Since graduating from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Environmental Science in 2017, Jake Turi has been working on numerous large-scale projects for clients across the Government, Mining and Energy sectors. 

He shares his insights on his typical day as a Hydrogeologist and what drew him to the industry.

Describe the work you undertake in the Environmental/Earth Science field

My work is focused on detailed investigations of groundwater which is the water held within rock formations below the earth surface.

We help clients understand the characteristics and volumes of groundwater that could be intercepted during the construction and operation of their projects. We adopt an integrated approach and work closely with other environmental teams to understand if potential changes to the groundwater environment could impact other environmental and human users of the water.

What drew you to your career?

I was drawn to study Environmental Science at university as I was fascinated with how different ecosystems interact with each other, usually occurring in the background of our daily lives without most people knowing that it’s happening.

Furthermore, I was drawn to hydrogeology (the study of groundwater) by the fact that 30% of all fresh water on earth is stored beneath the surface as groundwater – as opposed to approximately 0.3% being contained in surface water systems such as rivers and lakes. In what is a very volatile time for our climate and various ecosystems, water security is crucial and I wanted to be involved in the effective management and protection of our most important resource.

What is a typical day for you?

A typical day can vary greatly based on whether I’m in the field or not.

In the field, the tasks can include:

  • Drilling supervision of groundwater monitoring bores – logging and characterising geology encountered during drilling, measuring groundwater quality/flow rate, and supervising the drilling crew to ensure bore construction is compliant with Australian guidelines and satisfies the design objectives.
  • Water sampling – collecting water samples for laboratory chemical analysis from groundwater bores or surface watercourses to determine water quality and sometime even the age of the water.
  • Groundwater level monitoring and aquifer testing – to measure the physical properties of the aquifer rock and to determine groundwater flow rates and inferred flow direction.

In the office, the tasks can include:

  • Data management – organising and managing vast water quality and water level datasets and creating visual representations of data trends.
  • Report writing – collating and assessing field data to enable assessment and management of the groundwater environment.

What is the best thing about your job?

This is a tough one – completing field work assignments in some of the most naturally beautiful and remote parts of the country is an amazing experience. Having to off-road 4WD, or use an ATV, or even be flown to locations by helicopter in order to complete fieldwork in remote locations is a lot of fun. Tackling complex technical tasks and creating opportunities for our clients along the way is another obvious highlight of what I do.

However, the best part of my job has to be interacting with the people that I work with. EMM has some of the most accomplished and distinguished technical environmental experts in Australia and having the opportunity to learn from them is an absolute privilege.