Hydrologists

Description

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.

Tasks

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

Knowledge

Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

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.
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.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Environmental Consultant
Geophysical Laboratory Chief
Geophysicist
Groundwater Consultant
Hydraulic Engineer
Hydrogeologist
Hydrologic Engineer
Hydrologist
Seismologist
Volcanologist
Water Resources Program Director

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$36.31 hourly, $75,530 annual.
Employment (2008):
6,880 employees