A hydrologist works for a government agency or a company and studies water itself, water availability, and the water cycle. When relevant problems occur, the hydrologist helps to solve these issues. Some typical issues that are explored are effects from storm surges, floods, and droughts.
Knowledge of water monitoring equipment is necessary, as the hydrologist may often have to install, use, monitor, maintain, and repair this equipment. The hydrologist will have to record and organize the data, using tools such as software databases. The data should then be examined, interpreted, and passed on to the departments in need of this data. The hydrologist may also be expected to come up with solutions or suggestions as to how water in a certain area can be better managed. The hydrologist may also identify risks that are present in a certain area and may help to come up with solutions before these risks cause problems. The hydrologist may carry out what-if scenarios, to determine what impacts certain water issues would have on the environment. The hydrologist will create reports with the information discovered.
Generally, a master’s degree in physical science, natural science, or a related subject is needed. Adequate courses should have been taken in hydrology. Much of the work of a hydrologist is performed using research and analysis from an office. However, fieldwork is also often required, which may subject the hydrologist to uncomfortable environments and weather conditions. Some travel may be required.
Travel to field sites to perform hydrologic testing and investigations.
Identify and interpret data trends in hydrologic systems.
Manage all aspects of water resource information and data collection.
Formulate predictions based on water resource data analysis.