So what do you do in your role as a Hydrologic Technician?
I’m stationed in Honolulu, but we monitor all surface and groundwater for all of the Pacific Islands and Guam, and some other little Pacific Islands out there, so we travel between the islands, we make discharge measurements and survey and do most things I learned at Unity, and also just general USGS type things.
How did your education at Unity College help you develop the skills that you’re currently using in your career?
One of the main things that we learned at Unity was surveying, so using an auto-level and total station, I use both of those at the USGS. I also learned about surveying and the mathematics behind surveying, as well as making discharge measurements including the midsection method, which is exactly what the USGS uses as their main methodology for discharge measurements. So that is a huge thing that we use pretty much at every site we go to. And then just the general types of electronics for hydrologic modeling and monitoring.
I particularly work with groundwater in my office, and it’s not something that a lot of people do. Groundwater is something that we learned how to do in Dr. Kevin Spigel’s classes, and that has been really vital for me, because not a lot of people have that experience with groundwater calculations and making measurements, which has been super critical to my job.
What advice would you give to a student who is looking to study Earth and Environmental Science at Unity College?
I would tell them that they’re making the correct decision in going to Unity, and specifically being in the EES program. I also got my master’s degree at Iowa State after leaving Unity, and I definitely wouldn’t have gotten my master’s if it wasn’t for Kevin [Spigel] and going to Unity. I would say take advantage of all the opportunities you have in EES, I know it can be really difficult sometimes, and it’s definitely gotten me where I am today, 100 percent. Just because of the standard that Kevin held us to, and I would say the same for all of the people I was in EES with.
Waking up early or in the middle of the night to work — the intense EES stuff, the hikes and camping and everything — isn’t easy, but in the end it helped so much, and it’s super fun. I hope people realize how cool it is that that’s our college experience, because that’s not the typical college experience.