwater resources if, for example, we have another 10-year drought. The computer model results can then inform the policy officers on how to best manage our groundwater resources. I enjoy my role as it is helping to improve both the community and the environment. Being project-based, the focus of my work changes from area to area and it never gets boring. Occasionally I get to visit the field sites, which have helped me appreciate how diverse Australia’s landscapes are and have strengthen my understanding of how important my job is to South Australia. It is interesting to know what environmental issues each South Australian area is facing, and I am proud to be part of the team to provide solutions and make a difference.
To get here, I studied Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computing at school and then completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Flinders University. After that I went on to study an Honours in Environmental Science, from which I have developed important network and management skills. During my university studies I also undertook various environmental volunteering positions to develop my awareness of a wide range of environmental issues. At the end of the day, I feel that my career is rewarding, enjoyable and meaningful and I would highly recommend young people out there to explore an environmental science career path.