Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I do

When I applied for my current job, I didn't really know exactly what I'd be doing.  I just saw words like "wetlands", "sea-level rise", and "coasts" and got pretty excited that I could be paid to do something that related to those words.  Even now, two years later, I'm stumped about what to put on my business cards in terms of my title (I just passed my professional engineering exam, so I'm getting updated cards with P.E after my name! And I can officially call myself an engineer now!)

I've checked out what my coworkers put on their cards and I've seen Hydrologist, Wetlands Engineer, Coastal Engineer, and Fluvial Geomorphologist (how awesome is that title?!)  But how do I self-identify?  I'm not totally sure.  

Last week I split my time between modeling how habitats could change in the California delta with sea-level rise, managing projects and our new intern, and setting up a 2-D hydrodynamic model to verify flood levels in a wetland we're designing.  Lot's of modeling last week.

A marsh salt pan in the distance with pretty marsh flowers in front

But a few months ago, I was working on a bridge scour analysis (if you open up a site to the tides, more water will be moving through the system and this additional water can "scour" or dig-out channels making them deeper or wider, which can cause downstream bridges to fail), a monitoring report (we survey a site's topography, measure the tides, and then produce a report about any changes we see from year to year), and a construction cost estimate for a project we designed.  I really get to do a little bit of everything.    

Oh, how I love pretty marsh channels- look at that water!

So for now, I'll probably stick with Hydrologist- it's descriptive and my actual position in the company.  But next time I need new business cards? Who knows!

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