Assistant environmental consultant
What does your role entail?
In general, I am responsible for the delivery of project work associated with hydrology. My site work duties include, preparing health and safety documentation, planning fieldwork and undertaking survey work such a water quality monitoring or peatland surveys. Once I am back in the office, I am then responsible for preparing technical reports, such as Environmental Impact Assessments using the information I have gathered in the field.
What does your day typically consist of?
I would say that I don’t really have a typical day and that is what I like about the job! My time is typically split between the office and the field and in each aspect, I get involved in many different types of projects. In the office I will spend my time writing reports and getting everything organised for fieldwork. Fieldwork-wise, I have been involved in peat and hydrological surveys, water quality monitoring, habitat management installation and monitoring and private water supply inspection. This has taken me all over Scotland and after working here for only six months I have already been involved in projects from Sutherland to Dumfries and Galloway.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really like how I get to be involved in the full life cycle of projects. Prior to consent I will be out in the field completing hydrological and peat surveys. We monitor surface and groundwater from before construction works begin through into the operational stage of windfarms to ensure the project has not impacted the water quality. We are involved in surveying, installing and monitoring Habitat Management Plans and recently I have also been getting involved in contamination investigations where potential spills have occurred. Overall, I enjoy that I am out in the field collecting the data but then I also get to come back to the office and write the report using that information.
How did you get into your role in the first place?
I studied Earth Science at University and then before working at Natural Power I worked as a Geo-environmental Engineer for a ground investigation contractor. After working there for two years I was looking to make the move to a consultancy so I could get involved with the interpretive side of reporting. I had really enjoyed the environmental aspects of my previous role and I was very interested in working in the renewable energy sector. This role has worked out well for me because I still get to spend lots of time outside, but then when I am in the office I can get involved in some very detailed and interesting technical reporting.
What is the most interesting project you have worked on and why?
I am really enjoying a large renewable infrastructure project that I am involved in now. This project is in the construction phase and this is when the hydrological environment is most vulnerable. When I find potential pollution events, it is very satisfying when you can trace the source of the problem and pass on recommendations to the client. I like to see I am directly contributing to improving the water environment.
What is your biggest achievement at work?
The outdoor environment is really important to me so I would say my greatest achievement is being able to work to protect it. It is hugely rewarding when the knowledge, skill and expertise of my team helps clients maintain extremely high standards of environmental protection.